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Not 100% Cotton - Does it matter?

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Margaret S18/03/2015 09:36:41
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I am working on a convergence quilt. The front is all cotton fabric. It is approx. 36" square and will be for me, not gifted or for showing. It will probably be a wall hanging. I've found some fabric in my stash for the backing but it is not 100% cotton. It feels like poly/cotton with a high polyester content. Would you use it, or should I stick to 100% cotton for the backing too?

Margaret

rosemary Rosenfeld18/03/2015 11:19:23
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I think that's up to you Margaret! If it were a quilt to be given away and used a lot and therefore washed a lot then..... yes I would go for 100% cotton.........but for a wall hanging....for keeping ......if the fabric looked good ....then I would use it!! Remember.....there's no such thing as the quilt police!!!!! Best Rosemary

Margaret S18/03/2015 16:17:43
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Thanks for the advice Rosemary.

I washed the fabric and it still felt a bit stiff. Still undecided and hoping that nobody saw me, I took a small piece out into the garden and set fire to it. It smouldered rather than burnt and had an odour so it definitely had synthetic fibres in it.

I found another wilder print in my stash which, although softer, I thought may have poly in it because of it's width. I set fire to a small piece and it burnt as cotton so I am going to use that instead.

Margaret

quilt and patch18/03/2015 18:34:13
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Fire in Kidlingtonangry 2

Lexy20/03/2015 11:30:41
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I hope Margaret doesn't mind if I jump in on the end of her question, but I have a similar dilemma.

I've made a quilt with a group I meet up with once a month, for me it was a practice piece and I don't really plan on giving it to anyone at the moment. The front is made up using cotton, some of which wasn't the best quality, you know the quite thin stuff you get in cheaper fat quarter packs. The wadding I've bought for it is polyester and I've been struggling to find a backing fabric as I don't want to spend lots of money on it. Today I was in Matalan and saw a bed sheet that would be perfect, a nice pattern and not too expensive. I bought it and when I got it home I realised it wasn't 100% cotton as most of their bedding usually is but instead its 100% polyester.

Would you use this? I like Rosemary's reassurance that there's no such thing as the quilt police but I don't know what problems may occur if I back a cotton quilt with a polyester sheet.

~Lexy

rosemary Rosenfeld20/03/2015 13:04:38
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As I understand it it is mostly do do with the difference in shrinkage between the 2 types of fabric!! And until you wash it you won't know!! Again....it's up to you.......I would probably use it myself ...... !

Best Rosemary

Kay A20/03/2015 14:33:32
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I've been wondering too what the issue is with mixing different types of fabric. I want to make a quilt out of old shirts, most are 100% cotton, but there are different weights to the fabrics & some have patterns woven into them. As they have all been washed several times I'm guessing there won't be any more shrinkage in them. But perhaps they will wear at a different rate? Does anyone know? I don't want to spend time on something that after one wash will look like a dogs dinner, but if it's just a case of different rates of wear then I'm not too bothered as long as it lasts a couple of years.

Lexy, if it's all to do with shrinkage then why not wash the quilt top & the sheet so that it shrinks however much it wants to & then put it together.

xxx

TortoiseCrafts20/03/2015 14:41:32
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I agree about the quilt police! you do what is right for you and the item that you are making.

As far as possible I encourage my classes to use 100% cotton fabric, as they shrink and handle the same. But sometimes, mostly for cost reasons they do use fabric with polyester in for the backs of the quilts. We have come across a few issues, when quilting the backs with polyester even when well pinned do tend to 'slip', leading to puckers on the back, especially more so with polyester waddings. They need to be pinned or tacked more than with cotton.

The other noticeable thing is the shrinkage, especially if the quilt is going to be washed a lot, the cotton fronts shrink more than the cotton/polyester backs.

But at the end of the day, you use what is right, price wise, item wise and use wise for you.

Margaret S20/03/2015 14:56:17
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Helpful advice, ladies. Thank you.

Margaret

Lexy20/03/2015 17:23:22
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Thank you all for the advice. I'm going to try it out and see what happens. If I don't like the results or its too awkward to work with then I'll chalk this up to experience. At least if it doesn't go well with this particular quilt top I won't be too disappointed to have lost it.

~Lexy

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