Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Polyester vs. Cotton Batting

  1. #1
    Super Member klaws's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,987

    Polyester vs. Cotton Batting

    Since I am a new quilter I have a question. What is the difference between polyester and cotton batting? Why do some quilters prefer one to the other? Thanks for responding.

    Karen
    Karen

    I am not a fabricaholic. I am the curator of an extensive private textile collection.


  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,929
    Blog Entries
    1
    Polyester batting does not shrink at all. It tends to give a more "modern" look to quilting lines. Unless it is a really thin batting, it also tends to give more "loft" to the finished quilting.

    Cotton batting shrinks (unless you pre-shrink it; not possible with all cotton battings) and gives a more "traditional" look to the quilt -- i.e., a more crinkled look, and a somewhat flatter look.

    However, a lot depends on which specific batting you use. There are very thin polyester battings that give a very flat look to the finished piece (often desirable for wall hangings). There are also combo battings.

    If you are looking for an all-around high quality batting to start out with, I recommend Hobbs 80/20. It is a good starting point.

  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    11,194
    Blog Entries
    1
    it is really just a personal choice- try both & see what you like. I will say often I use Polyester batting in kids quilts- it holds up well through frequent laundering and is loftier than cotton batting. my absolute favorite though will always be wool batting- it is lightweight, lofty, does not shrink, is soft and wonderful to work with. I use a lot of polyester battings but once in a while a cotton batting is a good choice for my project- when that is the case I tend to turn to Hobbs 80/20. if I want something flat & stiff I *might* use warm & natural. but as a new quilter- try every different batting you find- catch them on sale, follow the recommended quilting requirements and decide what YOU like best- and why.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,662
    Some of us just prefer to use natural products in our quilts...cotton and wool.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  5. #5
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,862
    For me, it depends on the look I want and how I will quilt it. Polyester is puffier and I like it for hand quilting and occasionally for machine quilting. Polyester tends to be a little slipperier when machine quilting for me but still manageable if I use 505 basting spray.
    I like 80/20 cotton/poly batt for machine quilting better but it tends to make hand quilting difficult. I have not tried wool, silk or bamboo but many like those but they are a bit more expensive generally.

  6. #6
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ashdown, AR
    Posts
    9,645
    Blog Entries
    1
    The 80/20 is what most long arm quilters use. The poly gives more fluff or loft and looks really great. I use it in my hand quilting. But, sometimes it can cause problems on the long arm.
    Be the best that you can be at everything you do.
    Find me on Facebook Be my friend Join my group
    Leesa Kemp's Material Things Fabric Sales and Auctions

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    4,622
    I'm in the natural camp. I use cotton batting (warm & natural specifically). Poly fibers melt...they don't burn. If, heaven forbid, there is a fire, a quilt with poly batting can melt to the skin causing horrible problems. Plus I like the crinkled look!

  8. #8
    Super Member Treasureit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    OC, CA
    Posts
    2,938
    I agree that it becomes a personal choice...I would suggest trying several different kinds and see what you like best. It could be one is better for each quilt choice you like. I love the old wrinkly look that cotton gives and I don't like big and bulky quilts...so my choice is easy...low loft cotton. But I would consider using poly if I wanted to quilt it to have a puffy look in certain areas of the quilt. As you look at finished quilts on this board you will see how they vary.

  9. #9
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,203
    I prefer the loft of the polyester batting. And the cotton batting isn't as warm as polyester.
    Sue Wilson

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    6,163
    Blog Entries
    1
    Your choice also will depend on how you quilt it. If you send it out to be professionally quilted, your quilter may request a specific type or brand. Feel free to have a discussion with him/her about the reasons why.

    If you quilt it yourself (by hand OR machine), you might want to experiment first with crib sized batting or maybe some scraps of batting (ask around for scraps from fellow quilters and pro longarmers) and see how each batt "needles" and how it looks after quilting and washing. You will most likely develop your own preferences, depending on how densely you quilt and how you like your finished quilts to look and feel.

  11. #11
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Jozefow, Poland
    Posts
    4,502
    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Quilter View Post
    I If, heaven forbid, there is a fire, a quilt with poly batting can melt to the skin .
    Where did you hear this?

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    6,163
    Blog Entries
    1
    I know that polyester clothing can melt to the skin, and poly batting will melt, but I would think that the cotton top and backing would act as a barrier and stop the melted poly from fusing to skin.

    I have a fireman friend, I'll have to ask him if he's had any experience with this.

  13. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sonoma County, CA
    Posts
    3,920
    I like both - I agree polyester is more "lofty", but sometimes that's not what you want!

    I also often find a need to use black batting, and so far I haven't seen cotton batting in black so I use black poly. I've never tried Hobbs (which I know has a blend in black) because I tend to need to quilt farther apart than it allows.

    If I want shrinkage and crinkles - cotton. If I want puffy and smooth - poly!

  14. #14
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Quinta, CA
    Posts
    3,925
    I use poly most of the time because it's cheap and the quilts are for everyday use and will be washed a lot. For special quilts I like cotton best but it's expensive.
    Mary

  15. #15
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,662
    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    I know that polyester clothing can melt to the skin, and poly batting will melt, but I would think that the cotton top and backing would act as a barrier and stop the melted poly from fusing to skin.

    I have a fireman friend, I'll have to ask him if he's had any experience with this.
    I believe the response you'll get will be that polyester nightwear is in close contact with the skin and surrounds the body so is more of a potential hazard that a poly batt quilt which is (usually) loosely covering the body. That's what I've been told anyway.

    The top and backing, being cotton, will burn to ash and disappear quickly, so I don't think that's any real protection against burns from poly batting if a child were wrapped in it. It's just not something I'm willing to risk at all, no matter what the age of the person I'm making the quilt for.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  16. #16
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,862
    Any fabric is going to burn unless treated with fire retardant chemicals which only slow it down.Do you know what happens when fabric treated with fire retardant burns? It releases nasty, harmful chemicals. Most firemen will tell you the smoke will kill you quicker than the fire.

  17. #17
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,502
    When I started quilting, I used poly bat because it was easy to get, inexpensive, easy to hand quilt, and I could get it in different weights. If I wanted a really big fluffly quilt to tie, it was no problem! It can tend to beard, but some of them have a scrim on the top now to reduce it and I think you can get it in black now too. Then nice cotton bats came along and I decided to make a quilt with one. It was very very difficult to hand quilt. I could only take one or two stitches at a time and it made my hand sore. As a result, I started machine quilting my quilts that I used cotton with. It was nice to machine quilt because it layed flat and it sort of grabbed the cotton which helped in quilting. But I love hand quilting. Someone on this Board suggested to me to get samples of bats from the companies that make them. Then make a little mini quilt out of the squares; hand quilt one half of the square and machine quilt the other half. That way you can try out all the different bats and see which one you like best. If I had to buy a whole roll of each bat, it'd be forever before I tried them all out!
    Penny

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.