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Is There a Substitute for Wool Batting?

Rhapsody in Red by Trudy Sondrol Wasson<br /><br />Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image<br /><br />

Rhapsody in Red by Trudy Sondrol Wasson

Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image

Rhapsody in Red by Trudy Sondrol Wasson<br /><br />Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image<br /><br />
Rhapsody in red, detail <br /><br />Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image<br /><br />

I love how the quilting looks when using a wool batting. However, I'm allergic to wool (big time).

Is there any batting out there that I could substitute for wool that would give my quilts that same look, or close to it?


I love wool batting, too!

The puff it gives feather quilting, the thinness it quilts down to with tiny background fill stitching, its drape-ability and ability to be blocked make it a fabulous batting for heirloom quilts.

But at the last several quilt shows I've vended this fall, I've come across a number of quilters who are allergic to the stuff. So many, in fact, that I now no longer try to get visitors to the booth to feel it without first asking if they are allergic.

The quilt pictured above is a Generations Quilt Pattern slated for release in 2011...all that's left is to write the instructions. And it was quilted with a silk instead of a wool batting.

The batting held up well to all the quilting. The puff is similar to Hobbs 100% wool batting, just a teensy-weensy bit less.

Click on the thumbnail on the right to see a close-up of the feather quilting. (Someday, I'll get better at photography. The thumbnail on the left more closely matches the color of the quilt, the one on the right was lightened so that you could see the quilting better.)

Many of the qualities of wool...

Now the feathers in this quilt are small, so there's not a lot of room for puff. We followed the directions on the package for washing this silk batting. The quilt was marked with a blue washout marker, so it was washed in cool water (no soap, no detergent) to remove the markings. The quilt top fabric is hand dyed cotton sateen.

The quilt is not stiff with all the quilting and is drape-able.

The only drawback is that silk batting is even harder to find and more expensive than wool batting.

The research begins...

Since your question has come up so many times at the quilt shows this year, I will be researching alternatives to wool batting over the winter. My findings will be published on the website and in my newsletter, STASH Talk. A link to any findings will be added to this page when they are available.

I thank you for your question and hope this reply helps.

Readers, have you found any alternatives you can positively recommend as an alternative to wool batting?

Please do share your experiences and opinions via the 'Comment' link below. Thank you!


Julie Baird

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