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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Batting, when I use what

By Annemart Berendse

When I talk about batting, I have a preference for natural. Wool, cotton, even silk battings go into my quilts.
In quilts to be quilted by hand I prefer the Hobbs Tuscany Wool. In the Broken Star I am currently working on, is also a wool batting. My needle goes through it like a hot knife through butter, to me it's a soft, breathing and non-aggressive warmth (in comparison to a 100% polyester batting) and is doesn't beard because of the bonding that prevents it.

From the same collection of Hobbs, I used the silk for a silk miniquilt for my Quilt Mom. Silk is expensive, thin, doesn't have a huge loft, but in a silk quilt the only batting I would choose. I am able to quilt up to 20 stitches on an inch with it, upside counted, it's soft, flexible and feels so luxurious to use! Normal silk batting beards a lot, but with this particular brand, the bearding is no issue.

When a quilt is for every day use, but not rough use, I choose 100% cotton, the Mountain Mist White Rose. It's soft, it handquilts great, it's clean, smooth, but hardly available in the Netherlands. Therefore sometimes I have to switch to Hobbs 80/20, although it has not my preference. The 100% cotton and the 80/20 of Hobbs are a whole different ballgame, with the little black seeds in them, that shine through my white fabric, even give a yellow halo. I prewash batting, but with the Hobbs, I even check on removing the black seeds. Imagine, a king size batting, checking every inch front and back for those tiny little things! I really prefer White Rose.

And when a quilt is for rough everyday use, as for the cat, a child, a person who has no idea how to wash a quilt, or a machine quilt with no show aspirations? Thank you IKEA for your Irma fleece! For $2.49 (in the Netherlands €1.50) a 67"x51" batting, I stitch two or three fleeces together with a blanket stitch to get the right size, and I am ready to go!
In the washing machine at 104 F, a perfectly simple and steady batting at a few dollars.

Have fun quilting!


  1. Thank you, this are great informations for me. I am a Beginner in Handquilting and i have a lot of questions. Now i know, which batting i have to use for my different projects.
    Greets from Germany


  2. I hope you understand that the use of batting is a personal preference and not "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth"! ;-) There are people who swear on Hobbs 80/20, there are people who love the Hobbs Tuscany 100% cotton, there are people who love Fairfield, or polyester batting from their local market.

    What helps, when you're a beginner, is to try to get some swatches from you local quilt shop, to test drive. Buy a crib-size batting, or ask for samples. I have been on show in the US and took samples wherever I could get them. I listened to others, and tried what worked best for me. What I wrote down, is my world. And maybe that changes in a few months when I visit Houston again.

    Therefore: take my words as a personal experience, and read many more. Then work with what works for you. And if that is a polyester batting from the market, or you swear on silk for every quilt, it's o.k.. As long as you are happy!

  3. I use the Tuscany silk and wool battings for both hand and machine quilting. I love them and you are right, with the wool, the needle goes through smoothly.

  4. Is the fleece from Ikea polyester?

  5. I haven't used anything from the Tuscany collection of batting - do they have cotton also? I always like cotton as it shrinks a little bit and I like that look.
    I haven't ever tried any of the silks or wools.

  6. Great information, I heard the white rose is nice but haven't tried that brand. I have ordered a silk batt to try out.The good thing is that there are so many great battings on the market now but it is confusing for beginners.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing,talent,knowledge and your time.

  8. I am looking for SILK batting. Not silk/poly but SILK. I had purchased some, years ago from Richland Village Silk who I have discovered is no longer in business. Does anyone know of another source???

  9. I just received a gift of 100%silk batting. I have never used it so I was wondering if I could use it in a quilt ? Can it be washed or only dry cleaned? Thanks.


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