Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Waddipaedia - stops you going batty over batting
When I first began quilting I found the process of choosing batting tricky. There are so many brands of batting to choose from. So many thicknesses and compostions. Then theres terms like needle punched, thermal bonding, and scrim to complicate matters further!
Going by the books and blogs I have read the quilting world seems to favour the cotton batt because its natural, breathable and dosnt beard. Polyester batts are said to beard. The fibres can stick together and cause pills on the surface of your quilt. Cotton batt dosnt tend to pill although it is said to still beard to a certain degree.
You can get different types of polyester. There is bonded polyester which is more like fluffy sheets of fibre that can be seperated. Normally the cheaper type. Or needlepunched polyester which is much denser and closer resembles cotton batting. I prefer needlepunched as it dosnt tend to catch on my sewing machine foot. The packaging also says “Does not beard” or "resists bearding" Price wise this type is on par with cotton batting.
I have to say, despite what is said about polyester I think there is a place for it. As a newbie to quilting I actually quite liked the needlepunched version. I find it wonderful for large quilts as it is so light and I find that my batting isnt weighed down as much, pulling and distorting my stitches as I quilt. Polyester can also add definition and can give your quilt a wonderful puffy appearance. I love seeing a quilt that I just want to dive underneath as it looks so cosy.
A polyester batt dosnt need to be prewashed as it wont shrink. It is also quick drying so you dont need to put it in the dryer. I'm in the U.K, it rains a lot and if I used cotton in such a large quilt it would have to go in the tumble dryer, which would dull the colours of my fabrics. Cotton batting would also take days to dry in the winter and most likely, smell of damp by the time it was dry.
Scrim: some cotton batts contain Scrim. Scrim is a micro thin layer of polyester. It is used to make the batt more stable. The batt is then needlepunched to make it easier to quilt.
Thermal bonding is a process used to improve the strength of a batt. It softens the fibres at melting point so that when it cools, it hardens and creates a stronger bond.
Ok, so heres the good bit. The waddipaedia found on Asding.com details the composition, colours, loft, shrinkage, drape and stitch distance for each wadding, plus the suitablility for hand or machine quilting. I think its brilliant! I hope you find it useful too.
Posted by Dana at Wednesday, May 04, 2011