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Thread: Sorry, Another batting question about cotton

  1. #1
    Zoo
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    On my first quilt totaly done by me I used poly batt, mainly because I got very nervouse/confused on the cotton batts.
    After reading alot about batting here for my next quilt I'd like to use cotton batting.
    BUT at the LQS they had a few different kinds of cotton batting, one in particular (I can't remember the name) clearly said on the outside of the packaging "do not wash before using", or somthing to that affect. So my question is, with other cotton batting do you pre-wash it before you quilt?
    Zoo

  2. #2
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    I've never washed batting at all. One thing I will say about folded up packaged cotton batting is that a lot of them come out of the package with thin spots due to the folding process. Warm and Natural is the only one I've not had this happen to. I'm out of batting now, so I'm going to try the stuff on the huge rolls next to see if that is better.

  3. #3
    HMK
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    I always wash all my fabric and soak my battings. The chemicals that come off the batting is unreal and I could never use it without this soaking, spinning & drying in the dryer (having sensitivities to fragrances & chemicals has me more conscious of what goes into the consumer products, I guess).

  4. #4
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    I have never washed batting either, and I use Warm and Natural and get it at Joann's on sale or use a coupon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    I did pre-wash HOBB'S HEIRLOOM 80/20. I wanted to use cotton batting in a quilt. I had already pre-shrunk all the fabrics. I wanted to pre-shrink the batting also.

    I ran it thru the wash and the dryer without a problem. It came out nice and fluffy without any bag wrinkles.

  6. #6
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    I generally use poly batting, because I like the light weight. Never wash it beforehand.

  7. #7
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    most won't, but some cotton batting will fall apart if you wash it all by itself. most cotton batting will shrink once it is washed. how much it will shrink varies by manufacturer. the good ones are honest about that and will tell you right on the package how much shrinkage to expect.

    when batting of any type comes out of the package it's quite wrinkled and lumpy from having been folded so tightly for so long. working with it like that can be a bit of a pain where you'd prefer to sit. the solution is not to prewash it like you would fabric.

    throw it in the dryer, on the delicate or knit setting, with one or two damp bath towels. the moisture from the towels will infuse the batting without weakening it. by the time the towels are dry, the batting will have done whatever shrinking it's going to do and come out in a smoother condition. it'll be easy to flatten out any remaining wrinkles or lumps.

  8. #8
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    Chances are the batting with that warning did not have a scrim. Scrim is a poly netting through which the cotton fibers are needlepunched during the manufacturing process. It stabilizes the cotton and is the reason that the quilting on Warm and Natural can be as far apart as ten inches without the batting shifting. Without scrim, cotton batting, all by itself without being in a quilt, would likely fall apart in the washer.

  9. #9
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    I think that the batting that is needle punched is able to take a soaking before use better than the regular cotton batting. That, at least, had been my experience. The needle punching makes the fibers interlock and not come apart as easily when they get wet. I stopped pre-washing my batting as I didn't feel it helped anything and might actually make things worse, it it started to turn to mush in the machine. If you have chemical allergies, then that might be a reason to do it regardless.

    John

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    most won't, but some cotton batting will fall apart if you wash it all by itself. most cotton batting will shrink once it is washed. how much it will shrink varies by manufacturer. the good ones are honest about that and will tell you right on the package how much shrinkage to expect.

    when batting of any type comes out of the package it's quite wrinkled and lumpy from having been folded so tightly for so long. working with it like that can be a bit of a pain where you'd prefer to sit. the solution is not to prewash it like you would fabric.

    throw it in the dryer, on the delicate or knit setting, with one or two damp bath towels. the moisture from the towels will infuse the batting without weakening it. by the time the towels are dry, the batting will have done whatever shrinking it's going to do and come out in a smoother condition. it'll be easy to flatten out any remaining wrinkles or lumps.
    the first time i ever used warm and natural (80/20) it had thin spots, as mentioned, fold lines, as mentioned, and it had been cut 160" x 145". don't even ask why. maybe in my next life i'll know.

    i almost wept. i didn't know what to do with it. i called the company and spoke to customer service who told me that each batt is hand cut and i got lucky that day. Right! i had to get down on my hands and knees and trim it to 105" x 105" for a 96" sq quilt. then she told me to lay it out on a carpet and lay a damp towel over the fold lines. then as it got damp i was to push the thicker spots onto the thinner places to even them all out. four days later my husband was ready to set fire to the whole thing and i was still laying damp towels on it.

    i wish someone had told me then that i could throw it in the dryer with those *d* damp towels. does that even out the thin places and get rid of the fold lines as well? does the batt stick to itself? i'm trying to picture what happens to it. does it fluff? do the towels get full of lint?

  11. #11
    bj
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    At guild the other night one of the ladies said she doesn't use warm and natural (my fave) at all because over time it will make oily spots on your quilt. Have y'all ever heard that before? Most of the others there acted like it was news to them...a few of the more "knowledgable" ones acted like "Oh yeah..everybody knows that." I spoke up and said I'd never heard it before. I could see a wool batting maybe, because natural wool is very oily. But cotton? Well, I guess there is cottonseed oil...

  12. #12
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    Most manufacturers of batting recommend that you open the batting and lay it out flat to relax for at least 12 hours before you are going to use it. Since I always forget :shock: to open mine the day before, I throw it in the dryer and toss it around for about 15 minutes. I have never thrown towels in with it--but I just might in the future--sounds like a good idea to me. I do not prewash my fabrics and I do not prewash my batting. I had never heard of prewashing batting until a few days ago in another thread!! Live and learn!

  13. #13
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    for butterfly, who asked: "does that even out the thin places and get rid of the fold lines as well? does the batt stick to itself? i'm trying to picture what happens to it. does it fluff? do the towels get full of lint? "

    i have never been willing to pay the price for the warm& products, so cannot answer about that specific batting. i could be wrong, but i don't think the dryer dance with damp towels will redistribute the lumpy bits. the whole point is just to remove the wrinkles - the worst of which create lumps that go away with the wrinkles.

    based on your description, and on the number of people here who think the warm&whatever batting products are great, it sounds to me as though you got a cut from a defective role. it also sounds as though the customer service rep you talked to should be flippin' burgers somewhere instead. the only correct response to your call would have been "what's your address so we can send you a replacement"!

  14. #14
    Zoo
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    Thanks for your input everyone! I feel like I'm on better footing to make an informed decision at the fabric store later today.
    Zoo

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    here's a good link. Has anyone tried Fairfield's cotton/bamboo batting yet?
    http://quilting.suite101.com/article..._quilt_batting

  16. #16
    Zoo
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    Wow, great link! Thanks!

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    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    for butterfly, who asked: "does that even out the thin places and get rid of the fold lines as well? does the batt stick to itself? i'm trying to picture what happens to it. does it fluff? do the towels get full of lint? "

    i have never been willing to pay the price for the warm& products, so cannot answer about that specific batting. i could be wrong, but i don't think the dryer dance with damp towels will redistribute the lumpy bits. the whole point is just to remove the wrinkles - the worst of which create lumps that go away with the wrinkles.

    based on your description, and on the number of people here who think the warm&whatever batting products are great, it sounds to me as though you got a cut from a defective role. it also sounds as though the customer service rep you talked to should be flippin' burgers somewhere instead. the only correct response to your call would have been "what's your address so we can send you a replacement"!
    i'm hearing different things from everybody re: batting. what is the most commonly used batt and how do quilters prepare it? enquiring minds want to know. from what i've seen , the poly appears too fluffy, i cannot trust the warm & natural, and the wool is way expensive. i haven't tried the bamboo. i think the fairfield alss has thin spots and if it does, will fluffing remove them? most important, will the batts stick to themselves?

    help! help!

  18. #18
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babeegirl
    here's a good link. Has anyone tried Fairfield's cotton/bamboo batting yet?
    http://quilting.suite101.com/article..._quilt_batting
    i followed your link and i may try it for washability. baby quilts always need washing and this says machine washable and dryable. they sell it at joann's. i would use my 50% coupon. the price seems in line for the biggest size. i'll check out the crib size.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Arizona Sunrises's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    i have never been willing to pay the price for the warm& products, so cannot answer about that specific batting.

    I'd never pay full retail for it either. Have you looked into pricing when it's on sale? I've had the 40 yd roll delivered to my doorstep for $170, including shipping.



  20. #20
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You can *soak* a cotton batting and you can spin it dry in a washing machine without damaging it. The reason they say not to wash is because any agitation at all will turn the batting into an unuseable mess. If you dry the batting in a dryer, the batting will shrink and you will not get the nice shrinking in the quilt that many people like with cotton. It is that kind of shrinking after quilting that makes old-time quilts crinkly and soft. If you pre-shrink the batting in the dryer, the quilt will be much flatter and without dimension even after washing.

    Roxanne (sorry, famous quilter from Hawaii, can't remember her last name at the moment) swore by Fairfield cotton batting for her hand quilting. However, she said it was very important to soak the batting to remove the sizing in it that made it wonderful for machine quilters to use. She would soak it, spin it out, and I *think* let it air dry in order to make it very easy to hand quilt. It is not at all necessary to do this with that batting if you are going to machine quilt it.

    Not all cotton battings have sizing in them. Each brand has its own way of manufacturing cotton batting. From what I know, if you are hand quilting, you need to be careful to stay away from cotton battings that are needle-punched with scrim. The needle-punching through scrim make them very stable and excellent for machine quilting, but it is more difficult to push a needle through the needle-punched scrim. Some hand quilters don't mind this effort, but I found it made a huge difference in how pleasurable hand quilting was. The Fairfield batt I mentioned above is not needle-punched with scrim, but rather manufactured with sizing to add stability for machine quilting. Removing the sizing makes the batting very easy to hand needle.

    I haven't used every cotton batting on the market. The old-fashioned Blue Ribbon all-cotton batting I hand-needled I found, afterwards, contained bits and pieces of seed and boll, and also oils that made the needle stick. More modern manufacture eliminates these problems for hand quilters. I have heard that Quilter's Dream is a good modern all-cotton batting for hand quilters, but haven't actually used it myself.

    I should add that all-cotton batting without needle-punching/scrim needs the closest quilting to stand the test of time -- up to 1 inch apart. The 80/20 batts (80% cotton) can be quilted a bit further apart -- maybe 2 to 3 inches. One reason the needle-punched/scrim cotton battings are so popular is that they can be quilted much further apart -- 6 inches or so. They are still all cotton, still can be shrunk inside the quilt to create the old-timey crinkly effect, but they don't need the close quilting. The problem I have found with them is that the needlepunching and scrim change the drape of the batting dramatically, making them more stiff. Many people don't mind this, but I like a softer drape and am willing to quilt more closely in order to use the type of batting that will provide this.

    Mary

  21. #21
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    don't always want shrinkage after quilting, so what's the best way to go? any opinions?

  22. #22
    Senior Member BDor's Avatar
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    I have only been quilting for a few years so not an expert on this but
    the poly batting I used "bleed" and did not hold up well. I started using
    warm & natural and love it. I always wash mine as I want everything I put in my quilt washed. Never had a bit of trouble with it. I do not hand quilt but the people I have had do my quilts loved it and the long arm quilter liked it too.


  23. #23
    Zoo
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    Based on the suggestions here (thanks again!) I went out and got the Warm and Natural. I was pleasantly suprised at the cost, the 90" wide was 12.00/y, based on what a few people here have mentioned I thought it would be way more expensive.

    I also took a look at 50/50 cotton bamboo batt, it felt so soft! Problem was the pre-washing instructions seemed a bit intense. You couldn't use a washing machine or dryer.
    Zoo

  24. #24
    HMK
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    I've used the bamboo batting and treated it the same as the Warm & Natural as far as pre soaking - put it in the washing machine, let the tub fill with hot water, turn it off, let it soak for about 30 - 60 mins. Then do a spin and then throw it in the dryer on regular heat and voila - it's wonderfully soft and ready to use. Not had any problems with it.

  25. #25
    Zoo
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    Good to know HMK, maybe next quilt I'll get adventurous and try it!
    Zoo

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