I’m going to confess my sins up front here and tell you that I did not care much about batting for a really long time. Being on a tight budget for much of my quilting life, I would have rather spent my money on fabric than on batting. And that still is a tempting choice for me even now. Who can resist all the pretty fabric?
But after several years of longarm quilting I started noticing the differences in quilts with different types of batting. And when I finally was convinced to try bamboo batting, I knew I needed to up my batting game forever.
I currently stock three types of batting for my longarm customers to choose from. They are my three favorite types, however, I am happy to use whatever type of batting my clients choose. I am happy to do by best work with whatever kind of batting my clients choose. But when buying batting keep in mind that the cheaper battings typically fall apart easier. These types of batting are hard to work with on a long arm quilting machine because they do not hold up well to the gentle tugging required to keep the batting laying flat. A cheaper batt that will tear with tugging will most likely not hold up as well after multiple washings.
I am leaving the science of batting behind for today and just telling you my own personal experience with batting. I hope it inspires you to experiment with your batting choices.
Before you choose a batting you need to first determine the purpose of your quilt. Is this a cuddle on the couch kind of quilt? Is it a bed quilt? Is it for a baby? Are you going to use is mainly for decorative purposes? Do you plan to have detailed and special quilting on this quilt? These are the questions to ask yourself for before you choose batting.
Now onto the three types of batting I use most. I am not going to go into the technical specifications of each type. I don’t want you to get bored. Let’s just get to the end of the story, and how the batting will perform in your quilt. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
80/20 Cotton Poly Batting
- I stock Winline Comfort Blend.
- 80% cotton and 20% polyester. Has the softness of cotton with some added durability of polyester.
- Has a little shrinkage which most quilters love due to the crinkly texture it creates.
- Less expensive than most other options.
- This batting works well for most projects. I mostly use it for picnic quilts as well as wall hangings and table toppers.
- 80/20 is a great place to start if this is your first quilt.
- In my opinion this batting can be a little stiff especially when quilted a lot.
- I use bamboo batting about 70% of the time. Most customers don’t ever switch back to 80/20 after trying Bamboo.
- Bamboo has an amazing drape. Think about wearing a denim skirt and a silk skirt. Bamboo is the silk skirt. A quilt made with bamboo batting will wrap around you super comfy and tight.
- Bamboo is a sustainable fiber!
- Bamboo has anti bacterial properties, which means bacteria does not easily grow in these fibers.
- Bamboo is breathable!
- I always recommend bamboo for quilts with minky or flannel backing. It adds to the softness instead of taking away from it like 80/20 can.
- If you are making a quilt to wrap a baby in always use bamboo.
- Quilts for cuddling on the couch are what we have most around here and we choose the bamboo filled ones every time! They are perfect for wrapping up in!
- Bed quilts will hang super nice on your bed with bamboo batting.
- Quilts with a lot of quilting tend to get stiff. Bamboo batting with minimize this.
- I use 100% bamboo batting from Winline and my price as of 10/1/2020 is $14 per yard for 96″ wide.
- Winline also makes a 6oz bamboo batting. It is more expensive but super thick and cozy and still very cuddly.
- Do you want your quilting to be the star of the show? Use wool batting!
- Wool has the most amazing puff to it.
- Is this quilt for a baby to lay on the floor? Wool will give the most cushion!
- Wool is puffy, but lightweight and also warm. Making it great for winter or summer.
- Wool is a sustainable fiber.
- Wool is naturally flame resistant. This makes is a safe option for bed quilts in case of a fire.
- Obviously don’t use wool if you are vegan or allergic.
- I stock Quilters Dream Wool. It is a higher price point batting.
Here are some FAQ’s regarding batting.
Can I bring my own batting when I bring you a quilt to be quilted?
YES! Please remember the cheaper battings tear easily and are harder to work with, but I will still use them if you bring them to me.
Will wool shrink in the dryer?
Wool requires a more careful approach to washing. It is best washed and dried on a cool setting to prevent shrinkage.
Do you like Warm and Natural Batting?
Warm and Natural is a brand of batting. Their 100% cotton is pretty popular. I don’t stock it because it tends to have a lot more lint shedding which is messy and inconvenient for me. I will still use it if you bring it to me. The Warm and Natural brand has a batting called Warm and White which is a great option for quilts that are mostly white.
Which batting is the most durable?
I don’t have a scientific answer to this question. What I can tell you is that the name brand battings are going to hold up better. I can also tell you that something else will wear out on your quilt before the batting. Binding has been the weak spot on the quilts that I have had for many years.
Let me know if I answered your batting questions. Are you going to venture out and try something new on your next quilt? Did I talk about your favorite kind of batting? If not let me know what it is so I can give it a try!