Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Product Review: A Big Thumbs-Down to Poly-Fil Hi-Loft Batting

I recently decided it might be fun to try free motion quilting in a way that would produce more dimension on the surface of my quilts, so I went out and bought a crib size piece of Poly-Fil Hi-Loft batting to experiment with.  My standard go-to batting is Warm & Natural 100% cotton, so I knew that the all-polyester, far fluffier batting would take some getting used to.

Poly-Fil Hi-Loft batting... Can I find a use for it?
As it turns out the fluffiness did not bother me at all, but there was a far greater concern that may prevent me from ever using this batting for serious projects.  Poly-Fil claims to be flame retardant, and this is in fact true - it just gets all smelly and melty instead of catching fire.  However, it turns out the batting is decidedly NOT heat-resistant.  The minute you touch it with a hot iron, it flattens right up and sticks to itself, completely and permanently ruining its loftiness!  For many quilters this would not be a problem, but for me it's disastrous!  I tend to add a lot of paints, fabric markers, iron-on transfers and fusible applique during or after my quilting process, and all of these things benefit from heat-setting.  If Poly-Fil is going to give up its fluffy ghost the moment it gets pressed (the batting flattens after less than ten seconds of ironing), then it is never going to be the batting for me.

Squashed, flattened bits.  So annoying!
I'm very glad I decided to only purchase the crib size batting - I'm sure that I can come up with some simple pieced projects to use the remaining batting for, but for any real art quilting I am going right back to my Warm & Natural!
If anyone has suggestions about which batting they prefer to use and which projects it excels at, please leave them in the comments - I would love to hear your ideas!

1 comment:

  1. good to know. thank you for sharing.
    i sometimes like a bit of loft too but thought that the tip on the quilting arts e-mail in regards to using felt under one's work was a good one. it's true that there's no loft but that bearding problem that comes along with batting can really ruin the look of things sometimes. i recently embellished a bumble bee (on my blog if you happen to be interested) with french knots and was quite frustrated with the bearding problem. next time i work stitch so heavily into a project i will (hopefully) remember to use felt rather than a thin batting as an 'understory' if i wish to avoid the extra migratory fibers.

    btw: one has to wonder at the possibilities in using the polyfil in projects where you DO want a distinct reaction/result from heat . . . maybe you will find some use for the remainder of your batt in that direction . . .



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