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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wool Batting Experiment

I read the comment section posts with a combination of optimism and trepidation.  As suggested, I made some test swatches.  My concerns were 1) felting of the wool batting  2) what the different widths of stitching might look like with any shrinkage 3) what color thread to use on the outer border.

The outcome was underwhelming.  The top swatch I washed as I had planned: Cold water, delicate cycle, cold water detergent (Wool Wash - a dollar store version of Woolite) The cycle takes about 20 minutes total with about 5 minutes of aggitation on each the wash and rinse cycle. Dried flat.

Bottom swatch was warm water in the sink, 3 minute soak (per the Wool Wash directions). Hand aggitation and squeezing as I would do for any hand washed garment.   Rolled up in a towel. Dried flat.

The batting had some natural variation and I think that the top one had a little more loft going into the experiment, and continues to look more lofty afterwards.  The bottom one seems very wrinkly and stiff.
(For some unknown reason, my computer is refusing to orient this photo the same way..Top is now Right)
From the front side the machine washed piece seems even loftier, but again it started that way.

The straight line stitching (center sides of each block) was my color experiment.  I suspect I'll be quilting the outer borders with either gold or pink thread.  The dragonflies and V shapes I quilted from the other side, so now know that my stitches when compared front to back are not nearly as even as when viewed only from the front.

I do have 1 more swatch I was keeping as a control.  I may have to do an abuse test and toss it in with my regular laundry to see what a warm/cold wash and drier cycle will do.


  1. May I add another thing to consider? Any possible bearding especially after laundering.

    1. I didn't notice any bearding either when stitching or afterwards. I am using very tiny quilting needles (size 11)

  2. What an interesting experiment!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your test results, Marjorie. I'm eager to use a wool bat but I know it will eventually end up in a regular wash and a warm/hot dryer. I'm eager to see the results of your abuse test (great name for it!) in a regular wash. Also, you didn't mention what brand of wool bat you're using. It may not make a difference but one never knows. Thanks again.

    1. It didn't have a brand name on it. I purchased it at JoAnne's fabric, by the bolt. Undoubtedly it was sometime when batting was 50% and was probably sometime in the past 1-2 years. The website doesn't have it available anymore and there is no further info on the label than what I included in the previous post.


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