This is a guest post by Elaine Schmidt. Thanks for a great article, Elaine!
The Language of Batting
As you start to compare battings, you may run into these terms.
Wadding is what our English and Australian friends may call batting. Batting and
wadding are the same thing.
Loft is the weight and thickness of the batting. The same brand and type of batting may
be available in several different lofts or thicknesses. A low loft is thin and will give a
flatter appearance to the finished quilt. A high loft is thick and less drape-able and will
give a fluffier look.
Bonded Batting. Batting fibers can be held together with a light starch or resin bonding
agent. Thermal bonded battings are held together when heat is used to slightly melt the
fibers and hold them together. Bonding keeps the fibers from shifting or bearding.
(Bearding is when the batting fibers work their way through the quilt top or backing
fabric when quilted.)
Needle Punched Batting. The fibers of a needle punched batting are loosely felted
together with tiny barbed needles that twist the fibers together. Needle punched batting is
very stable, with less stretch, but may not be suitable for hand quilting because of the
Scrim is a layer of netting-like material that the holds the batting together. It is not
necessarily made from the same fiber as the batting. Batting with scrim is typically more
stable and not as likely to stretch or become distorted. Battings with scrim may be
difficult to hand quilt.
Resiliency refers to how quickly the batting springs back when it is unfolded and how
well it resists creasing.
Washability. Check the manufacturer’s label for care of the batting. Some battings can be
washed before they are used. Certain types of battings (such as unbleached cotton) shrink
more than others (such as polyester). Some quilters like the puckered, retro look that
happens when batting is not prewashed and then shrinks a bit when the finished quilt is