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Understanding batting loft and which to use for your quilted project

 

This week I’ve been taking a close and detailed look at 5 batting samples from Fairfield. I received packages of 3 polyester battings and 2 cotton battings.

 

5 batting samples from Fairfield
5 batting samples from Fairfield

 

I pre-washed them and quilted them and then washed them again to see the finished results.

Today, I’m going to focus on loft. What it is and why quilter’s think it is important.

Let’s look at batting loft

Loft is the thickness of the batting and gives you an idea how fluffy or thick the quilt will be once it has been quilted.

The picture below shows the Project Fleece, Low Loft and Extra Loft battings, left to right.

 

A look at 3 thicknesses or loft in Fairfield polyester battings
3 samples of loft in batting

 

Some battings are considered low loft. They’re quite thin and will not have much definition from the quilting stitches. These are perfect battings to use for wall hangings or table runners. These battings would be approximately ³⁄₁₆” thick. That’s just over an ⅛” thick. The Project Fleece and the Low-Loft batting both give a loft up to ³⁄₁₆”. The Project Fleece has been needlepunched and appears more compact or felted.

 

A quilted sample showing the low loft of Fairfield's Project Fleece
Geese quilted with Project Fleece

 

Some battings are considered high loft which will show the stitching definition as well as be fluffier or thicker. High loft battings would be approximately ½” thick. Many quilters will use a higher loft polyester batting for whole cloth quilts where the quilting stitches are the main feature.

 

Extra-Loft batting from Fairfield
Extra-Loft batting from Fairfield

 

Loft is a personal thing for quilters and sewers. A low loft batting would be ideal for garment construction or projects that require stability without any extra thickness.

Soft & Toasty and Project Fleece are ideal for place mats and table runners and the wide variety of bags that we tend to make. Remember that the Soft & Toasty is a cotton fabric and when washed, will tend to shrink and make your project pucker. The puckering effect is a great look if that’s what you’re looking for.

 

Stitch samples and journal covers with a low loft batting
Stitch samples and journal covers with a low loft batting

 

Low-Loft is a good choice for a quilted project that doesn’t require anything special. Baby quilts are a good example of quilts that can make use of low-loft batting.

Quilter’s 80/20 batting is also a good choice of a low loft batting. Again, like Soft & Toasty it will shrink a bit when it is washed but you’ll have less puckering and texture because of the polyester content.

Once this baby quilt is washed and dried it will become a soft and comfy blankie.

 

Use Fairfield's Quilter's 80/20 cotton/polyester batting for a little bit of texture in quilted projects
A little bit of texture from Quilter’s 80/20 batting

 

Extra-Loft is perfect for when you want the quilt stitches to really show!

 

Create beautiful texture with Fairfield's Poly-Fil Extra-Loft batting and dense quilting around key features of the quilt
Dense quilting and Extra-Loft batting

 

Tomorrow I’ll share with you why I like each batting and how I use each of these great battings from Fairfield.

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: The characteristics and benefits of polyester batting

Go to part 5: 4 questions to ask yourself when choosing batting for your quilt project

Allison has an Education degree from University of Winnipeg and many years’ experience teaching aquatics. Allison began teaching sewing and quilting while working at a sewing machine dealer in Calgary, Alberta. She also owned her own fabric store and sewing school for 6 years where she had the wonderful opportunity to teach a wide variety of classes to many sewers, young and old. She now has a studio and classroom in her home and does customer quilts and well as longarm machine rentals. She is a National Handi Quilter Educator. Allison teaches in her studio, locally and in North America. Allison has a very, very supportive husband, 2 daughters and granddaughter close by.

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