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Going batty trying to figure out Batting.

Going batty trying to figure out Batting.

Old 09-01-2010, 05:08 AM
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As a new quilter, I'm baffled about the different types of batting and which type to use with which project. I know nothing about needle punched batting, polyester batting, wool batting, etc.

Is it better to use one over another when making potholders, wall quilts, bed quilts? I understand the thickness part, but the fiber part is my problem. Is there a rule of thumb? Is there a book about batting? It seems there are several to choose from at JoAnn's. I usually grab the cheapest or the one on sale, being unemployed for over a year, but I'm sure that my choice is not always the best.

I realize this is a huge issue, so please don't take valuable time away from your quilting - just link me to a batty website. lol. Thanks.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:19 AM
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ohhhh good question! Can't wait to here answers
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:28 AM
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you can visit the warm company they tell lots about different batting properties and uses.
alot of it is just personal choice; when i started quilting i tried lots of different batts, each one i would cut a 6" square from, write down the company, fiber content, stitch requirements, cost, packaging, anything i thought i would want to know later if i wanted to buy it again. i also documented any issues i had using it or likes/dislikes. my (book) has about 50 different batting swatches in it now.
there are some people who use one batting...for ever...that is what they like and they see no reason to try anything else.
buying what is on sale is a good way to try different ones but you should pay attention to the things you like and do not like about it, so if you HATE using it you don't buy it again 6 months down the road because you forgot thats the one you hate.
some people hate poly batts and swear they will melt or fall apart or something horrible will happen if you use them. i've used lots of poly batts, i've never had one melt, fall apart, distort, or do anything bad. and they hold up very well for kids quilts that get washed alot. poly wears very well. cotton batts have tons of different weights and properties, some are better for hand quilting than for machine quilting, some are very thin, some quite lofty, all shrink a little bit. (poly's do not shrink)
i absolutely love the Dream Battings! dream wool my favorite, dream poly comes next. the bamboo/silk is fabulous to work with but very expensive.
there is no reason to stress over your batting, try different ones, keep a little journal and as you go along you will decide what your favorites are, and they may be totally different then the gal at the lqs...
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:45 AM
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I use whatever is on sale. They all seem to be ok but I like to ones the feels and looks like a thicker flannel blanket.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:58 AM
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I use the 100 percent cotton batting. I love the way it feels and drapes. I have also found it's warmer to lie under then the poly ones.

I haven't tried the bamboo one, it is one I'd like to try.

I don't do poly, due to the nature of polyester melting if it gets burned. Plus, I'll admit it, I prefer all natural fabric.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:18 AM
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I use only warm and natural 100% cotton. I have tried others but not been happy with them. I just bought some bamboo but haven't tried it yet. I machine and hand quilt and I love that W&N can be quilted so far apart (like 10 inches) Some other battings require much closer quilting like 4 inches. I like having a choice.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:40 AM
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I bought some poly that is made by Warm & Natural called Soft & Bright. It's the nicest batting I've worked with. There's no shredding or bearding, no thin spots, doesn't pull apart easily and the loft is just right for me. It lays flat and doesn't curl up. I get it at Joanne's with a coupon; comes on a bolt for I think $7.95/very wide yard. I don't use cotton because it seems to pull apart too easily. This one washes up beautifully-use it in kids quilts all the time.
Regarding the melting of poly, any fabric will cling to skin when burning. If you look at mattress pads, crib pads, etc., most have some poly in them. Wish there was a 100% safe fabric but so far I don't think it exists.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:01 AM
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I am a longarm quilter so I hope this information is of help to you.

First I look at the intended use of the quilt, i.e. utility quilt, kid quilt to be drug around, wall hanging, etc. Then I consider the overall climate of where the quilt is going. (Even for wall hangings)

If it is to be a child's quilt, getting a lot of use I mostly use polyester batting. Poly stands up to multiple washings much better than cotton and doesn't require dense quilting.

If it is a bed quilt then I consider the climate for when the quilt will be used, i.e. winter only, always cool nights, etc. I will use a wool blend or Hobbs 80/20. Both of these have a good loft for stitch definition and breath so you don't get too hot or too cold. My decision maker is whether the quilt will be washed alot. If so, then I use Hobbs 80/20.

For a wall hanging I usually use 2 batts. I will use Warm n Natural for the bottom layer and usually a poly on top. Most wall hangings you want a design to stand out and that is the purpose for 2 layers of batt.

For a table runner and placemats I use Warm N Natural or Warm N White because it is flat and only do a basic quilting design on it.

I hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:12 AM
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Here are some websites with batting information:
and an old Hobbs batting chart:

My personal preference is Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon cotton batting, which is a very traditional batting that has been around for decades; I like the crinkled look and this batting gets softer with every washing so that years later it's even softer than when originally made.

Poly and wool have their uses (wool, for example, is exceptionally warm and light), but I tend to avoid them because of the potential of bearding problems on dark fabric.

For a higher loft batting that remains soft and light, I like Hobbs 80/20.

Many people like Warm n Natural, but years ago when I used it I found it has a stiffer drape than other cotton battings (probably because it is needle-punched through scrim), so I use it only for wallhangings now (exceptional stability).

All of the above are my choices for machine quilting; for hand quilting it's important to choose a batting that is easy to hand needle. Quilter's Dream (both cotton and poly) and Hobbs 80/20 are better for hand quilting; wool can be excellent for hand quilting also.

As others have said, it becomes largely a matter of personal preference.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:22 AM
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I tried different battings just to see how they would handle and right now Warm and Natural (or Warm and White) is my favorite. I love the slightly stiffer drape and it washes fabulously. But that's me - and based on some of the reports here I may try some different battings just for the heck of it. For me, all the theory is nice to know, but it doesn't tell me how the batting will FEEL.

Happy quilting.
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