Wadding fabric types and applications

Wadding is used as padding for quilts or certain upholstery products. There are many different types of wadding and they are all based upon the production techniques and the material used to create the wadding such as cotton, polyester or wool. Wadding can come in different thicknesses to suit the application, it is a lightweight material used to create some thickness and padding but at the same time it won’t weigh down the end product.

Wadding Fabric
Victoria Beckham Chanel Purse

The production method of wadding is similar to felting to create this airy light material with fibres that are structured in a way similar to tangling that is so they don’t split or separate.


Types of wadding

Cotton wadding- is made from a natural fibre therefore giving the wadding extra advantages such as being more fire retardant compared to a synthetic fibre. Cotton wadding can be great for needlework via machine but by hand it may be a little difficult when stitching if the top fabric is cotton the needle may drag.

Washing cotton wadding is easily done by hand or by machine wash but you should be aware of certain shrinkages; therefore you should keep an allowance of fabric before sewing. Cotton wadding may not give you a longer life span compared to polyester, as it is a natural fibre and not as hard wearing.

Wool- woollen wadding is great for hand and machine stitching, like cotton it is fire retardant due to the natural fibres. It is also crease resistant and a great insulator so the quilt or bedding would be ideal for winter. Woollen wadding is machine washable and by hand however I would recommend washing at a lower temperature as it isn’t as hard wearing as a synthetic fibre and there may be some shrinkage and wear and tear over a certain amount of time, this is dependant on the usage of the product.

Polyester- Wadding made from polyester fibres gives the wadding extra wear from the fabric and can be washed and used many times compared to natural fibres that will tear or flatten over time. Polyester wadding is great for hand stitching, as the needle compared to cotton wadding won’t drag the fibres.

 Fire retardant wadding fabric
 Quilted Fabric Satin Double Sided


Quilting- the most common usage for wadding is for quilts, it will give the quilt great structure and the padding you would require. The thickness of the wadding usually comes in 2oz, 4oz and 6oz, you would use the right thickness for the size of the quilt and where you would like to place it or the usage.

Upholstery- wadding can be used to create a certain thickness for lap blankets or appliquéd wall hangings. Wadding can also be used to create seat cushions and back cushions on a wooden chair or for garden seating. This will give the desired comfort and padding but you can also stitch very well over the top and create a pattern with embroidery or stitch the sides to give the product a neat finish.

Women jacket made off quilted fabrics


Using wadding to line your quilt or any other product will give it structure without a heavy weight so it can be used and handled with ease. Polyester wadding is great for all uses and it is very durable you can machine wash polyester wadding and it will still give you the same results pre wash. Wadding is soft to handle and easy to cut and place for any project.

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