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!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44

Thread: Why is it recommended to only use 100% cotton fabric?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    97

    Why is it recommended to only use 100% cotton fabric?

    My aunt and everyone else I know that has told me about quilting has always said "make sure you get 100% cotton fabric." I am planning a 'scrappy' type quilt for my niece and she said she wants it to be really soft and warm on the underside. Is flannel completely out of the question for a backing? Also, what if I find a cute fabric in flannel for some of the top piecing? She is 7 years old and is requesting several different prints and colors (pink, green, blue, yellow, bunnies, kitties, puppies, peace signs, soccer balls, hearts, butterflies, cheerleaders, etc etc etc) So, that's why I thought a scrappy style quilt would be best. Anyway, I just wondered why I wouldn't be able to use a flannel backing. THANKS!

    Candace

  2. #2
    Super Member bookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,109
    A few things to ponder:

    1. I believe a lot of flannel is 100% cotton
    2. I back some of my quilts with fleece and have no problems. Some people on this board back with flannel with no problems.
    3. The reason for the "recommendation" is for even shrinkage. That pretty much it.
    4. Our ancestors used various types of fabrics and the quilts held up fine.... washing may be a challenge though.

    and.....

    5. Its your project. If you want to use flannel for any part go for it! There are no "rules" when making quilts for yourself and loved ones.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    97
    Thanks! I'm still learning these things. I so appreciate your input! I am going to look for a flannel back... gotta make the niece happy! LOL

  4. #4
    Super Member bookworm's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,109
    Glad to help

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,955
    Blog Entries
    1
    Flannel works well in lots of quilts and is often 100% cotton. Just be aware that flannel usually shrinks a lot more than other cotton fabrics. Unless you are planning on a great deal of quilting, it's a good idea to pre-shrink flannel before using it in a quilt. I like to run it through the washer and dryer twice, and I don't pre-wash other cottons.

    It is also a good idea to heavily starch flannel after pre-washing. Starch adds a lot of stability so that pieces don't distort with handling (and so the backing doesn't distort while you are quilting). Flannel is much stretchier than other cotton fabrics if it is not starched.

    In general, cotton fabrics are easier to handle than polyesters. Polyester fabrics tend to be slippery, making accurate cutting and piecing more difficult. They also tend to ravel more than cotton.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dotha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    397
    Flannel is great for a backing...but preshrink. Friends of mine have used the Minkee too but that scares me to sew as it is slippery. My friend has had no problem with it though.

    100% cotton just pieces really nice. It is easier to 'scootch' (also known as ease). I have used a little bit of polyester blend a few times where it was the only fitting color like for a face or a frame. It just does not handle or sew into pieces as nicely as 100% cotton.
    Dot in Oregon

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    HOME is SE Missouri
    Posts
    410
    I use blended fabrics a lot because i like the shine and colors they do tend to be slick and require a little more handling but they make beautiful quilts. I like every thing i sleep in to be soft also i would let her pick out what she wants or you pick out what she want and don't worry about it.

  8. #8
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Blue Springs, Missouri
    Posts
    2,483
    Blog Entries
    2
    Just be sure to prewash the flannel because it will shrink a lot, so be sure to purchase enough.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    97
    Thanks all for the great suggestions. I've been fabric shopping on ebay... they seem to have the best prices for the novelty kids prints I'm looking for!

    Candace

  10. #10
    Super Member orangeroom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,487
    Blog Entries
    1
    Don't just purchase the cheap flannel though, if flannels the route you're going. You get what you pay for with flannel. You may want to look for the quilter's flannel if you're going to JoAnns.

    You can feel the difference if you going to the stores.
    Go forth and sew!

  11. #11
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Delmarva Peninsula
    Posts
    1,167
    Blog Entries
    1
    I would recommend prewashing flannel, but I only dry in the dryer for a few minutes then I air dry and iron it. It gets too soft for me to work with if it doesn't have some body. Make the pieces kind of large, i like the missouri pattern on youtube - works well with flannel and will work with all the patterns. Also, flannel creates tons of dust bunnies - so clean out the bobbin area frequently. Here is the pattern it is fun and easy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxC-0...eature=related
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sturbridge, Ma
    Posts
    4,010
    I like to think "respect the nature of the fabric" and handle accordingly. I sometime use blends but have to be careful as they can even shrink with a hot dry iron as they tent to "melt" somewhat. So just be careful in handling.
    Some years ago a blend of cotton and rayon was readily available and worked good in quilts. I try to keep the weight somewhat consistent. 80% poly and 20% cotton is especially difficult sometime when used with 100% cotton.
    So just handle according to the needs of the fabric. Those poly/cotton fabrics of the 80's are still holding up in both color and stability.

  13. #13
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ashdown, AR
    Posts
    9,649
    Blog Entries
    1
    Looks like you've already got some really good answers to your question. I just prefer woring with cotton. My MIL used to use polyester knits and double knits. The quilts were heavy for one thing. Cotton is light weight.
    Be the best that you can be at everything you do.
    Find me on Facebook at Leesa's Fabrics

  14. #14
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Woodmere, NY
    Posts
    1,420
    I agree with orangeroom.. Flannel, if it's not a high quality will look like it's not high quality.. I backed a bunch of quilts with flannel sheets, and they came out very nice.. I bought the sheets at a thrift store.. They were new, and donated by Kohls.. I bought flannel that I thought was nice for a rag quilt, and after a few washings, the quilt is upsetting to look at.. The kid doesn't mind, but I do.. I have a problem with the burgandy running, and will be trying Retayne on it..
    Barri

  15. #15
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    9,383
    Quilting has its origins in re- using/puposing fabrics that had come from sources that had outlived its usefunless. Bits of useful fabric was salvages/recovered from garments or any source and often combined with bits of "new" scrap fabrics. Use what you like , but do some research on fibers contents as different fiber content requires differnent care and can impact the contruction methods used.
    As with all fabrics , there are various qualites available. Price its not always an indicator of quality. Some lower quality fabric does not reveal itself until washed or until its been used a few times. Flannel is particularly difficult to distingush high quality from low. Having been "burned" by bad flannel at all ends of the price spectrum , I now avoid it.

  16. #16
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    16,197
    As others have said ... you need to do what you want!
    Consider the length of use of the quilt ... being for a 7yo, it may live a life of TLC or it may live a drag around and into everything life! It may be wanted only for a short few years while she has that interest, or it may be one that is kept throughout her life and eventually used by her children.

    You maybe just want to throw it together, anything goes. And yet, you may be wanting to make it with the care and respect as though it will be a heritage keeper.

    We really can't tell you ... only you know what you want!

    Some further thoughts ... a 7yo just may adore the quilt all the more with a minkee backing or a fleece. The "cuddlyness" of either could be beyond belief! And the colour choices almost endless. Each has their pros and cons.

    Fabrics with polyester are more apt to pill ... again, is this really a concern that would negate the use? Only you know what it would mean to you and the owner.

    For backings ... if you want a quilt to slide around a little more, a backing with some polyester will move more freely than a plain cotton or a cotton flannelette, as they "stick" more. More of a consideration for large bedspread quilts than for child size, as it makes it easier to make the bed when shifting a large mass around.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  17. #17
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    El Paso Texas
    Posts
    978
    I have used flannel backing many times, it is nice because it is warm and the quilt will not "walk" off the bed. Some quilts are made of wool, and a lot of other fabrics. Polyester blends are a bit of a problem becuase they don't shrink or stretch the same as cotton, but I have quilted quilts where poly-blend was used, don't like it, but it is used.
    Michelle Guadarrama

  18. #18
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New York City/Manhattan
    Posts
    1,325
    alternate opinion alert. I *know* I *should* prewash flannel. I don't. I don't prewash anything. I just washed a quilt that was flannel on the back and it came out fine. No bleeding, no excessive shrinkage. And you can mix fabrics, most just don't. And mixing on the top is as okay as using a different fabric/fiber on teh back. Do what you like. That's the point of this hobby/avocation/passion. at least, IMHO

  19. #19
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New York City/Manhattan
    Posts
    1,325
    oh, yeah, another reason for not using anything but cotton is how it feels to the person using and making the quilt. I hate the feel of some fabrics. And then, there is also the quilting. If handquilting, some poly fabrics are really difficult.

  20. #20
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    1,256
    Fabrics shrink differently, flannel fabric will shrink a lot more than 100% cotton fabrics, which will cause distortion on your quilt top. The reason for using 'all' 100% cottons, or 'all' flannels. Really important reason to prewash fabrics.

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,658
    Blog Entries
    2
    I backed a quilt with satin for my DD. I used wool batting and the top was pieced cotton. That quilt was the easiest to FMQ on my machine, no drag at all.
    Got fabric?

  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,955
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by nycquilter View Post
    alternate opinion alert. I *know* I *should* prewash flannel. I don't. I don't prewash anything. I just washed a quilt that was flannel on the back and it came out fine. No bleeding, no excessive shrinkage. And you can mix fabrics, most just don't. And mixing on the top is as okay as using a different fabric/fiber on teh back. Do what you like. That's the point of this hobby/avocation/passion. at least, IMHO
    It's true that flannel can be fine without pre-washing as long as there is moderate quilting in the quilt. Quilting ties the layers together so that the batting controls the amount of shrinkage in a quilt. Most people do not realize that fabric can shrink differently when washed on its own versus washing in a well-quilted quilt. Distortion from different shrinkage rates of fabric can be a huge problem, however, if the quilting is far apart or if the quilt is tied.

  23. #23
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    16,197
    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    I backed a quilt with satin for my DD. I used wool batting and the top was pieced cotton. That quilt was the easiest to FMQ on my machine, no drag at all.
    With satin against your tabletop, there sure shouldn't have been any drag!!
    You must have been .......... slip slidin' awaaaaaaaaay!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  24. #24
    Senior Member COYOTEMAGIC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Only the Shadow Knows........
    Posts
    972
    Blog Entries
    3
    Just a hint for washing a "mixed" fabric quilt. Put it in a mesh laundry bag (so if something comes loose, it doesn't get loose in the washer itself) Use a large washer at the laundermat that doesn't have a center adgitator. The rolling action of the industrial machines is easier on fabric than a machine with the thingie in the middle

  25. #25
    Super Member MaryKatherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Guelph, On. -
    Posts
    1,924
    Blog Entries
    2
    I think it's only really important to use material with similar qualities in a quilt top. As long as they're all going to behave the same way, you can use anything. I made a queen size from slinky synthetics and backed it with fun fur. It turned out fine.
    MaryKatherine
    marykayhopkins123.blogspot.com

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

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.