What is the purpose of quilting batting?

Imagine the feeling of curling up under a cozy quilt on a chilly evening, feeling the warmth and comfort envelop you. Quilting has a way of providing us with more than just a physical shelter; it wraps us in memories, love, and a sense of belonging. The art of quilting goes beyond stitching together fabric; it’s about creating something meaningful, something that speaks to the heart.

A vital element that brings quilts to life is quilting batting. It’s the hidden layer nestled between the quilt top and back that adds so much more than just insulation. Quilting batting has a unique purpose; it provides structure, warmth, and enhances the quilt’s aesthetic appeal.

When you quilt with batting, you’re not just creating a covering; you’re creating an experience. The choice of batting can transform your quilt, giving it the texture, loft, and character that truly reflects your artistic vision. With various types of batting available, such as cotton, polyester, wool, bamboo, and blends, you have the freedom to choose the perfect batting that aligns with your creative goals and the intended use of your quilt.

So, whether you’re a seasoned quilter or just starting on your quilting journey, understanding the purpose and benefits of quilting batting is essential. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of batting, the terminology associated with it, and the factors to consider when choosing the right batting for your quilt. Get ready to unravel the secrets of quilting batting and discover how it can elevate your quilting projects to new heights!

Key Takeaways:

  • Quilting batting serves the purpose of providing warmth, structure, and enhancing the quilt’s aesthetic appeal.
  • There are various types of quilting batting available, including cotton, polyester, wool, bamboo, and blends.
  • Understanding quilting batting terminology, such as loft, drape, needle-punched batting, and scrim, is crucial in making informed decisions.
  • The choice of quilting batting depends on factors like desired thickness, fiber content, quilting technique, and the intended use of the quilt.
  • Quilting batting adds character and brings your artistic vision to life, making each quilt a unique and cherished creation.

Understanding Batting Terminology

Understanding the terminology associated with quilting batting is crucial in making informed decisions. Let’s explore some key terms to help you navigate the world of quilting batting:


Loft refers to the thickness or height of the batting. It determines the overall look and feel of the quilt. Cotton batting is typically low-loft, resulting in a flatter appearance, while polyester batting offers higher loft, creating a more puffy and plush look.


Drape describes how the batting hangs and affects the overall drape of the quilt. It determines the way the quilt drapes when used as a blanket or hung on a wall. Batting with a good drape will flow smoothly and create an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

Needle-Punched Batting

Needle-punched batting is created by interlocking the fibers using barbed needles. This process helps bind the fibers together, resulting in a sturdy and durable batting. When quilting with needle-punched batting, it is recommended to machine-quilt in the same direction as the needle-punching to maintain its integrity.


Scrim is a thin stabilizer that can be layered onto batting to anchor the fibers. It prevents the batting from stretching and shifting during the quilting process. Additionally, the presence of scrim allows for wider quilting stitch spacing, which can enhance the overall design of the quilt.

Understanding these quilting batting terminologies will help you make informed decisions when selecting the right batting for your quilting projects. Now let’s delve into the different types of quilting batting available.

Types of Quilting Batting

When it comes to quilting, choosing the right batting can make all the difference in the finished product. There are several types of quilting batting available, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. Let’s explore these different types of quilting batting:

Cotton Batting

Cotton batting is a popular choice among quilters for its natural warmth and softness. It gives quilts a classic, crinkly look, reminiscent of antique quilts. Cotton batting is breathable and provides excellent drape, making it suitable for both hand and machine quilting. It is a great option for those who prefer a traditional, cozy feel in their quilts.

Polyester Batting

Polyester batting is known for its fluffiness and higher loft. It creates a puffy effect, making it ideal for quilts that require extra volume, such as tied quilts or puffy quilts. Polyester batting offers a lightweight feel and is non-allergenic. It doesn’t shrink or shift, ensuring that your quilt remains in its original shape over time.

Cotton Blends

Cotton blend batting combines the best qualities of cotton and polyester. It offers the softness and natural feel of cotton, along with the added strength and durability of polyester. Cotton blends are favored by long-arm quilters due to their ease of handling and excellent stitch definition. They provide a balance between the warmth of cotton and the stability of polyester.

Wool Batting

For quilts that need extra warmth, wool batting is an excellent choice. Wool is a natural insulator, providing excellent heat retention while being lightweight. Quilts made with wool batting are perfect for three-season use, keeping you warm during cooler months without overheating. Wool batting also offers great stitch definition, allowing intricate quilting designs to stand out.

Bamboo Batting

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, bamboo batting is a great choice. Bamboo is a renewable resource that grows quickly without the need for pesticides or excessive water usage. Bamboo batting has similar properties to cotton batting, offering softness, breathability, and good drape. It is suitable for both hand and machine quilting.

Fusible Batting

Fusible batting has a layer of glue that activates with heat, eliminating the need for pinning or spray-basting. It simplifies the basting process, saving time and effort. Fusible batting is easy to use for both small and large quilting projects and provides a secure bond between the quilt top and backing.

Choosing the right quilting batting is essential for achieving the desired look and feel in your quilt. Whether you prefer the warmth of cotton, the fluffiness of polyester, or the eco-friendly properties of bamboo, there is a perfect batting option for every quilting project. Consider the characteristics of each type of batting and how they align with your quilting goals to make an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of Different Batting Types

When it comes to choosing the right quilting batting for your project, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each type. Here, we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of cotton, polyester, cotton blend, wool, bamboo, and fusible batting options.

Cotton Batting:

  • Pros: Offers warmth, creates a crinkly look, ideal for achieving an antique appearance.
  • Cons: May shrink and show fold lines.

Polyester Batting:

  • Pros: Less expensive, lightweight, doesn’t shrink.
  • Cons: Lacks the drape and soft feel of other types.

Cotton Blend Batting:

  • Pros: Combines the qualities of cotton and polyester, suitable for both hand and machine quilting.
  • Cons: None identified.

Wool Batting:

  • Pros: Warmer, lighter, provides excellent stitch definition.
  • Cons: More expensive compared to other types.

Bamboo Batting:

  • Pros: Greener alternative to cotton.
  • Cons: None identified.

Fusible Batting:

  • Pros: Eliminates the need for pinning or basting.
  • Cons: None identified.

When selecting the ideal batting for your quilt, consider the specific requirements of your project and the desired characteristics of the finished quilt. Whether you prioritize warmth, drape, stitch definition, eco-friendliness, or convenience, each type of batting offers its own unique benefits and considerations.

batting types

Choosing the Right Batting for Your Quilt

When it comes to quilting, selecting the right batting is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the outcome of your quilt. Consideration should be given to factors such as quilting density, batting fiber content, and the end use of your quilt. By understanding these key elements, you can ensure that your chosen batting will provide the desired result for your project.

Quilting Density

Quilting density refers to the spacing between quilting stitches. It plays a significant role in the overall appearance and durability of your quilt. Before making a batting selection, it is important to assess the recommended quilting density for each type of batting. Some battings require closer quilting stitches to prevent shifting and distortion, while others allow for wider spacing. Adhering to the recommended quilting density will help ensure that your quilt maintains its shape and integrity over time.

Batting Fiber Content

The fiber content of the batting is another important factor to consider. Different types of batting, such as cotton, polyester, or blends, offer varying properties and characteristics. Cotton batting is known for its softness and breathability, making it a popular choice for lightweight and cozy quilts. Polyester batting, on the other hand, provides more loft and is often preferred for quilts that require a puffy or voluminous look. Blends, which combine various fibers, can offer the best of both worlds by providing the benefits of different materials. Consider the desired qualities of your quilt and select a batting with the appropriate fiber content to achieve the desired effect.

End Use of Your Quilt

The end use of your quilt should also be taken into consideration when choosing batting. Will your quilt be used as a wall hanging, a bed quilt, or a show quilt? The intended purpose can influence the selection of batting to ensure that it meets the specific requirements of its usage. For example, a wall hanging may benefit from a thinner batting to maintain a smooth and flat appearance when on display. A bed quilt, on the other hand, may require a batting with more loft and warmth for cozy nights. Understanding the end use of your quilt will help guide you towards the most suitable batting for your project.

Quilting DensityThe spacing between quilting stitches, influenced by the recommended density for the chosen batting.
Batting Fiber ContentThe material composition of the batting, such as cotton, polyester, or blends, affecting the properties and characteristics of the quilt.
End Use of QuiltThe intended purpose or function of the quilt, such as wall hanging, bed quilt, or show quilt, influencing the selection of appropriate batting.

By carefully considering factors such as quilting density, batting fiber content, and the end use of your quilt, you can make an informed decision when choosing the right batting. This will ensure that your quilt not only looks visually appealing but also meets your specific needs and preferences.

Advantages of Batting

When it comes to quilting, the choice of batting can significantly impact the final outcome of your project. Quilting batting offers several advantages that contribute to the overall beauty and functionality of quilts. Let’s explore these advantages in detail.

1. Warmth

Quilting batting adds warmth to your quilts, making them cozy and perfect for snuggling up on cold winter nights. The insulating properties of the batting help trap heat, providing comfort and comfort to those who use your quilt.

2. Structure

Batting gives structure to your quilt, ensuring that it holds its shape well over time. It acts as a stabilizing layer between the quilt top and back, preventing the quilt from sagging or bunching up. This structural support is essential for quilts that will be used and washed regularly.

3. Aesthetic Appeal

One of the most exciting advantages of quilting batting is its ability to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your quilt. The natural loft provided by the batting creates a puffy or crinkled look, adding visual interest and depth to the quilt’s overall design. This unique texture can elevate the appearance of both traditional and modern quilts.

4. Quilt Design Emphasis

The loft provided by quilting batting not only adds visual appeal but also emphasizes the intricate quilting stitches and patterns. The raised surface created by the batting makes the quilting design stand out, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistry of your work. Whether you use simple or complex quilting techniques, the loft of the batting enhances the overall impact of your design.

Now that you understand the remarkable advantages of quilting batting, you can appreciate how it contributes to the warmth, structure, aesthetic appeal, and quilt design emphasis in your quilts. Choose the right batting that aligns with your desired outcome and enjoy creating beautiful and functional quilts.

advantages of quilting batting

Batting Supplies and Tools

When working with quilting batting, you’ll need a range of supplies and tools to ensure a successful project. These include various types of batting, such as cotton, polyester, blends, wool, bamboo, and fusible batting. Having a variety of batting options allows you to choose the most suitable one for your specific quilting project.

Additionally, there are several tools that will come in handy when working with quilting batting. These tools include:

  • Scissors or Rotary Cutter: These tools are essential for trimming the batting to the desired size and shape. A rotary cutter provides precise cuts, while scissors are more versatile and can be used for various trimming tasks.
  • Pins or Fusible Tape: When assembling the quilt layers, you’ll need pins or fusible tape to secure the batting, quilt top, and quilt back together. Pins are traditional and can be easily removed as you quilt, while fusible tape provides a convenient alternative for basting.
  • Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread: To quilt your project, you’ll either need a sewing machine or a needle and thread. A sewing machine makes the quilting process faster and more efficient, while hand quilting with a needle and thread offers a traditional and personal touch.

Having these quilting batting supplies and tools on hand will ensure that you’re well-equipped to tackle any quilting project with ease.

Example Tool Set:

Cotton battingScissors
Polyester battingRotary cutter
Cotton blend battingPins
Wool battingFusible tape
Bamboo battingSewing machine
Fusible battingNeedle and thread
quilting batting supplies and tools

Tips for Choosing Batting Size and Basting

Choosing the right size of batting and properly basting the layers of your quilt sandwich are essential steps in the quilting process. Here are some tips to help you make the best choices:

Choosing Batting Size

When determining the size of batting for your quilt, it’s important to consider the dimensions of your quilt top and quilt back. You want the batting to be slightly larger than the quilt top to ensure full coverage, but smaller than the quilt back to avoid any excess bulk.

Here’s a general guideline:

• If your quilt top measures 60″ x 80″, choose a batting size around 62″ x 82″.

• If your quilt back measures 65″ x 85″, choose a batting size around 63″ x 83″.

• Remember to accommodate for any additional shrinkage that may occur during quilting and washing.

By selecting the right size of batting, you ensure that your quilt will have a neat and professional finish, with the quilt top fully covered and no excess bulk on the back.

Quilt Basting Tips

Basting the layers of your quilt sandwich together is crucial to keep them stable during the quilting process. There are several techniques you can use to baste your quilt:

  1. Pin Basting: Use safety pins to secure the layers together, spacing the pins about 4-6 inches apart. This method is reliable and allows for easy adjustment of the layers.
  2. Spray Basting: Spray adhesive onto the wrong side of the quilt top and smooth the batting on top. Then, spray adhesive onto the batting and smooth the quilt back on top. This method provides a temporary hold and is convenient for small projects.
  3. Fusible Batting: Choose a fusible batting that has an adhesive backing. Simply iron the quilt top onto the batting, and then iron the quilt back onto the opposite side of the batting. This method eliminates the need for pins or spray adhesives.

Whichever basting technique you choose, make sure the layers are taut and smooth to prevent puckering or shifting during quilting.

By selecting the appropriate size of batting and basting your quilt sandwich with care, you’ll ensure a smooth and enjoyable quilting process, resulting in a beautiful finished quilt.

How and Where to Buy Quilting Batting

Quilting batting, a crucial component of quilts, can be purchased from a variety of sources. Whether you prefer the convenience of online shopping or the personal touch of a quilt supply store, there are plenty of options available to meet your quilting needs.

Online Retailers

When it comes to buying quilting batting online, there are a few trusted retailers that offer a wide range of options to choose from:

  1. Amazon: With its extensive selection and user reviews, Amazon is a go-to choice for many quilters. You can find various types of batting, read customer feedback, and compare prices all in one place.
  2. Connecting Threads: Known for their high-quality quilting supplies, Connecting Threads offers a diverse collection of quilting batting. Their website provides detailed product descriptions and helpful customer reviews.

Quilt Supply Stores

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, consider visiting a brick-and-mortar or online quilt supply store. These stores often have knowledgeable staff who can provide guidance and recommendations based on your specific quilting project. Some popular quilt supply stores include:

  • Joann: With physical locations across the country and an extensive online presence, Joann is a well-known destination for quilting supplies. They offer a wide selection of batting and often have sales or discounts available.
  • Fabric.com: While primarily an online marketplace for fabrics, Fabric.com also carries various types of quilting batting. They have a user-friendly website that allows you to search by specific criteria, making it easy to find the perfect batting for your project.

Whether you choose to buy quilting batting from an online retailer or a quilt supply store, it’s worth considering the benefits of bulk purchases. Some retailers offer batting by the bolt, allowing you to save money in the long run if you frequently quilt or have multiple projects in mind.

Additionally, keep an eye out for sales, discounts, or special promotions that may be available. This can help you save on the cost of buying quilting batting and allow you to stock up for future projects.

Now that you know where to buy quilting batting, you can confidently embark on your next quilting adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or just starting out, finding the right batting is essential for creating beautiful and cozy quilts.

What I Wish I Knew When I Started Using Batting

When you first venture into using batting for your quilting projects, there are a few tips that can save you time and frustration. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, these tips will help you navigate the world of quilting batting and make informed choices.

Choose Batting Based on Quilting Method

One important tip is to select your batting based on the method of quilting you plan to use. For hand quilting, it’s best to choose a batting that is easier to stitch through. Look for options that have a looser, more open weave or a lighter loft to make hand quilting more manageable. On the other hand, if you’re planning to quilt by machine, opt for a batting that lies flat and is easy to handle. This will ensure smooth stitching and avoid any potential machine issues.

Consider the End Use of Your Quilt

Another tip is to consider the intended use of your quilt when selecting batting. Quilts that will be displayed or used as wall hangings can benefit from a batting with more loft. This will give the quilt a fuller, more puffy appearance. On the other hand, quilts that will be used on beds or for everyday functionality can benefit from a thinner, lower loft batting. This will make the quilt lighter and more practical for regular use.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can choose the right batting for your specific quilting needs and achieve professional-looking results.

Comparison of Quilting Batting Tips

TipHand QuiltingMachine QuiltingDisplay/Functionality
Choose batting based on methodLook for easier-to-stitch-through optionsSelect batting that lies flat and is easy to handleConsider loft for a fuller appearance
Consider the end use of the quilt  Choose batting based on desired weight and practicality

Keep in mind that these tips are guidelines, and it’s always important to test different types of batting and discover what works best for your personal preferences and quilting style.


In conclusion, quilting batting is a crucial element in the construction and design of quilts. It offers various benefits such as warmth, structure, and emphasis on the quilt’s design. When selecting batting, it’s important to consider factors like the desired loft, fiber content, quilting technique, and the intended use of the quilt. Understanding quilting batting terminology, weighing the pros and cons of different types, and considering the size and basting process are key steps to ensure the effective selection and utilization of quilting batting.

By choosing the right batting, you can achieve the desired look and functionality of your quilt. Whether you prefer the crinkly antique appearance of cotton batting, the fluffiness of polyester batting, or the warmth of wool batting, there is a type of batting that suits your preference and project. Additionally, considering the recommended quilting density, fiber content, and end use of the quilt will help you make an informed decision.

Remember to explore different quilting batting brands and experiment with various types to find the best fit for your quilting projects. By referring to reputable quilting resources and seeking advice from experienced quilters, you can further enhance your knowledge and expertise in working with quilting batting.

Batting TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages
Cotton BattingWarm, crinkly look, ideal for achieving an antique appearanceMay shrink, shows fold lines
Polyester BattingLess expensive, lightweight, doesn’t shrinkLacks drape and soft feel
Cotton Blend BattingCombines qualities of cotton and polyester, suitable for hand and machine quilting
Wool BattingProvides warmth, lighter than cotton, great stitch definitionMore expensive
Bamboo BattingEco-friendly alternative to cotton
Fusible BattingEliminates the need for pinning or basting

Additional Resources and Recommendations

For more information and recommendations regarding quilting batting, consider referring to reputable quilting resources such as quilting books, magazines, and online tutorials. These resources provide valuable insights into different types of batting, their characteristics, and tips for selecting the right batting for your quilting projects. They also offer guidance on techniques for working with batting and achieving desired results.

When it comes to choosing quilting batting brands, there are several trusted options available. Some recommended quilting batting brands include Warm & Natural, Quilter’s Dream, Hobbs, Pellon, and Winline. These brands have established themselves as reliable and high-quality choices, offering a variety of batting types to suit different preferences and project requirements.

Experimenting with different types of batting and seeking advice from experienced quilters can also be helpful in finding the perfect batting for your quilting projects. Engaging with quilting communities, joining quilting forums, or attending workshops and classes can provide valuable insights and recommendations from seasoned quilters. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others’ experiences to enhance your quilting journey.


What is the purpose of quilting batting?

Quilting batting serves as the insulation layer between the quilt top and back, adding warmth and structure to the quilt.

What are some benefits of using quilting batting?

Quilting batting offers advantages such as adding warmth, providing structure to the quilt, enhancing the quilt’s aesthetic appeal, and emphasizing the design of the quilt.

What are the different types of quilting batting?

The types of quilting batting include cotton, polyester, cotton blends, wool, bamboo, and fusible batting.

What is the difference between loft and drape when it comes to quilting batting?

Loft refers to the thickness of the batting, while drape refers to how the batting hangs and affects the overall drape of the quilt.

How do I choose the right quilting batting for my quilt?

Factors to consider when choosing quilting batting include the desired thickness, fiber content, quilting technique, and the intended use of the quilt.

What are the pros and cons of different types of quilting batting?

Each type of quilting batting has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, cotton batting offers warmth but may shrink, while polyester batting is lightweight but lacks drape and softness.

What supplies and tools do I need for quilting with batting?

Some necessary supplies and tools include various types of batting, scissors or a rotary cutter, pins or fusible tape, and a sewing machine or needle and thread for quilting.

How do I determine the appropriate size of quilting batting for my quilt?

The batting should be slightly larger than the quilt top but smaller than the quilt back to ensure ease of quilting and prevent the back from becoming smaller than the front.

Where can I buy quilting batting?

Quilting batting can be purchased online from retailers like Connecting Threads or Amazon, as well as from brick-and-mortar and online quilt supply stores.

What are some tips for using quilting batting?

Some tips include choosing batting based on the quilting method and the end use of the quilt, as well as taking advantage of discounts when buying batting.

Are there any recommended resources or brands for quilting batting?

For more information and recommendations, consider referring to reputable quilting resources such as books, magazines, online tutorials, and brands like Warm & Natural, Quilter’s Dream, Hobbs, Pellon, and Winline.

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