What Is Wadding in Sewing?
Wadding is an old English word for stuffing (also known as batting in some region). It refers to the material used to fill quilts, stuffed toys, clothing and other items. Wadding usually refers to cotton wadding or other natural fibers because synthetic polyester does not breathe, allowing moisture (sweat) to be absorbed by the skin. Wadding is also called insulation; it is inserted into walls and ceilings to prevent the passage of heat.
This article will cover different types and use of wadding as well as tips on choosing the best quilt wadding for different needs. So, read on!
Types of Wadding
Wadding is an essential part of quilting and sewing and comes in various types, thicknesses and fiber content depending on what it will be used for. Let’s have a quick look at some different wadding:
100% Cotton is a popular choice of wadding for quilts because it is soft and comfortable. Cotton wadding is thin, usually about 1/8″ thick.
Polyester wadding is a synthetic fiber that is used in place of wool, cotton and other natural fibers. It is made from plastic and has the appearance and feel of cotton. Polyester wadding resists mold, mildew and wrinkles. It is non-breathable but ideal for bedding and clothing because it keeps you warm without being heavy.
Wool is a fantastic quilting material. It’s naturally warm and breathable, and it provides the perfect amount of comfort while allowing you to stay in control of the finished product. Wool wadding is ½” thick and works great with both hand- and machine quilting. It’s also an excellent choice for folks who want to create unique shapes or ties to their quilts.
Bamboo wadding is a natural and eco-friendly alternative to polyester wadding. It is made from 50% bamboo and 50% organic cotton blend. Thanks to its drapability, Bamboo wadding has an excellent hand, softness, and drapability for machine quilting. It’s machine washable with shrinkage of only 2-3%. The high-quality material comes from pollution-free manufacturing processes that create little waste.
Bonded has a thin layer of adhesive on both sides to keep the wadding from shifting. This prevents bearding when the fibers push through the fabric.
Fusible wadding contains a fusible web to hold layers together. This can be used to baste layers together when quilting. Layer your quilt backing, wadding and top together. Using the wool setting on your iron, press from the center out for about 4-5 seconds in each area. Once finished, allow the quilt to cool and then repeat on the other side.
Heat Resistant Wadding
Heat-resistant wadding, also called ‘fusible wadding,’ is a great way to add structure and padding to your sewing projects. It’s commonly used in apparel design, quilting and costume making. This post explains how you can use heat-resistant wadding in your sewing projects.
Blended wadding is composed of 80% cotton and 20% polyester, giving it a lot of the best qualities of both fabrics. It’s suitable for quilting, sewing and other crafts. It drapes well, is easy to work with and needs little maintenance. You can use it for special projects.
This wadding is incredibly soft as it is made from 100% silk. It drapes beautifully, making it ideal for sheer fabrics like chiffon and organza. Wash at 30ºC after sewing and ironing on a silk/delicate setting.
Fusible Quilt Wadding
Fusible wadding is an excellent material for basting quilts as it allows you to stitch the layers together without any additional handwork quickly. This also makes it a popular material for making quilted bags as it adds structure and stability.
Needle Punch Wadding
Needle punching is a type of mechanical felt that is denser and more durable than regular felting. It is used for making blankets, apparel and quilt backings. We had fun using needle punch wadding which involved cutting sashing strips for quilts.
When Deciding Which Type of Wadding to Use, Consider the Following:
- The purpose of the project
- The size of the project
- Your desired level of support and insulation
- The amount of money you are willing to spend on wadding
How to Choose the Best Quilt Wadding for Your Needs?
When it comes to selecting a wedding, there are several things you need to consider. Let’s have a quick look:
The loft of wadding is the measure of its thickness. A thin wadding will have a low loft and may not be suitable for your project. If you are looking to make a flat quilt, then it is best to use a thin wadding, resulting in a flatter quilt. If you are looking for a thick and fluffy quilt, it is best to choose a higher loft wadding, as it will provide more thickness and volume.
If the price is your primary concern, we’d recommend polyester wadding as it is the least expensive type of padding. However, there are many other factors to consider when choosing a wadding material. For example, if you’re making a quilt that will be on display in your living room, you may want to use cotton as it is the most luxurious choice.
Wool is the warmest wadding material, followed by polyester and then cotton. Wool wadding is better at regulating heat than polyester, which allows it to breathe better.
If you are doing a project with a very dark fabric, you may use black wadding to ensure that it doesn’t show through the material.
If you’re looking to speed up the quilting process, you can purchase fusible webs that will eliminate the need to pin or tack your layers together.
Wadding is essential to give shape and support to the area where it is applied. It absorbs moisture, provides insulation, and acts as a thermal insulator. Now that you know what wadding is and how to use wadding in your sewing projects, give it a try!
If you are facing shifting or wrinkling problems in your project then you should definitely try felting. To know more about felt you can check our guide on can I use felt instead of interfacing for reference. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make. Thanks for reading!