Ransacking sites for the most suitable fabrics for quilting? While online shopping offers ease of access and a myriad of options to choose from, one often ends up making the wrong decisions – especially a greenhorn – because they would only find a virtual representation of products that are available online. Here is a unified and comprehensive guide for you to make your shopping experience more informed and better.
Tips on Recognizing the Best Quilting Fabric Online:
- Aspects such as its’ size, cuts, textures, patterns and colour coordinations, go into the making of a truly comfortable and cosy quilt. A quilt comprises of three layers: the quilt top, the batting in the middle, and the backing. Apart from the three layers, a quilt also comprises of a binding which is generally several layers of fabrics that are sewn all around the edge of the quilt to cover up the rough edges of the quilt.
- It is best to choose quilters weight cotton, a high quality 100% cotton fabric which suffers lesser shrinkage and colour bleeding on washing as compared to other cheap fabrics. Voile too is a good choice since it has an extremely soft and moderately shiny texture, particularly for the backing, but it may not be as durable as cotton. It is better to choose voile in the making of baby quilts or fancy quilts for special purposes, as they are likely to be used over a shorter period of time as compared to quilts that are used daily. In general, cotton is preferred over synthetic or polyester because of the former’s ability to aid insulation and provide warmth simultaneously.
- While shopping online, try to look for fabrics that come pre-washed and dried as it would save time and effort washing the material before sewing can start. Washing is important to reduce the chances of shrinkage that would lead to miscalculated measurements in the end, and also cause colour bleeding during the quilting of fabric.
- For the batting, either pure and blended cotton or polyester is suitable. While a thicker stuffing (called the loft) facilitates for more comfort, it is harder to sew it manually. Likewise, a thinner padding comes in handy while stitching a light, handmade quilt.
- For the binding material, almost any fabric may be picked, since its purpose is mostly decorative.
For the Quilt Top Patchwork:
- Try to get laser-cut fabric strips in order to ensure greater precision. Even though the edges may look slightly burnt, singed ends prevent the fabric from stretching and fraying.
- Quilting fabrics are available in various shapes and sizes. Some of the most commonly available variants are:
18-inch x 21-inch fat square bundles;
2 ½ inch squares;
2 ½ inch strips;
1 ½ inch strips; and
Others like honeycombs (hexagons).
- For a beginner, while quilting fabric online it is advisable to go for simpler shapes (more symmetrical, less number of sides). While smaller patches may look more beautiful, more time has to be invested in them.
- The smaller each piece is, the tinier should the prints be while quilting the fabric online. Since a smaller dimension means that a fabric has to be cut up in more parts and the coherence of a large design is lost. Alternately, bigger block designs are more appropriate for the backing, as it is made up of a single piece of fabric.
- For quilters concerned with colour coding, an online colour palette can always be consulted. For walls tinted with white or pale shades, a quilt having darker hues will glam up the room, whereas bright shade or bi/multi coloured walls call for subtler tones of things around the room.
- For low maintenance quilts, darker shades ensure longer gaps in between subsequent washes. Hand-wash should be performed with mild detergents and cold water after quilting fabric. Spare swatches of each fabric should be wetted in cold water and rubbed against each other to check colour transfer. If the colours run, aim for professional dry cleaning.
Procuring the best quilting fabric online may seem a daunting task, so being a cautious customer is indispensable.