Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What’s Quilting Fabric For, Anyway?

Well, for one thing, you can make a quilt with it. Surprised? Maybe not yet, but wait! What is quilting fabric, anyway? What makes a fabric “quilt” fabric and not curtain fabric or dress fabric? It’s perplexing, I know, but here we go.

One difference in fabrics is the composition, or what it’s made from. Fabrics can be made from synthetic or natural materials. There are many synthetic fibers available today, and certainly they have come a long way from the polyester used in suits of the 1970’s! There are also many natural fibers, such as silk, cotton, or even bamboo.

There are many schools of thought in the quilting world as to what type of fabric is suitable for quilting. In the end, it comes down to personal choice. That is, after all what quilting is all about – making something that is unique and personal. However, quilting can be difficult enough without struggling with fabrics that don’t lie well, or slip when stitching. If a fabric has a nice “hand” it feels good to the touch; makes you want to wrap yourself up in it. A quilt should get better with age, and invite you to wrap yourself up in it for years to come.

Another difference is the weight of the fabric. Fabric weight is defined as a weight per unit area. Our fabrics are all 4 – 5 ounce per linear yard quilting weight fabrics. At Seaside, we carry only 100% cotton fabrics, because it is what we prefer to quilt with. We strive to stock fabrics that are not only beautiful, but that will stay soft and comforting through many washings.

But are quilts the only thing you can make with these fabrics? No! Cotton fabrics make beautiful projects of all kinds. Cotton is wonderful to wear because it breathes and is naturally hypoallergenic. Just as it is easy to work with when matching quilt points, it cooperates with little-girl pleats as well as curtain ruffles. We have customers who use our fabrics for all sorts of projects, from quilts to dog beds!

If you are not sure about your particular project, or if you need help with measurements or quantities, send us an email, or give us a call. We’d love to help you figure it out!

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