The Ultimate Wadding Guide: Colour & Pre-Washing

When it comes to quilt making, it's just as important to get the right materials for the inside as it is for the outside. Having already covered materials and sizing in previous posts, there are just a few more considerations to be made;

There is no rainbow spectrum to choose from when it comes to wadding (thankfully!), however getting the colour wrong can seriously impact the overall look of your quilt. 

The majority of wadding comes in an off-white, natural colour, which is fine for most projects ranging from cream to colourful.

If you have used very fine, light fabrics such as white on white prints, or a very light wholecloth quilt, it is recommended that you use a white coloured wadding such a Soft & Bright to keep the overall look as light as possible.

The opposite can be said if you have used darker fabrics; there are several black coloured waddings available that will blend in much better, such as Hobbs Heirloom.

To Pre-Wash or Not To Pre-Wash?
That is always the question.

Most manufacturers state on the packaging whether or not to pre-wash, and we have noticed that most of ours now do not recommend pre-washing. Most waddings have already been pre-washed several times to remove any oils or chemicals used during the process so this should not be a concern.

The main reason for pre-washing is so that the wadding does not shrink once you are finished, but this is very much down to personal preference. Many quilters favour the crinkled look produced by shrinkage after the quilt is complete, as it gives the quilt an older and more 'loved' look. If however, you want to create a fresh-cut, modern look, it may be best to pre-wash.

However, if you are using a polyester wadding or a poly-blend which have minimal to no shrinkage, then pre-washing is really not necessary.

If you do wish to pre-wash your batting, the usual recommendations are to either hand-wash it in the sink or bath in warm water, with or without detergent depending on personal preference/ instructions, or on a very gentle cycle in the machine, with the goal being to agitate it as little as possible.

It is also impossible to recommend as pre-washing instructions vary from wadding to wadding, as do methods and outcomes! 

If you have any thoughts and experiences on pre-washing your wadding, please share them with us in the comments section. 

Some Final Thoughts on Wadding...

1. The day before you plan to sandwich your quilt, remove the wadding from its packaging. Unroll it and spread out on the bed or floor so that the wrinkles and folds can begin to relax.

2. You can lightly press natural wadding to remove any stubborn wrinkles, but do not do this with polyester!

3. If you are thinking of making something for a baby's cot, please bear in mind that duvets, quilts or pillows are not recommended for babies under 1 year old. For babies over 1 year old choose a lightweight, breathable wadding for a cot quilt. One or more lightweight layers are better for a baby than a quilt containing heavier, lofted wadding. Find more information at

4. If you're still undecided on which wadding is for you, why not buy one of our wadding sample packs, because nothing beats touching the real thing.

5. For a really detailed insight into each of the waddings that we sell, check out our Wadding E-book. 

More from the Ultimate Guide To Wadding:

We hope you have found The Ultimate Guide To Wadding series useful, but we would really love to hear your pearls of wisdom too! 

What is your favourite material to quilt with? What's your top wadding brand? Are you team pre-wash and if yes, how do you do it? 

Please share them with us in the comments, and don't forget to let all your quilting friends know about this guide.

Happy Creating x


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