A Guide to Quilt Batting

A good place to begin is a simple Glossary of Terms…


Batting is the layer of material between your quilt top and your backing which gives it weight and warmth.


Scrim is a very thin, mesh stabilizer that is needle-punched into the batting to add strength and stability. Scrim also helps to prevent batting from stretching and distorting. Due to the added strength, batting with scrim is especially great for those planning on a quilting design with big gaps.


This means the fibers are mechanically felted together by punching them with thousands of tiny needles. This makes the batting stronger and creates a dense, lower loft. Needle-punched battings are great for machine quilting, but you’ll want to avoid them if you’re hand quilting due to the density.


Loft refers to the thickness/puffiness of the batting. If you want to really show off your quilting, choose a batting with high loft, such as polyester or wool. If you like the look of a flat, traditional quilt, choose something with a low loft, such as cotton.

Which Type of Batting is Right For My Project???


Cotton is a soft, breathable, and natural fiber. It is machine washable and dryable, has moderate drape and ages well. It softens and shrinks slightly with washing, giving it a crinkled, “lived in” look. Compared to other types of batting, cotton offers the heaviest weight. Cotton batting is great for any project, but especially great for bed quilts, table runners, placemats, and wall hangings.


Wool is lightweight, warm, and moisture-wicking, making it a great choice for bed quilts or garments that are appropriate for all seasons and climates. It is machine washable and dryable as long as you use gentle, cool cycles.


Silk is lightweight, breathable, and has exceptional drape, making it a great choice for bed quilts, as well as garments. Silk batting is also an excellent choice for hand quilting. Projects made with silk should be hand-washed and air-dried.


Polyester is lightweight, but very durable. It is machine washable and dryable. It has a high loft, making it a great choice for those that want to show off their quilting. It also lays flat, so it’s great for things like table runners, placemats, and wall hangings.

Batting sizes vary from traditional blanket sizes and there is really no right or wrong when it comes to batting sizes. We use a variety of brands at Sew Fly Quilts some are pre-packaged and others are on the roll.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s