An Easy Guide to Quilt Batting

How do you choose the perfect batting for your quilted project? Wondering about the pros and cons of different quilt batting fibers? I’m an “all natural” kind of quilter, but I want to you to have all the info so you can choose the best batt for you and your project!

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How do you choose the perfect batting for your quilted project? Wondering about the pros and cons of different quilt batting fibers? I’m an “all natural” kind of quilter, but I want to you to have all the info so you can choose the best batt for you and your project!
 

Can we just start with a big ol’ huzzah for batting?? Batting goes inside our projects to create wonderful warmth and squish, and without it our quilts and more would not have the same amazing texture and shape that they do with batting. Now, I’m head over heels in love with free motion quilting, and I like to quilt pretty densely, so my hands down recommendation is always going to be to choose a natural fiber over polyester. That way, even if you quilt your quilt “to death,” the natural fibers of your fabric, thread (love me some Aurifil), and batting keep the quilt soft and drapey. My go-to batts are Hobbs Tuscany Supreme 100% Unbleached Cotton and Hobbs Tuscany Cotton Wool. They’re soft, have a nice loft, and are easy to wash. But, you’re here for the whole shebang, so let me tell you all about batting:

Types of Batting

Cotton Batting

Pros: Breathable, dense but not bulky, most affordable natural fiber, easily accessible, available in a variety of colors (yes, I do recommend considering a black batt for your darker projects), washable
Cons: Low loft, higher lint (all natural fibers create lint), holds creases after being folded

Wool Batting

Pros: Natural fiber, breathable like cotton but with more loft, does not hold creases when folded
Cons: More expensive, less accessible, tricker to wash (typically is blended with another fiber, usually cotton, to prevent high shrinkage and felting in the wash, though Hobbs does have a 100% washable wool batt)

Polyester Batting

Pros: High loft, most affordable, highly accessible, highly washable, low lint
Cons: May not maintain loft over time (remember to follow the manufacturer's recommended quilting density), does not breathe (traps heat and humidity against the body), less "drape" and more stiffness than natural fibers

Cotton / Poly Blend (Usually an "80/20")

Pros: Maintains most of the breathability with cotton but has less shrinkage, lint, and creasing, accessible and affordable, increased loft over a 100% cotton batt
Cons: Polyester can irritate sensitive skin (However, Hobbs uses a hypoallergenic poly in their batts as opposed to other brands), traps more heat and moisture than a fully natural fiber

Cotton / Wool Blend

Pros: More affordable and washable than 100% wool, does not hold creases, breathable, more loft than 100% cotton
Cons: More expensive than a poly or poly blend

(Specialty blends like silk, bamboo, and alpaca are currently outside of my area of expertise, but I suspect that all of them would be lovely to work with and have amazing drape)

How do you choose the perfect batting for your quilted project? Wondering about the pros and cons of different quilt batting fibers? I’m an “all natural” kind of quilter, but I want to you to have all the info so you can choose the best batt for you and your project!

(Don’t forget to pin this infographic so you can find it later!)

Video

When I decided to talk about batting on Facebook Live, I had no idea how popular it would be! There were amazing questions, so if you haven't seen the video, I'll post it below, and underneath will be all the products and resources we talked about during our chat.

 
How do you choose the perfect batting for your quilted project? Wondering about the pros and cons of different quilt batting fibers? I’m an “all natural” kind of quilter, but I want to you to have all the info so you can choose the best batt for you and your project!