Batting, what to know....

Ever wonder how you change the warmth, loft, drape, and texture of a quilt? Simply change the batting!

Kodiak with her first roll of Hobbs 80/20, now she is working on her third roll.

Kodiak with her first roll of Hobbs 80/20, now she is working on her third roll.

Different Types of Batting

80/20 Batting

  • Cotton and Polyester blend
  • shrink factor is minimal


  • 100% Polyester
  • high loft, not as breathable as natural fibers
  • less expensive

100% Wool

  • lots of loft, warmer
  • pricey
  • harder to care for and wash


  • renewable resource
  • low loft, really soft, great drape
  • recommended for Quilt Coats for the drape it provides

100% Cotton

  • great drape, easy to use
  • fibers do not hold together as well as 80/20, which makes it easy to rip/tear

Pay attention to quilting instructions for each different type of batting. The distance between stitching lines changes with each brand and blend.

Keep in mind you can use an old blanket, fleece, flannel, or even no batting. Really anything can be batting! Batting is what provides the insulation for the quilt. Vintage and heirloom quilts have been found to have newspaper as batting. I have repaired an old family quilt for my aunt and the batting was actually an even older quilt. Quilts have history and a story no matter the size.

Custom quilting? Want to quilting designs to pop?

Use 2 layers of batting! Your layers should be Backing, 80/20, 100% Wool, Quilt Top.

This gives such an amazing texture to custom quilts.

Star Party, 80/20 and Wool Batting used. Kodiak’s handiwork.

Star Party, 80/20 and Wool Batting used. Kodiak’s handiwork.

Is there a right or wrong side?

For any needle punched batting, yes. Think dimples and pimples. The dimples indicate the top, the side that the quilt top should be laid on. The pimpled side is the bottom, and should face down. To keep the fibres of the batting together during production, a bunch of needles pass through the batting (similar to felting). The fibres bind together and create a sheet, instead of just fluff. If you follow the same needle path as the factory there is less chance of breaking a needle and results in a smoother quilted finish. There is less chance of bearding too, which occurs when the batting comes out where the stitches are places. Bearding can occur if you are quilting with a dull needle.

No Bearding, quilting with a fresh needle

Bearding, quilting with old needle

Remember to save your batting scraps! So many cool things can be done with them.

What’s your favourite batting? What kind of unconventional batting have you used?


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