A Beginner Quilter’s Essential Guide to Quilt Batting


This is a guide to help you learn the ins and outs of quilt batting.

Don’t know what that is? Aren’t sure how to use it?

You’ll learn exactly what you need to know about quilt batting right here. Read ahead:

What Is Quilt Batting?

Quilt batting is the layer between the top and bottom of your quilt’s patchwork. We also call it the insulation of the quilt.

Quilt batting gives a quilt thickness. Now, there are various sizes and thickness of batting, so it all depends on the type you need for your quilt.

Why Use Quilt Batting?

Well, it might seem obvious now that you know what quilt batting is. We use batting because it adds warmth, drape, loft, character, and helps with shrinkage.

So depending on the use of your quilt, it adds a lot to your creation.

If it’s going to be used on a bed, then it adds warmth and coziness.

If it’s going to be draped across a piece of furniture then it helps the quilt drape and look beautiful.

That’s why you use quilt batting. Now, let’s jump into the types of batting...

Types of Quilt Batting:

If you’ve searched for quilt batting then you’ve probably come across a wide variety of types. And you’ve probably asked, “which type do I need for my quilt?”

To answer that let’s explore the different types of batting:

Polyester - made from synthetic fibers. Polyester batting is thicker but lighter and is typically warmer than cotton. It will prevent mold, rot, and rodent damage. It will also be your cheapest option.

Cotton - typically the warmest of batting options because it is thicker than polyester. It will make a quilt cozier and warm in winter but still allow it to be cool during warmer months because it is a natural fiber. It will also be more expensive than polyester because it is natural.

Bamboo - perfect type if you’re looking for eco-friendly and natural in one. It’s a great choice if you’re doing machine quilting. Bamboo batting is typically not 100% bamboo. It’s often mixed with cotton.

Wool - quite lofty, lightweight and warm. Like cotton it’s more cozy because it is a natural fiber. It holds its shape well and works great in a lot of instances and creations.

Blends - there are several blends available, such as a 80/20 blend which is 80% natural blended with 20% synthetic fibers. The benefit of this blend is that it has the qualities of cotton but also gets loft from the polyester. It will also be more in the middle price range.

What Does ‘Loft’ Mean in Terms of Quilt Batting:

As you get more into quilting you’ll hear the term: “loft.”

You probably don’t know what that means yet, or maybe you do based on what we’ve already shared. But let’s understand it more here:

Loft refers to the thickness of quilt batting.

So…

Low loft means thin, light-weight batting. Low loft allows a quilt to drape quite nice.

Medium loft means ½” thick and well, medium thickness of course. This is a great option for quilts and comforters.

High loft means ¾” - 1” thick and will be great for thicker comforters and blankets—anything you want to make warmer with the extra thickness of the batting.

Selecting Your Quilt Batting:

Okay, now you know what quilt batting is, why you need it, and the common types of batting.

But… how do you pick your batting?

Well it comes down to a few factors, particularly the use of the quilt you’re making:

  • Baby quilt - of course if you’re making a quilt for a baby then you’re probably wanting it to be cozy and warm. It also needs to be durable. So the warmest batting is from natural fibers, so a cotton or bamboo. But the most durable is polyester. So it may serve you well to get a blend.
  • Heirloom quilt - the essence of heirloom is to last. So which type lasts? Well, remember polyester stands up against rot, mold, and pest damage. So we recommend going with a polyester for heirloom.
  • Placemat quilt - for a nice table placemat quilt, go with something that has a thin, low loft. Again, polyester is probably going to be best in terms of loft, not wool or cotton.
  • Beginner quilt - if you’re just getting into quilting, then work with something that isn’t going to break the bank and cost you a lot, especially if you make a mistake or need more.

Ready To Start Quilting?

Wow, look how much you know already. You’re getting into the quilting word mighty fast and we are excited for you.

So, are you ready to get started?

If you are, we recommend you go right ahead with one of the quilt kits we offer. These are perfect for getting started because they are precision cut piece-by-piece. 

You can also pick up your batting right here as well.

Then you’ll just need to know the essential quilting tools and a few quilting tips to get you going strong. Follow those links to read what we recommend.