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Thread: FLANNEL VS REGULAR COTTON

  1. #1

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    I've been thinking about using flannel for a backing on a quilt that the front is regular cotton. As a lap quilt I think it would be cozier for napping & such. but am not sure how it might stretch & move differently than the cotton front & if that would cause a problem? Any advise or insight would be appreciated.
    Jennie

  2. #2
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Flannel is wonderful for the back of quilts. It tends to shrink more than cotton, so I always prewash and dry.

  3. #3
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I love a flannel backed quilt. But as Sadiemae advised, I strongly recommending washing and drying first. Flannel tends to have a higher shrink rate than regular cotton quilting fabric.

  4. #4
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    I also love flannel for backings. And I prewash the flannel. Makes a nice cuddly and warm quilt.

  5. #5
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    There are some children's charities that request flannel backs because they don't slip off of the beds as readily.

  6. #6

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    I wash & dry all my fabric. A habit I picked up from my days of garment construction.
    So if I get & use a top feeding foot (can't think of the name) I should be OK?
    Jennie

  7. #7
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i use flannel all the time for quilt backs...pre-wash your flannel toss it in the dryer, then press well it will be just fine...cozy soft and snuggly.
    some people seem to really stress over using flannels...i've used flannels in quilts since the early 80's and have never had a problem with shrinkage, stretching, or it not holding up....flannel is wonderful to work with....that being said. i do buy good double sided flannels, not light weight single sided thin (stuff)
    i only wash it once, in a normal wash and i toss it into a regular dryer. flannel is a looser weave than regular quilting cottons and the edges will fray more than other fabrics, you can either use a pinking blade or pinking shears to trim the edges that will cut down on the amount of fraying. or you can put it into a mesh bag to launder....i never worry about it , i just toss it in...then when it''s all done i trim the edges and get rid of all the strings...but the strings do stress out some people when they open their dryers..

  8. #8
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    Flannel is wonderful for the back of quilts. It tends to shrink more than cotton, so I always prewash and dry.
    I concur!!! You have to be CAREFUL with this...wash and dry HOT at least 4 times to make the flannel shrink all it will before putting it with cotton.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennie
    I wash & dry all my fabric. A habit I picked up from my days of garment construction.
    So if I get & use a top feeding foot (can't think of the name) I should be OK?
    Jennie
    You're thinking of a walking foot? I would use one if you have it. I think you will be happier with the results

  10. #10
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    This is a good idea, and this last week I was in my favorite thrift store and found a lovely dark blue flannel sheet that will be perfect for backing on a kid's lap robe I'm finishing. This is the thickest flannel I've ever felt, and it should outlast the rest of the quilt by years!!

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    Flannel is wonderful for the back of quilts. It tends to shrink more than cotton, so I always prewash and dry.
    This is what I do when I use flannel as a backing...it is warm, soft and cuddly.

  12. #12
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    Just did this recently for an oversize twin quilt and had no issues. I pre wash all my fabrics. Didn't have any more issues with threads/strings on the flannel than the regular cotton. I don't have a walking foot but had no issues when sewing the binding down to the entire quilt. I machine sew my binding to the front then hand sew to the back. I think the flannel was actually easier as a backing during the machine sewing phase since it slides easier than the regular cotton. The flannel I used was a nice heavy flannel by Moda. Would definitely recommend this fabric.

  13. #13

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    Thank you all so much for your encouragement. I hadn't read anywhere, where this was done so was wondering if it worked & OBVIOUSLY it does. I can now put flannel on the back of my quilt(s) & not worry that I have done something disasterous.
    Jennie

  14. #14
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I love flannel on the back, so warm and cozy!

  15. #15
    Super Member running1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jljack
    Quote Originally Posted by Sadiemae
    Flannel is wonderful for the back of quilts. It tends to shrink more than cotton, so I always prewash and dry.
    I concur!!! You have to be CAREFUL with this...wash and dry HOT at least 4 times to make the flannel shrink all it will before putting it with cotton.
    I was in my LQS recently asking about this very thing. My question to the experts there (they really are experts in my opinion) was can I use both flannel and regular cotton (from old shirts) in the same rag quilt? They said yes IF I wash it thoroughly. They said to be certain, wash it 3-4 times and then dry...
    Happy Quilting!!

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i NEVER pre-wash my flannels more than once, i've used flannel in peiced tops and for backs on probably a hundred quilts...have NEVER had any problems with shrinkage after the quilt is made. the batting and the density of quilting also dictates how much a quilt will shrink...regardless of the fiber content of the top/back. i kind of feel like some people worry way too much about silly things.
    that being said...if you purchase, single sided, thin flannel it may shrink more than a quality flannel

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