There’s a plethora of fabric options no matter your needs. However, you have to be very specific with what you choose in order to get the results you want based on what kind of project you’re working on.
This is especially true when working on a quilting project, as there are only a few types of fabrics that are really suitable to be used for one. So without further ado, let me give you a detailed overview of what I think are the best quilting fabrics on the market.
Quilter’s Weight Cotton
Quilter’s weight cotton is typically accepted as the best quilting fabric, regardless of whether you’re going to use your sewing machine or it’s a hand quilting project. It’s a 100% cotton fabric, and often makes quilting much easier than it would get with any of the other fabrics out there.
We prefer using a quilting sewing machine for this task.
Despite being a very high quality quilt fabric, it does have shrinkage, although it’s on the lower side when compared to the other cotton alternatives, especially the cheaper ones. Higher quality cotton fabrics also perform much better when it comes to issues like bleeding. However, you should still be checking the fabric for color fastness before using it for a quilting project.
Fabric.com is usually the best online quilt fabric store for buying quilting weight cotton fabric, or any other quilting fabrics for that matter. It has a huge variety of products and the quality is usually second to none.
An easy way to avoid shrinkage and fit issues with cotton fabrics is to prewash them before beginning any kind of sewing work on them.
Home Décor Weight Cotton
While it’s not exactly the best option for the usual quilting projects, it can work great for anything that has to do with home décor quilting. This is because it’s one of the heaviest quilting fabrics on the market, and often also comes with a sateen finish.
However, if you’re looking to make quilted bags or pillows, the home décor weight cotton will likely turn out to be your best bet. Similarly, anything that demands a little extra “body” may work really well with this fabric.
An important factor to consider here is that its widths are 54”, meaning that it would help you save quite a bit of money when using it for any project that calls for wider yardages.
Finally, it may also not turn out to be half bad an option for the general quilting projects as well, if you know how to use it the right way. Basically, all you need to do when using it for such projects is going with an exceptionally light batting, which would allow it to be easily used for the said projects despite its heaviness.
Voile is one of the more unique fabrics due to being very lightweight compared to the others on this list. It’s also soft and has a silky feel to it.
These characteristics, especially being lightweight, make it a popular choice when it comes to anything clothing. However, more and more quilters are starting to use it as a quilting fabric lately, making some of the major fabric designers come up with collections of this fabric that are suitable to be used with the quilting weight cotton fabric.
A quilt can be made entirely of the voile fabric, or used in combination with the quilting weight cotton. Either way, it seems to offer unique advantages that makes it something worth considering the next time you work on a quilting project.
A quilt top that’s made using the quilting weight cotton fabric but with a voile backing would help it achieve a soft, silky finish that would both feel and look much better than it would without the use of the voile fabric.
Developed by Robert Kaufmann, the Essex Linen is a natural fiber fabric that’s a blend of two of the most common fabric materials – cotton and linen. The proportion of these materials is 45% cotton and 55% linen.
The Essex Linen is particularly preferred for its texture, and is used by many quilters with the quilting weight cottons. If you’re after a more decorative look and feel for your finished product, Essen Linen certainly won’t disappoint.
Quilter’s Linen is another quilting fabric by Robert Kaufmann, but it’s a lot more unique than the other options they offer. And that’s because the Quilter’s Linen, despite its tricky name, is an all-cotton fabric.
However, its look and texture is very linen-like, making it perfect for quilters that are after the look and feel of linen without having to risk encountering issues that are often common when using a different type of fabric with the quilting weight cotton fabrics.
Just like the Essex Linen, the Quilter’s Linen is also a great option for most quilting and sewing home décor projects.
Things to Know When Working on a Quilting Project
- As mentioned above, you would want to prewash the fabric before using it to make sure it doesn’t colorfast
- The weave needs to be tight enough; if the weave is on the looser side, it may not last long enough and get damaged when used over a period of time
- The 100% cotton fabrics are usually the safest options for quilting projects; people that are new to quilting should start using the cotton fabrics before moving on to the other quilting fabrics
- When using a patterned fabric, it’s an absolute must to make sure you’re cutting it the same way up. Batik quilting fabric is some of the best!
- It’s important to keep the color theory in mind when choosing the color of your fabric
- It’s highly recommended to buy a backing material that’s of a similar weight and color as the top of the quilt
- To avoid a common and highly annoying issue when quilting, buy a bit more fabric than what you think you will need; there may be nothing more frustrating than running out of fabric when your project is on the verge of completion
Head on back to Chapter 5: Fabric 101!