The choice of fabrics is the first step to a successful beginning of the quilting project. Create or search for an idea for your next project as quilt, pillow or anything you like. Then, you need to decide what type of fabric to choose for the top decorative layer, and a color scheme if your decorative top layer consists of more than one type of fabric. You also need to select a filling material and a backside layer for your future products.
Here the stages how to choice the fabric for quilting:
Select matching types of fabric
You have a pattern of top decorative quilt layer, and then you need to choose the fabric. It is better to choose matching types of fabric. The main conditions which you should take into consideration are manufacturer’s temperature recommendations for fabric washing and ironing. For example, linen can be washed at 60C, and nylon or wool synthetic fabric at not higher than 40C. It is the same with fabric ironing: some fabrics should be ironed at higher temperatures; others may simply melt at this temperature. Therefore, when combining the pattern, choose fabrics with similar washing and ironing specifications. Next, familiarize yourself with the specifications of the most common fabrics.
Cotton is washed at a temperature not higher than 40C, white cotton can be washed at 95C.
Linen is washed at a temperature not higher than 30C.
Silk, wool, viscose can be washed at a temperature not higher 30C.
Polyester should be washed at a temperature not higher than 40C.
Polyacryl is washed at a temperature not higher than 30C.
Microfiber is washed at a temperature no higher than 40C.
Sort fabrics by color
For your convenience, we recommend to sort your fabric pieces by color. Warm colors: yellow, red, orange, brown and all shades of these colors. Cold colors: blue, green, purple, etc. It would be a good idea to make a place for each color with its shades, so that you can have a full range of colors at hand. You can also group the fabrics according to color compatibility such as gray, pink, purple or orange, brown, beige colors. It all depends on your color preferences and future projects.
Fabric pattern combination
When you choose fabric for a design, fabric pattern is no less important than its color. Some fabrics have a very intense pattern, which dominates in the composition well. If you are using several dominant patterns simultaneously, your artwork may not be well-balanced. When you combine fabric patterns, always follow common sense and your visual preferences.
The choice of fabric filler
Choice of fabric for the second layer of the quilt, the filler, is very diverse. How to choose the filling material often depends on the product’s purpose. There are natural and synthetic filling materials, depending on the fiber they are made of. Natural fillers include cotton and wool. Synthetic fillers are cheaper than natural and are used for decorative products made in quilting techniques. In addition, it is very convenient to use fillers with adhesive layers. Adhesive layer plays important role during the process of quilting, strengthen the entire layered quilt design. The filling material is sold in rolls of different widths as well as in pieces.
The backside layer fabric choice
It is best to use a natural fabric type for the bottom backside quilt layer. If the product you are making is large, it is best to choose a wide width fabric so there won’t be a need to make any connective seams. Cotton is the ideal material for the backside quilt layer. Color does not really matter. However, if you strive for excellence, the backside layer color of the product should match the top facial decorative layer.
Organizing the fabric storage
You probably collected many different fabric pieces, leftovers of old works, purchased on whole sales, etc. It would be nice to sort it all out, as described above, and put in boxes or in cabinet shelves according to types and colors, bind each group and fold fabrics in such a way that all colors could be visible at a glance. Good organization of work place is 50% of success. We hope that our article will help you to select fabrics for creation of beautiful designs in the quilting technique.