What Is Quilting Fabric?
Soooo, you're feeling super inspired and want to make a super cute quilt but don't know what fabric to pick? The best choice is "Quilting Fabric". Here's why...
Although Quilts can be created in a variety of different fabrics, the most common type is referred to as “Quilting Fabric” which is 100% cotton, medium weight and plain weave. It is a dense fabric that does not shrink a lot, can stand up to multiple washes and due to being made with a natural fibre, breathable.
Cotton is grown in many countries. Once spun into a thread it can be woven to create a durable, soft to the touch and breathable fabric that can be dyed or printed on to create many designs. It is the most widely used natural fibre in the world.
A piece of woven fabric is made up of warp and weft threads. The warp runs down the length of the fabric and the weft threads run across, this makes woven cotton non-stretch.
Quilting Fabric made from cotton is fun to work with - it’s easy to cut, either with scissors or a rotary cutter because the weave isn’t too loose and doesn’t slip and slide, which also is advantageous when sewing together quilt blocks, as the fabric is less likely to warp. Cotton fabric is also easier to iron, you can use fairly high heat to press creases out and seams open.
Quilting Cotton comes in a huge range of colours and designs, including plains, mixers & prints. Plain Quilting Fabric is a fabric that has been dyed one colour and is normally double-sided. Mixers & Prints are technically the same - a design that has been printed onto the fabric and is generally one-sided however “mixer” refers to a simpler design, often emulating a simple texture.
Quilting Fabric commonly comes in a width of 122cm/44” however it can be wider, but I would be careful purchasing cotton fabric wider as it might be incorrectly labelled Quilter’s Fabric and more suited for dressmaking. The exception is ultra-wide quilt backing which normally comes in 280cm/110” wide.
It’s generally advised to stick to one type of fabric when making a quilt, mixed fabrics can warp and stretch differently when combined and shrink differently when washed. However, nothing is stopping you from experimenting!