Batting: all about it!
In October, we're going to be talking a lot about quilting as part of our Grainger Coat pattern launch! If you'd like 15% off, sign up to our email newsletter or become a Muna and Broad Maker or Insider on Patreon.
All about Batting
If you're new to quilting and your not certain about what your final product will look like, quilt a large test piece to see how your fabric and batting will turn out once quilted. Wool batting generally has much more loft than cotton batting, so quilting in wool will give you a puffier coat. Due to the puffiness of the wool batting, you might like to keep your quilting lines further apart, and because cotton batting is flatter, it's a good choice if you're planning on doing more intricate quilting patterns.
When you shop for batting it will often tell you how far away you can do your quilting lines. The less quilting lines (or the further apart they are), the floofier your coat will be (though the final floofiness is affected by the batting used) and the closer you quilt the lines the stiffer and heavier your coat will be.
Purchasing high-quality quilt batting and pre-washing your outer and lining fabrics is super important here. High-quality quilt batting should resist shrinkage when you wash it, whereas a cheaper alternative may not fare so well in the wash. Because there's 3 different layers in your quilt sandwich, pre-washing (and therefore pre-shrinking) your outer and lining will ensure that you don't have 3 layers trying to shrink at different rates when you pop your coat in the wash.
Batting on a budget
Polyester batting can come at a considerably cheaper cost than natural alternatives like 100% wool or 100% cotton batting. Polyester blend is usually a mix of poly and cotton- the resulting batting is often loftier but also lighter than 100% cotton batting.
For more info on polyester batting (and some suggestions for brands to us), check out this post on Suzy Quilts.
Alternatives to batting
Batting comes in all kinds, from cotton, wool, poly, bamboo and blends of all those to different lofts depending on how fluffy/warm you want things to get. If you're heading in to summer (or live somewhere where it doesn't get very chilly), perhaps you'd like to consider a summer weight coat by replacing the batting with nothing, or with something light like cotton flannel (kind of like the 'summer quilt' of the quilted coat world).
The coolest summer coat would be one without any 'batting'. You can quilt the outer and lining layers together if you would like, but there's no internal loft to be securing. You can tie the two layers instead (follow this tutorial here), or maybe a combo of quilting and tying.
For a little more warmth, make the middle layer of your quilt sandwich flannel. The flannel will give you a little loft, making for something that looks a bit more quilted than the previous option. 100% cotton flannel is a great choice and pre-washing it at least once will help to ensure that shrinkage won't affect your coat later.