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The Right Color of Batting for Your Project

Yes! There's More Than One!

by Beth Cooper

Quilt batting comes in a few different colors. Many quilters do not realize this, mainly because historically there really was just one color – natural. These days you can still buy the natural color of course, but there is also bleached white and black batting as well.

You may not think that you would need any color other than natural but you may decide that want one of the colors – and here’s why:

White Batting

White Batting is bleached and is perfect for those projects with lots of white or light colored fabric. Many would argue that natural-colored batting is fine behind white fabric. And it is. It is fine. But white batting is so much better than fine. It’s fantastic! Your white fabric will stay a very true and bright white when it has white batting behind it. If you want the best out of your white fabric, buy white batting. You won’t regret it.

Luminary Pattern
This Luminary quilt is an example of a quilt that would be perfect for white batting.
This pattern was featured in Block Magazine (Vol. 7, Issue 2).
It is available to purchase on Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Black Batting

Now that you know why you may need some white batting, you can probably guess why black batting is a good idea too. Black batting is perfect for those quilts where you have a lot of black and dark fabrics. It will make your black fabric appear even blacker. When the light hits that fabric, it is going to stay a very opaque black color. Also, if you end up with a tension problem while quilting and you end up with a little bearding (or batting being pulled through the top fabric in little tufts), at least the bearding will be black and match your fabric instead of white tufts poking through. Hopefully, that scenario never happens but it’s nice to know if it does, that it won’t be noticeable.

Sashed Double Square Star
This is an example of a perfect quilt for black batting.
This is the Sashed Double Square Star pattern
from Block Magazine (Vol. 8, Issue 1).

What If My Quilt Has Both Light and Dark Fabric??

So, what batting should you buy if you are making a black and white quilt? That’s a tricky question when you have a little bit of both extremely light and extremely dark fabric in the same quilt or project. The best batting advice is to never use a black batting behind a light fabric. In the case of a black and white quilt, a natural or a white batting would work best.

There have been major advances in batting quality and choices in the quilting world over the past five to ten years. Take advantage of the color choices in batting and you may surprise yourself with the difference that they make!

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Mea Cadwell
Mea Cadwell
1 year ago

I will disagree a little bit with you on never using black batting under lighter colors.

There are times where a sewist may want to mute the lighter colors and a scrimmed black batting could be a subtle way of doing so.

I’ve wondered what stripes, or even checkerboards, of different colored batting could do to the coloring of a quilt top. In some cases it could make it more of an ombre design. I haven’t tried it yet but find it intriguing.

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