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Thread: question about backing fabric

  1. #1
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    What do you think will last and hold up longer for the backing of a quilt. Say 50 years or so?

    Muslin or regular quilt fabric?

  2. #2
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    Well, I think it's a toss up. Both kinds of backings from 50 years ago and older have held up well considering the manufacturing processes were not so refined as they are today. It all depends on how a quilt is taken care of to prevent fading/fold lines etc. Muslin will show stains more than a print, but will age into a softness while prints may fade. Long term durability might not be known for years to come. I've used prints that have begun to fade already even after a couple of years.

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    I wouldnt have any issues with using Muslin on the back of a quilt.

    After all, it was done that way for a hundred years or more and those quilts have held up nicely..

    It is more cost effective..

    And, I hadnt thought about the fading issue that babeegirl brought up, but that is a good point too..

    Depending on the look you are going for, you might want to prewash it as some muslin will shrink more that other fabric, depending on the thread count and whether it is prewashed or not..some muslin says prewashed...

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstitch
    I wouldnt have any issues with using Muslin on the back of a quilt.

    After all, it was done that way for a hundred years or more and those quilts have held up nicely..

    It is more cost effective..

    And, I hadnt thought about the fading issue that babeegirl brought up, but that is a good point too..

    Depending on the look you are going for, you might want to prewash it as some muslin will shrink more that other fabric, depending on the thread count and whether it is prewashed or not..some muslin says prewashed...

    Good luck!
    i hate to say this, but quilts made 100 years ago were not washed as often as they are now. so 50 years ago, they were already 50 years old, but seldom washed. with modern emphasis on cleanliness we wash linens a lot more. that's very hard on quilts no matter how careful we are. on the flip side, fabric is being made better, so we'll have to wait and see. ask again in 50 years. LOL.

  5. #5
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    Depends on the weight of the fabric, thread count, thickness of threads, type of cotton used, weaving process, dyes and other chemicals used, that kind of thing. The better quality will last longer, whether that is muslin or quilting cotton.

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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    Quote Originally Posted by jstitch
    I wouldnt have any issues with using Muslin on the back of a quilt.

    After all, it was done that way for a hundred years or more and those quilts have held up nicely..

    It is more cost effective..

    And, I hadnt thought about the fading issue that babeegirl brought up, but that is a good point too..

    Depending on the look you are going for, you might want to prewash it as some muslin will shrink more that other fabric, depending on the thread count and whether it is prewashed or not..some muslin says prewashed...

    Good luck!
    i hate to say this, but quilts made 100 years ago were not washed as often as they are now. so 50 years ago, they were already 50 years old, but seldom washed. with modern emphasis on cleanliness we wash linens a lot more. that's very hard on quilts no matter how careful we are. on the flip side, fabric is being made better, so we'll have to wait and see. ask again in 50 years. LOL.
    While this is true, it is also true that dirt and light are the biggest detractors from the longevity of a quilt.. so by that logic, the dirtiest old ones that used muslin as backing would deteriorate faster..

    Yes, we wont know for a long time if any of the fabrics we are using today will hold up.. but, IHO, if you use a nice 200 thread count muslin, you wont have any troubles. And Hancocks sells it for 5.99 reg price, and they put it on sale for half off fairly often.. and it comes in colors.. as well as white and unbleached...There are a few other brands of good quality muslin as well..

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    do they have an online catalog? i will watch for it and give it a try, what the heck? i've spent worse money!

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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    do they have an online catalog? i will watch for it and give it a try, what the heck? i've spent worse money!
    Our Hancock's is an indpendent store, no online catalog, but the 200 thread count that I have purchased is Kona Cotton and Hancocks of Peducah sellis it cheap..

    I have also bought Spring Maid, but you have to make sure you are getting 200 thread count,, they make a lower thread count muslin too..

    And roclawn muslin comes in 200 thread count, but it is harder to find.. there is a lot of cheat Roclawn out there, beware...

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    Moda also makes a 200 thread count muslin.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kara's Avatar
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    I've done both, for different reasons. With proper laundering (not over-washing it) both would last just as long.

    It's the emphasis on washing everything that is harsh on fibers.

  11. #11
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone.

    The reason I am asking is because I will be making an heirloom quilt for a friend from her deceased hubby's shirts to be passed down from generation to generation.

    She wants the best quality I can find. I'll post it in a few weeks when I'm done.

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    Well, I hope we didnt make your choice more difficult with all our input..

    Im sure it will turn out well..

  13. #13
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    I agree that a top quality muslin would be a fine choice.

    If I were going to hand quilt it, I would not use a densely woven one, however. I have hand quilted through 200 ct fabric, and it's hard.

  14. #14
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstitch
    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    Quote Originally Posted by jstitch
    I wouldnt have any issues with using Muslin on the back of a quilt.

    After all, it was done that way for a hundred years or more and those quilts have held up nicely..

    It is more cost effective..

    And, I hadnt thought about the fading issue that babeegirl brought up, but that is a good point too..

    Depending on the look you are going for, you might want to prewash it as some muslin will shrink more that other fabric, depending on the thread count and whether it is prewashed or not..some muslin says prewashed...

    Good luck!
    i hate to say this, but quilts made 100 years ago were not washed as often as they are now. so 50 years ago, they were already 50 years old, but seldom washed. with modern emphasis on cleanliness we wash linens a lot more. that's very hard on quilts no matter how careful we are. on the flip side, fabric is being made better, so we'll have to wait and see. ask again in 50 years. LOL.
    While this is true, it is also true that dirt and light are the biggest detractors from the longevity of a quilt.. so by that logic, the dirtiest old ones that used muslin as backing would deteriorate faster..

    Yes, we wont know for a long time if any of the fabrics we are using today will hold up.. but, IHO, if you use a nice 200 thread count muslin, you wont have any troubles. And Hancocks sells it for 5.99 reg price, and they put it on sale for half off fairly often.. and it comes in colors.. as well as white and unbleached...There are a few other brands of good quality muslin as well..
    do they come in 120" or 108" for 96 x 96 quilts? that's my size choice.

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    Well, Ill check into that.. not sure, I buy 45 inche and seam it together...

  16. #16
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    I'm going to machine quilt it.

    I appreciate all the advise!! :D

    I'm going to make a pillow cover with his ties too.

  17. #17
    Super Member Carol W's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information!!

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