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.

The different types of batts and their uses
Different quilting methods require different types of batts

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


Batting-Chart 2
This chart is a great way to pick out which type of batting is right for your project.


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