Many sewists do a quilt almost every day but don’t know anything about batting. They all consider it just as a thing made of polyester or something which comes in packaging and you can use it in a quilt by taking it out of the bag. Nothing to worry about as most of the sewists think the same as you but as soon as you start searching about batting, you will realize that you only know about drops while there is a huge ocean behind it to explore.
It is important to have proper knowledge about batting because as much as you know about this fabric, you will be able to do quilting and other sewing activities more efficiently. You may ask questions like. What is batting fabric? What is the purpose of batting fabric? How to use batting fabric? Just continue reading this article as it will address all these questions along with a lot of useful information.
What is fabric batting?
Batting fabric is found in between the quilts which is an insulating layer with a kinda spongy and fluffy feel. It was originally or previously known as wadding but now has popularity with the name, batting.
To match and be suitable for different kinds of quilting projects, the batting fabric is made in different thicknesses, stiffness, fluffiness, and sizes. Some of the major things apart from quilting where you may find batting fabric include bowl cozies and pot holders.
What is batting fabric made of?
Just like any other fabric, batting is also made using different kinds of fibers and materials to make it suitable for varying projects. Cotton and polyester are probably the very first and most common fibers used in the manufacturing of batting fabric.
However, wool is also used in small or large quantities depending upon the type and usage of the fabric. In recent times, some textile factories are adopting the use of bamboo fibers in batting fabric manufacturing as this step will make it extremely inexpensive to buy while increasing its strength as well.
What is the purpose of batting fabric?
The major purpose of batting fabric is that it is used as inner insulation layers between different fabrics during the process of quilting.
We can say that batting fabric is what qualifies as a filling while giving weight and density to the garment. Batting fabric also makes the quilts a bit warmer.
Batting is used in a lot of quilting projects and can also be regarded as wadding by some sewists or in some specific regions.
What is a loft in batting fabric?
The loft is the height of the fibers but we can say that it is the scale to measure the thickness of the batting fabric. The loft is what gives you an idea or measurement of how fluffy, flat, thin, or thick your quilt will be after including a layer of batting.
For batting fabric, there are two major categories or types of loft you will hear about. One is known as a high loft while the other is known as a low loft. High and low lofts are quite opposite and they will not differ just in thickness but in texture and feel as well.
Below are the key points of low loft and high loft batting fabric.
Low loft batting fabric:
- Short fibers
- Tightly woven batting
- Little fluff
- Suitable for functional projects such as potholders, placemats, bowl cozies, etc.
High loft batting fabric:
- Thicker appearance
- Fluffy to the touch
- Less tightly woven
- Looser feel
- Suitable for quilted throws, comforters, cozy winter quilts, etc.
What are the major types of batting fabric?
As said earlier, batting fabrics can be found in a wide range of options and they all differ from one another in terms of thickness, strength, suitability, compatibility, stiffness, and a lot more.
You should know about each one so that you can pick one that suits you the best for your specified quilting projects. Some of the best and most common batting fabric types are mentioned below.
- Natural Batting
- Synthetic Batting
- Insulated Batting
- Poly Cotton Batting
- Needle-Punched Batting
- Bonded Batting
- Fusible Batting
- Bamboo Batting
Benefits of batting:
- Batting adds density and volume to your quilts which makes them stand out in the whole dress.
- Batting will make your garment and quilt a bit warmer and cozy.
- Batting will make it easy for you to display, hang, or lay flat your items and accessories in your home.
- You can make quilts of all sizes and types simply by changing the types of batting fabric.
- You can also dye some types of batting fabrics such as the one that has been needle felted.
How do I use batting fabric in quilts?
There is no hard-to-follow or unique procedure to use batting fabric in quilts. You can assume batting fabric as an additional layer that needs to be stitched along with quilts. Quilts usually have two layers, one is the upper or front layer that has all the designs, patterns, and decoration on it.
The other one is the bottom layer which is most of the time, just a plain and simple single-color cloth. All you will do is simply place the batting fabric in between these two layers and stitch or quilts as you normally do.
What are the alternatives to batting fabric for quilts?
There is no doubt that batting is by far the most efficient and best suitable fabric to be used in quilts.
However, you may face situations where you don’t have batting fabric and the quilts projects need to be completed as soon as possible.
This is the part where you look for alternatives and fortunately, some alternatives can be used as a replacement for batting fabric in quilts.
- An old quilt
- An old blanket
- Cotton yardage
- Cotton sheet (probably a sheet having 100% cotton fibers)
- Fleece sheet
- Fleece blanket
- Pieced batting
What is the difference between batting and interfacing?
Batting and interfacing differ in all terms. Batting is done to make a garment feel warmer while adding weight to the quilts. It doesn’t provide any kind of strength or protection to the garment from tearing apart.
On the other hand, interfacing is done to give extra strength to the garment. The main purpose of interfacing is to provide strength and stability to some specific parts of fabrics such as button plackets, collars, jacket lapels, cuffs, and a lot more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fleece and batting fabric the same?
As we all know that cotton is the biggest material used in the making of batting fabric, we can safely say that fleece fabric is not the same as batting and is better in many regards as well.
The first thing is that fleece has a lot more elasticity and stretch as compared to cotton batting. The fibers in fleece are loosely packed and not much dense which makes it an easier fabric to sew than batting.
Apart from this, one of the main things is that cotton batting is prone to shedding fibers while the fleece is completely free of these issues.
Do I need batting fabric for a quilt?
Not really. It is always a good practice to use batting fabric for a quilt but it is not an essential to-do thing. You have the option to make quilts just with the two layers of cloth without adding a layer of batting fabric. Or, you can also go for alternatives in place of batting fabric.
Is toy stuffing and batting the same?
As far as the concept is concerned, both toy stuffing and batting are the same as you add stuff in between two layers of fabric, cloth, or any other thing. However, they differ in terms of shape and procedure.
Toy stuffing is done using loose fibers which can be molded according to the shape of the toy.
On the other hand, batting fabric comes in sheets or pieces which means that you cannot make a roll or ball of them instead you have to use them in their original flat shape.