Quilt Batting - Types and Choosing the Right One
Quilt batting is used in various sewing and quilting projects, is also known as wadding. It is used as a layer of insulation between fabrics, most often used in quilt making. Batting is the filling of quilts and makes them warm and heavy. It's usually manufactured from cotton, polyester or wool, and recently manufacturers started to use bamboo fibers.
Types of Batting
Cotton batting - because it's made from natural fibers is favored for its soft texture and comfort. 100% cotton batting is usually 1/8" thick.
Polyester batting holds its shape and thickness compared to other fibers. Polyester fibers are preferred for cribs and bedding. Polyester is thicker but lighter, keeps you warm without the weight. It's non-breathable but resists mold and mildew. Polyester batting thicknesses are 10 oz is 1" thick, 6 oz is 1/2", 8 oz is 3/4", and 4 oz is 3/8".
Wool batting is very lightweight and is used for its warmth. Wool batting is a natural and lofty option. Wool batting is ½" thick and resistant to creases. It holds its shape and it springs back. It's excellent for hand and machine quilting, and can also be tied.
Cotton/Poly blends are typically 80% cotton and 20% polyester. It has the benefits of cotton, but with more loft.
Bamboo batting is made from 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton blend batting. Bamboo batting is very breathable and ideal for machine quilting. It's machine washable with 2-3% shrinkage. Bamboo is processed into luxurious fiber using pollution-free methods with little waste.
Bonded batting has a light adhesive on both sides to hold fibers together. This helps so the batting won't shift or beard. Bearding is when batting fibers push through the fabric.
Fusible batting contains a fusible web so you can baste layers together. When using fusible batting layer quilt backing, batting and quilt top together. Use the wool setting on your iron, press from the center out pressing each area 3-4 seconds. Once finished, allow quilt to cool, and repeat on other side.
Needle punch batting is mechanically felted together by punching them with lots of needles. Because of this it's firmer and denser. Needle punch batting is used for durable quilt backing, apparel and blankets.
How to Choose the Best Quilt Batting for Your Needs:
Loft - The weight and thickness of batting is measured by its loft. Low loft means thin, high loft means thick. Choose low loft if you want your finished project to have a flatter appearance, like for wall hangings and place mats. For a fluffier quilt or comforter, choose a high loft batting. Wool batting is usually the thickest batting. Bamboo is the lightest loft of batting. Batting typically comes in white and off-white colors. Polyester and bamboo batting drape batter than cotton and wool batting.
Price - polyester is the least expensive, followed by cotton and wool is the most expensive.
Warmth - Wool is the warmest, followed by polyester and then cotton. Cotton and wool breathe better than polyester.
Standard Batting Sizes
Craft 36" x 45" Full 81" x 96"
Crib 45" x 60" Queen 90" x 108"
Twin 72" x 90" King 120" x 120"
Popular Quilt Batting Manufacturers
The Warm Company
Recommended quilting distances
(The minimum distance stitches should be from each other.)
Bamboo up to 8"
Cotton up to 8"
More Quilting Information and Inspiration
For information on other quilting supplies, visit the quilting supplies buying guide.
Check out various quilting and craft projects made with batting at our Think Crafts Blog.
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