What Is Batting Fabric and What Is It Used For? Update 06/2022

When I initially began quilting, I had no idea what batting was. Polyester and bags were my first assumptions when I saw this product. What if I’m completely wrong? Batting turns out to be more complicated than I had anticipated. There are so many possibilities available to you. The key to a successful quilting project is selecting the correct batting. What is batting fabric, and how does it differ from regular fabric?

Inside of quilts, the spongy, puffy, and insulating layer known as batting fabric is present. Polyester, cotton, wool, and bamboo can all be used to make batting, which was originally known as wadding. It’s available in a variety of thicknesses to fit a variety of purposes. Potholders, bowl cozies, and quilted throws all have an interior layer of batting.

What kind of batting should you use for your next project? That’s the question we’ll be addressing in this article.

What Is Batting Fabric

What Is Batting Fabric?

The innermost layer of a quilt sandwich is made up of a fluffy filler material called batting. Cotton, wool, and polyester are just a few of the different fibers that can be used to make it. It doesn’t matter what it’s made of; it serves the same function. Adding insulation properties to household items like potholders and placemats, as well as adding warmth and comfort to quilts.

You can now get pre-cut batting in cellophane packets, which makes it easier to store. Most quilts can be accommodated by one of these sizes. Batting can also be purchased by the bolt or roll, if desired. These fabrics are great for making custom-sized quilts because they are sold by the yard. But it wasn’t always the case. Ready-made batting, as you can see, is a very recent development.

When it comes to quilts, though, they’ve been around since at least the 12th century, and possibly much before. When they were first made, they would have been filled with whatever materials were at hand, including animal and/or human hair, clothes scraps, and even straw.

There was one thing that tied them all together. There was a tendency for them to shift because they were all separate pieces rather than one enormous flat piece of fabric. Wads were formed as bits of stuffing clumped together.

Quilt stuffing got its name from this irksome flaw of older quilts. Wadding” was the traditional term for it. Quilt stuffing is still referred to as “wadding” in some countries, including as the United Kingdom and Australia.

As we move forward in time to the 1800s, we see a shift in the composition of quilts’ fibers. Wool and cotton are increasingly being used as filling. Batts are the little lumps of carded fibers.

Batting is a term coined to describe the process of making small batts, which is related to wadding. This is possibly the reason why batting is referred to as wadding in the United States.

It didn’t matter what you call it, the quilt’s batting and wadding had to stay in place. A lumpy bedspread was a no-no even in the 1800s.

To prevent the filling from bunching up, the quilt would have been heavily sewn by hand. As time went on, this stitching became more and more decorative. In addition to keeping the wadding or batting in balance, it was also a display of beautiful workmanship.

To prevent the filling from bunching up, the quilt would have been heavily sewn by hand. As time went on, this stitching became more and more decorative. In addition to keeping the wadding or batting in balance, it was also a display of beautiful workmanship.

In order to keep the filling from bunching up, the quilt would have been hand-stitched. ” As time went on, this stitching got more and more aesthetically pleasing. ” To keep the wadding in check, but also to show off excellent needlework, it was the perfect solution.

Why Is Batting Fabric Sold by Loft?

Why Is Batting Fabric Sold by Loft

The term loft refers to the height of the batting’s fibers. The thickness and fluff of your quilt will be determined by the batting fabric’s loft, or height.

Two types of lofts should be on your list of priorities. High and low loft. You’ll get a different feel and touch from each one. Take a closer look at them.

Low Loft

Short fibers are seen in low-loft batting. It’s a thin, flat batting that’s made of a tight weave and contains very little fluff. A low-loft batting is thin, firm, and flat. You’d use this if you’re looking for something that’s more functional than cozy.

Because of the lower loft, you won’t obtain the same three-dimensional look when quilting with fancy stitches on this type of batting. The stitches will be at the same height as the batting because there is no loft. They’re not going to be noticeable or cause any noticeable ridges.

Wall hangings and table runners will love this loft’s smooth surfaces. When it comes to insulating batting, a low loft is typically employed for things like potholders, placemats, and even bowl cozies.

High Loft

The fibers of high loft batting rise above the surface of the batting. Having a high loft makes it appear thicker than having a low loft does. It’s also softer and fluffier to the touch. This loft is ideal for quilted blankets and comforters because it has a drapey, looser feel.

When quilting a quilt with a thicker loft, the stitches must penetrate the quilt sandwich more deeply. Decorative patterns become more defined when the batting is pulled down by the stitching. The effect will make your stitching stand out on your quilt top.

You can even choose for a higher loft. If you’re looking for a high-pitched hitting, this is it. Since the fibers are taller, it’s heavier, fluffier, and cozier. To make a warm winter quilt, you’d utilize the loft here.

One thing to keep in mind is that batting, also known as wadding in some regions, can be sold by the pound. It is sold by the ounce in this case. The lighter and thinner the batting is, the less ounces it contains.

3/8-inch thick 4oz, 3/8-inch thick 8oz and 3/8-inch thick 10oz are the most common ounce weights. This wadding’s weight is comparable to a medium-loft batting bat, to give you an idea of scale.

Different Types of Batting Fabric

Different Types of Batting Fabric

There are various types of batting available. There’s a batting out there for just about any project you can think of, thanks to their diverse features and qualities. The type of quilt you’re working on will influence the one you select.

Consider a few of the more prominent batting styles. This comparison should make it easier for you to choose the best one for your upcoming job.

1. Natural Batting

Natural fibers like wool and cotton are used to make this batting. Rayon and bamboo are also options. Due to their high cost, silk fibers can occasionally be found in natural batting.

Wool is the most popular natural batting because it shrinks less and provides unmatched warmth. It’s also a breeze to use. You have the option of either hand or machine quilting it. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like stitching, you can tie your quilt.

Cotton batting is a close second in terms of popularity. Cotton batting is ideal for baby quilts because of its excellent breathability and cuddly texture.

Heirloom quilts frequently employ natural batting because it lends the finished product a more traditional look and feel. They are especially popular with quilters who adhere to historically correct methods when making their quilt sandwiches..

As is the case with any type of natural fiber, natural batting can be pricey. When compared to a polyester one. Because of the high quality of the product, and the unmatched advantages of natural fibers, the additional cost is well worth it.

2. Synthetic Batting

Polyester fibers are commonly used to make synthetic or manufactured batting. Fleece polyester batting is one of the most popular types of polyester batting.

Polyester battings are the most common choice for quilt stuffing since they are inexpensive and widely accessible. Low and high loft options are available for use in any quilting project. A synthetic batting, on the other hand, will be significantly lighter in weight than a natural batting of the same height. So you don’t have to worry about being burdened down by a thick, luxurious quilt.

However, there is a minor drawback. Quilts manufactured with polyester as an inner layer will not be as breathable as those made with natural fibers. For king-sized quilts or lap quilts, this is not an issue. This may be a concern for infant quilts or cot-sized quilts.

Polyester batting should not be used in baby bedding since babies’ bodies can’t regulate their own temperature. They require bedding that can assist them regulate their body temperature.

3. Polycotton Batting

The best of all worlds is what you’ll get with a polycotton filling. Cotton’s breathability and durability are combined with a synthetic’s shrink resistance. A typical 80/20 cotton/polyester combination is used. In fact, this type of batting is more commonly known as 80/20 batting rather than polycotton batting.

In addition, this batting has a higher loft than traditional 100% cotton batting. Lighter because of the polyester composition and less prone to shrinking.

That’s not all; because of its substantial cotton content, it is an ideal substitute for 100% synthetic batting. For both hand and machine quilters, this is a great batting option.

4. Bamboo Batting

Cotton and bamboo fibers are combined in a 50/50 ratio to make bamboo batting. This batting is the most environmentally friendly choice due to the fact that bamboo has a longer lifespan than cotton. A high level of breathability and anti-bacterial characteristics are provided by the use of natural fibers in its construction.

The shrinkage of a bamboo batting is smaller than that of a cotton batting. If you’re looking for a high-end brand, it can be difficult to discern the difference between cotton and bamboo. Even better, you’ll be able to choose from the same range of lofts and the same luxuriously soft texture.

Bamboo batting may be washed in a machine and dried in one as well. As a result, things like infant blankets, which require frequent washing, might benefit from this low-maintenance solution.

There is, however, a little drawback to using bamboo batting. It can be more expensive than a 100% cotton variant because of the fiber composition. Even though bamboo is more expensive, it’s well worth it when you consider all of the advantages it offers.

5. Bonded Batting

The top and bottom surfaces of bonded batting are coated with adhesive, making it a more durable batting option. A resin or glue can be used as the adhesive. Thermally-bonded batting is also available. The batting’s fibers are held together by all of the bonded choices.

It’s easy to see why bonded batting is a wise investment. It prevents the batting fibers from peeking through the top or back of the quilt. This is known as bearding, and it occurs when you detect little white flecks on the top of your quilt. As though duck down were peeping through a worn-out eiderdown.

If you’re making a quilt sandwich with thin fabric on the outside, this batting is a wonderful choice. Use it for goods that do not require a lot of fancy stitching, like jeans. It doesn’t need to be stitched to keep it from bunching up because of the bonded surface.

6. Needle-Punched Batting

Another approach used by producers to generate beard-free batting is to employ this technique. This technique, on the other hand, employs needles instead of adhesive.

The fibers are needle-punched to create needle-punched batting. The needles smash the strands together in felting to create a solid surface. As a result, a dense, hard batting is produced.

Quilted clothing and blankets benefit greatly from the use of needle punched batting. Use it as a quilt backing, too. Strong and long-lasting, it resembles felt fabric in appearance.

7. Fusible Batting

Using fusible batting reduces the amount of time it takes to sew. Instead of using a slew of safety pins to keep your quilt sandwich together, try ironing the top and back of your quilt directly onto the batting.

Rather than kneeling over a quilt sandwich and attempting to push your safety pins through all three layers, use this method instead. Fusible batting, on the other hand, is better at keeping the three layers of your quilt in place as you work on the design.

Both sides of the product are covered in a fusible web, which can be ironed on. Allow the first side to cool before ironing the second.

8. Insulated Batting

Insulated batting is a type of batting that is specifically designed to protect things from heat damage. This batting can be used to make potholders, oven mitts, and bowl holders, among other things. Tea cozies and table runners benefit from the added insulation provided by this fabric.

There is a distinct crinkle sound when working with this batting. Tiny silver flecks can be seen in the batting when examined closely.

Some brands of insulated batting contain polyester, so be aware. In combination with the silver flecks, polyester batting should not be used in the microwave. Bowl cozies are included with this. The polyester content will melt, and the silver components will spark.

Some insulated battings can be heated in a microwave. Make sure your batting is 100 percent cotton if you want to accomplish this. Cotton thread and cloth are also required!

How to Use Batting Fabric

How to Use Batting Fabric

Batting is the first layer of a quilt sandwich and serves as the insulator. A quilt usually has three layers. With either a patchwork or block design, the top layer serves as the decorative side. Finally, the bottom layer is usually a plain backing material. Batting takes place in the middle of the field.

Making a quilt sandwich is simple, and I’ll show you how to do it here. It’s up to you what kind of batting you employ. Any one of these approaches will work just well.

It’s conceivable to hand-quilt battings with fusible web or glue, despite the fact that it may be easier to machine-quilt. It may take a little longer than normal.

When using needle-punched batting, you can decrease your quilt sandwich to just two layers if you choose. Sturdy enough for cushioning and backing, needle-punched batting is ideal.

There is no difference in the process of preparing your fabric for quilting regardless of the method you use. You’ll also need a lot of the same items. Those are the first things we’ll look at.

You’ll need the following:

  • Fabric for the quilt’s front and back
  • Batting
  • Needle for hand quilting
  • Thread for hand quilting
  • machine for sewing
  • Thread for sewing machines
  • A safety pin.

Quilt Preparation: Hand or Machine Quilting

This is the first step:

Avoid wrinkles in both the quilt top and the backing fabric. Make a quick iron for them. Any seams on your quilt top should be pressed toward darker colors for optimum results. In this way, they won’t be able to appear on the right.

The second step

Using a flat surface, smooth out the background cloth so that there are no visible ripples. Next, layer your batting on top. After that, place your quilt top on top of the batting… Your quilt sandwich is here. Make certain that the quilt top is also smoothed out.

The third and last step

Starting in the middle of the quilt sandwich, begin pinning the three layers together using your safety pins. About four inches should separate the pins. Smooth the fabric as you work your way outwards from the center. The margins of the pool should be smoothed to remove any rippling.

The fourth and last step

Once you’ve pinned your cloth, if you notice it’s uneven, just leave it be. Quilting may necessitate the additional fabric. Basically, it’s because of the sewing stitches that cause the fabric to contract. This means that you shouldn’t perform any trimming until after you’ve finished quilting.

You’re ready to quilt your quilt once you’ve finished pinning it together. Select one of the following options.

Hand Quilting

The conventional method of piecing together a quilt sandwich is by hand. You can use whichever batting you desire, but if you want a more classic feel, consider using all-natural batting. The perfect fabric is one made of wool or cotton.

This is the first step:

Prepare your hand quilting needle and thread for sewing. Both of these are quilting-specific tools. Because of the difficulty of quilting, it is best to avoid using different threads and needles.

The second step

In order to finish the quilt by hand, use either a running stitch or a backstitch technique. Begin at the center of the quilt and work your way outwards to eliminate ripples. Using each stitch, go straight through the batting, then out through the backing. The quilt top’s seam lines can be followed or a decorative pattern like swirls, leaves, or even feathers might be added. Ultimately, the decision rests with you.

The third and last step

Trim off any extra fabric and bind your quilt when you’ve completed sewing the batting fabric to the top and bottom of it.

Machine Quilting

In terms of quilting, this is a more cutting-edge method. It has a similar effect, but it does so in a far more efficient manner. It’s up to you whether you like to hand-quilt or machine-quilt. It’s impossible to say which choice is best. It’s a matter of personal choice.

This is the first step:

Use machine quilting thread to thread your sewing machine and bobbin. An all-purpose thread will work, but a quilting thread will be more durable in this use.

The second step

Determine if you want to quilt in the ditch or free motion. A technique known as “stitching in the ditch” is used to sew along the seams of a quilt top. This will ensure that the top of your quilt is evenly spaced. Sew from the center of the quilt outwards for optimal results. It’s easier to smooth out any ridges or ripples in the cloth if you work from the center outward.

In order to conduct free-motion quilting, you’ll need to lower or cover your feed dogs. To get the center of the quilt sandwich under the presser foot, move your quilt sandwich. Free motion quilting is as simple as swiping your quilt in circles. Like doodling on your sewing machine, it’s a lot of fun.

The third and last step

Trim away any extra cloth when you’ve finished stitching. Finally, sew on the binding to keep the batting fabric safely in place.

Batting vs Interfacing: What’s the Difference?

Batting fabric and interfacing are two quite different items, despite the fact that they sound alike. The two of them each have a unique job to do.

A garment’s weak spots can be reinforced by interfacing. If you wanted to make collar stands or button plackets more sturdy, you’d use this. Lapels and cuffs of a jacket also require interfacing to hold them in place. To provide a fabric structure and shape, interfacing is used.

For utilitarian products like quilts, however, batting is used as an additional layer of insulation and padding. It can be used as potholders to protect against heat. When put in a tea cozy, it will also keep your tea warm. Despite the fact that batting fabric can be utilized in clothes, it does not give any structural support. Not only that, but it won’t help keep your button plackets from tearing, either.

It’s impossible to use the two goods interchangeably. No cushioning or warmth can be provided through interfacing. Your neck will be irritated and floppy if you try to bat in your collar stand.

Can I Use Insulbrite Instead of Batting?

Thermal insulation is sold by the company Insulbrite. Invented by the Warm Company, it is utilized in items designed to keep people cool.

When you remove food from the oven, you won’t burn your hands because of a specifically designed cloth that reflects heat back onto itself. Alternatively, you can use a bowl cozy to keep your soup warm.

It’s not something you’d ordinarily use in place of batting. No, it isn’t designed to be used as filler in a bed quilt. You wouldn’t use it as a potholder on its own. Insulbrite is typically used in conjunction with regular batting.

One layer of Insulbrite and another layer of a standard batting fabric are commonly used to make potholders, bowl cozies, and placemats. Batting absorbs some of the reflected heat, so it takes longer to reach your hands when using regular batting.. In order to make a quilt sandwich, you would first quilt the two battings together.

Is Batting the Same as Toy Stuffing?

Is Batting the Same as Toy Stuffing

Both batting and toy stuffing are types of filling, which makes them comparable. However, there is a distinction between the two.

It is sold in bags of loose fibers that can be separated into little balls or clumps for use in making toys. You may mold the smaller parts into the shape of the toy as you stuff it, which makes it easier. You can use as much or as little of the toy filling as you desire.

It can be purchased by the yard in a flat sheet, or it can be packaged in bags. Both the bag and yardage versions have it converted into fabric, which makes a big difference. This flat piece of fabric is either bonded or needle punched together to make a sturdy piece of cloth. A batting fabric can be resized by simply cutting off the desired lengths and widths.

While using batting fabric as toy filling isn’t impossible, it isn’t desirable. The item would be stiff and malformed since batting fabric does not adapt to shapes very well..

Toy stuffing as a quilt’s interior fabric would be a big pain. Your backing material would take a long time to lay down because it’s made up of loose fibers rather than a cloth. To ensure an even filling across the quilt, you’d need a lot of it.

It would be difficult to prevent it from gathering into clumps. Using original wadding or batting textiles would be like stepping back in time.


Batting fabric is the important padding layer in quilted products. It’s cozy and comfortable because of the way it insulates. Crafts, quilts, and clothes can all benefit from its versatility.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading today’s post. If you did, please tell me about it in the comments section below. No, I’ve never ever heard of it! It’s referred to as wadding in some circles. Were you satisfied with the outcome of your project?

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