How to Make Wool Batting for Quilts, Oven Mitts, and More
When you are making a quilt of any type, size, or shape, you need a filler to poof them. This filling, also known as batting, is the most important part of your quilt “sandwich”.
It can also be expensive and can be difficult to come by if you are in a rural area. Luckily, it is actually quite easy to bat your own wool, provided you have a few sheep farmers nearby so they can buy wool.
What are the benefits of wool batting?
Wool is a preferred type of batting for most quilters for many different reasons. For one, it has the benefit of being both very hot and breathable. Batting comes in both natural and synthetic options, and the most common types are cotton and wool.
Have you ever spent a night under a synthetic duvet, only to wake up in the middle of a night soaked in sweat? This is because synthetic batting does not allow wind speed.
Sure, it can temporarily keep you warm, but if you overheat and start sweating, you’ll end up on your own.
In contrast, wool batting has cute little air pockets. This creates a trap that will keep you warm but will allow for airflow, so you don’t sweat half to death.
Wool batting also does not shrink over time, it will keep you warm even when wet, and will not squash during storage.
For maximum soft fullness, I will use Kiwiat or Alpaca wool for my batting. Both have hollow fibers, making them both ridiculously hot and super lightweight.
The downside to both of these is that they are crazy expensive. Unless you go shaving some friendly musk oxen or alfas, unless you go into the woods, either of these two will end up batting.
On the other hand sheep’s wool can be found more easily.
In fact, low-grade wool — which is not usable by the textile industry because it cannot be tied into threads or threads — is incredibly inexpensive. It is often used as an insulating material in homes or finely chopped and is felt for crafting projects.
How to do wool batting by hand
You may be wondering why you would bother using just this bat rather than just batting. In the simplest terms, because you need a mid-layer that holds it all together and does not scratch or wedge all over the place.
Most commercial types of wool batting are tied into sheets either through heat or by chemical means. The way we are going to create uses a combination of warmth and gentle hand movement.
The key is to make sure that you do not feel the wool. Yes, it will be nice and warm, but it will also be completely flat.
We want scaffolding (defecation)! This is the one that allows the quilt to be light and breathable, and also make all those delicious raised ridges and patterns when you stitch in it.
what you’ll need:
- Washed and Raw Wool: If you are really ambitious, you can wash and card raw wool by yourself. It is a long, involved process and is actually quite painful in the back. You can already get it washed and online, or tell the farmers in which state you would like it, and they will do it for you.
- A strong spray bottle: Choose one that can hold hot water without melting.
- One iron That is a steam function
- Big bath The towels Or large sheets of bubble wrap
- Clean, thin cotton The towels or Pillows
- Belly-grooming gloves: They have very few spikes on their palms and are used to groom long-haired cats, rabbits and small dogs. If you have a problem finding them, they are also called “de-shedding gloves”.
- Hand carders or hair brushes
- Heavy-duty masking tape or duct tape
- Needle-felting equipment (Alternative)
You will need a large surface to work with, so aim for your dining room table or floor.
Make a mat with a bath towel that is slightly larger than the batting you want to make. If you are making a batting sheet for a bed quilt, use a safety pin to attach the bath towel together so that you have enough surface area.
Once that area is large enough, tape the edges so that the towels do not slip all over the place during your work.
Next, take that wool and spread it evenly across the surface. You aim to make a mat of wool, which is several inches wide and long according to your need.
The fibers will condense during your work, so expect a slight shrinkage. Use carders or hairbrushes to sweep the fibers around. You are also aiming for thickness over the entire surface, so that you do not end up with a hilly, long bat.
After that, fill your water bottle with very hot (but not boiling) water. Spray an area about a foot square with water: Just enough to moisten it a bit, do not soak it completely.
shake it Up!
Next, apply gloves, and place your hands on one area. Move them slowly back and forth, as well as from the side. Then raise your hands, set them again a few inches away, and repeat this process.
Do not pull your gloves hands across the field! Always pick them up, place them in the next area, and agitate slowly. Spray the water before going along.
Also, try not to work so hard that you tie the wool under the towel. Some people use bubble wrap instead of a towel, just when they become overhanded by rubbing.
If you are feeling alert then you can go this route. I would recommend doing some small experiments with hand towels and a small use of wool.
This is the key to wool just enough It stays together. Remember that good quilt batting requires scaffolding (fullfillness!). The batting would be a nightmare to narrow what has been felt and weighed it down rather than losing weight to the project.
Once it is mixed to a thickness and cohesion that makes you happy, it is time to fuse it a little more. Fill and heat your iron, and place a clean pillow or utensil on an area of wool batting.
When the iron is hot, roll it completely over the surface you prepared, hitting the “Steam” button enthusiastically.
This will help tie the fibers in place and keep them at the thickness you are aiming for. The batting may be a bit low as you are doing this, but don’t worry: it will bounce back after it dries.
Lift and dry
When you feel that you have made a batting that you are happy with, gently lift it from the agitated area and transfer it to dry elsewhere.
If you have just made a small piece, you can take it to another table in a dry towel. If you are small enough then you can place it on the drying screen
Alternatively, if you have made a huge batting sheet, lay some towels or a clean bed outside. Get help to roll the project in the towel on which it has become agitated, and have to take it out. If your neighbors are looking at you strangely, reassure them that you are not moving a body.
Then unroll it, gently transfer the baiting onto a clean sheet or towel, and allow it to dry in the sun.
Of course, this works best if you are doing it on a hot, sunny day. Maybe check the weather forecast beforehand. Needless to say, it will not dry well if you are laying it in snow or torrential rains.
Once completely dry, roll it into yet another clean sheet and store it in a cedar chest or cupboard until you are ready to use it. Keep in mind that moths love wool, so if you are not quenching it immediately, preserve it well.
Note: Don’t worry if the pieces break. You can attach them back with some simple felting needles. This is a great way to make bat-making projects a little less challenging.
Instead of making one large sheet all at once, you can make smaller squares or strips. Then overlap their edges very gently, and use those carders or brushes to distribute the fibers until they are around the same thickness.
Then agitate them with felting needles to tie the edges together into a single, usable sheet.
Some downside to wool baiting
Believe it or not, there are many people who are allergic to wool. As a result, if you are making a quilt specifically for someone, find out if they react badly to it.
It would be truly tragic to put thousands of hours of work into a work, breaking into hives only to use your loved one for the first time.
Additionally, because wool has the said scaffolding, that is, it allows air as well as light.
If the quilt item you made has a light-colored top fabric, but a dark base, then you are likely to see dark fabric through the filling. This can dull the overall effect you are making with complex work and complex work.
As a general rule, try to choose quilted backs that are similar to their tops. This will allow them to complement rather than compete with each other. If you like bright or dark color bursts, use contrasting strips for your edge.
Sheep wool is a wonderful, renewable resource, and will not introduce any harmful toxins to your body or home. Please try to source wool from fields where sheep are treated ethically and are not subjected to mules.
If you develop a good rapport with the farmers in your area, you can charge less for the wool you buy.
Next time you shop, consider giving a pair of your best jars. You might wonder what neighbor’s generosity can do to help improve the local barter economy!
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