I use both wool and cotton batting. It is more easy on my hands to use wool, but I love to touch quilts that are handquilted using cotton. I don`t prewash batting.
I use Quilters Dream cotton or wool, because that is what my local quiltshop sell.
In the near future I am planing to try silk, and a new batting made of bamboo.
When it comes to needles I have tried several types. These are the ones I use
When I was learning how to handquilt I used these from Piecemakers, still like them.
I have also tried the ones from Roxannes, and like them too.
My favorite at the moment is these from Bohin. I like size 10 betweens/big eye. When threading these I feel like the mouse in Disney`s Cinderella!
They are about 1" long, and don`t bend ore break easy.