Tikki Patchwork quilting store fabric shop haberdashery logo in Kew Gardens Surrey Greater London England UK Sewing haberdashery notions Surrey Twickenham Richmond

Home      Fabric      Sewing Kits     Patterns      Haberdashery      Thread & Ribbon      Terms & shipping      Knitting      Contact      Links



Wadding explained

 Wadding and batting are the same thing, they are just different names for the same product.
There are many varieties and brands of wadding to choose from; cotton, polyester, blends, silk, wool etc.


Loft refers to the thickness of the wadding. High loft = thick, low loft = thin


Scrim is a thin (synthetic) grid stabilizer or binder which is needle-punched into the wadding to stabilize the cotton fibers and prevent them from bearding when quilted and separating when the quilt is washed.  A scrim adds strength and also prevents stretching and distorting.  So, a 100% cotton wadding is strictly speaking not 100% cotton after a scrim has been added, it’s more like 80%-95% cotton and 20%-5% polyester.
If using a wadding with scrim, place the scrim side towards the backing fabric.
With scrim added to the cotton batting, a wider spacing between the quilting stitches can be used because the scrim will keep the fibers together.
Wadding with scrim can be more difficult to hand quilt, so it is generally better for machine than hand quilting unless otherwise stated.

No scrim

The quilting stitches must be closer together to keep the fibers from separating and bunching up during washing. Lovely for hand quilting.



Waddings with a bonding agent, usually an acrylic resin (like a glue), is sprayed onto the wadding to bond the fibers together. This will stabilize the wadding and prevent bearding. Some waddings are only surface bonded, which means that only the outer surface of the wadding has been bonded and the inner fibers are loose. Others are 100% bonded which means that the resin is sprayed and mixed throughout the entire product. A 100% cotton bonded wadding can become an 80% cotton 20% polyester product due to the added resin.  Some bonded waddings cannot be pre-shrunk (should you wish to do that) as the bonding agent will dissipate with laundering.
Bonded waddings may be easier to hand quilt than needle-punched

Needle-punched waddings have been mechanically felted together by punching them with hundreds of needles. 
This causes the fibers to intertwine and bond together.
Needle-punched waddings tend to be denser and have less loft compared to the bonded waddings.

All quilt waddings have a different drape and give the finished quilt a different look & feel.


Cotton waddings, expect 2% to 5% shrinkage.
Shrinking is not a bad thing, but will give a quilt the desired look and characteristics of antique quilts.


Breathable and warm, but due to a bad experience with moths, we do not stock wool wadding at Tikki.

Which one to choose? So, which wadding to choose – some facts and comparison
* Cotton is made from a plant - it'a natural product
* Polyester is made from synthetic fibers.
* Cotton shrinks, polyester does not.
* Cost, polyester is often cheaper, but a good polyester and good cotton often cost about the same.
* Cotton is heavier while polyester is lighter.
* Cotton usually has a lower loft than polyester.
* Polyester is very washable and durable, but also the most flammable.
* Cotton tends to block drafts while polyester tends to let them through.  In a non-draft environment, polyester is warmer than cotton.
* Cotton is a better insulator of heat (think pot holders, table mats etc)
* Cotton tends to grip quilt tops better than polyester, which can make the quilting easier due to less shifting.
* Polyester waddings have come a long way since the 70's and good quality polyester now breathe easily and make very comfortable quilts.
* Blends could be considered to have the best qualities of both cotton and polyester, such as the softness of cotton and the stability of polyester.
How is the quilt going to be quilted?
* The wadding label will state the amount of space that can be left un-quilted. The quilting design for a quilt may determine which wadding to choose based on the distance of the quilting.
Our stock

Waddings we usually stock at Tikki Patchwork
Please note that stock may fluctuate, subject to availability.

 Cotton Quilters Dream 100% cotton, Request=low loft or Select=medium loft
Needle-punched, no scrim to resist your needle.
Environmentally friendly - no chemical resins or binders.
Stitching up to 8" apart. Lovely drape. Excellent for hand and machine quilting.
Shrinkage is minimal.

Sew Simple Cream Rose 100% Cotton, Low loft
100% needle-punched natural cotton, without scrim. Excellent for both hand and machine quilting. Shrinkage only 1-2% shrinkage.
Sew Simple Super-Soft 100% cotton, Medium loft
100% needle-punched natural cotton, with scrim. Great for both hand and machine quilting, Shrinkage 3-5%.
Hobbs Heirloom Natural 100% Cotton with scrim, low loft
Needle-punched with a thin polypropylene binder. The scrim binder provides additional strength which enables the product to be hand or machine quilted as close as 1/4" and as far as 10" apart.
Shrinkage is between 3-5%
Blends Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 cotton, medium loft.
Lightly needle-punched and resin'ed with a soft resin. The combination of these fibres creates a strong, long wearing wadding, and is very easy to work with. Heirloom is wonderful to quilt for hand or machine quilting and can be quilted up to 3 inches apart.
Shrinkage 3-5%.

Hobbs Heirloom Fusible Cotton Blend 80/20
Iron on wadding which is fusible on both sides. It is made the same way as our Premium 80/20, except for a fusible resin in the spray bonding process. This resin eliminates the need for pinning or basting, saving quilters’ time and effort. May be quilted up to 4” apart.
Shrinkage of 3-5%.
Sew Simple Gold 50/50 cotton polyester, medium loft, light weight.
No scrim. Very good draping. Excellent for machine quilting.
Shrinkage only 2-3%.


Quilters Dream 100% polyester. "You won't believe it's Polyester!"
Newest Microfibers, needle-punched, no scrim, resins or binders. 
No shrinkage in a cold wash, air dried.  Stitches up to 12" apart.
1% shrinkage in a warm wash.
Sew Simple Super-Soft 100% Polyester
needle-punched with scrim. Excellent for hand quilting
Shrinkage only 0-2% shrinkage.
Hobbs Polydown 100% polyester
Resin bonded, siliconized polyester. 
Quilts beautifully by hand and can be machine quilted. Very washable.
May be quilted up to 6” apart and will not shrink.