Frequently Asked Questions
We recommend that you use the quilt batting directly from the package. If your quilt batting contains natural fibers (such as cotton or wool) the batting will shrink 2-3% during the first washing and your quilt will have a slightly rumpled or popcorn-like surface found on many antique quilts.
We recommend that you use the quilt batting directly from the package. Batting that is un-quilted is more fragile than batting inside of a finished quilt. If you decide to presoak your quilt batting, we recommend placing the batting in a laundry basket and immersing it in a bath tub of water. Press the batting to remove water (do not wring). Lie flat to dry. Agitating un-quilted batting in a washing machine could distort or damage the product.
We recommend washing your quilt in lukewarm water on a delicate cycle using a mild, phosphate-free soap. Dry on warm.
We recommend washing your quilt in cool to lukewarm water on a delicate cycle using a mild, phosphate-free soap. line dry or dry on cool setting.
100% Cotton Batting such as Purely Cotton or Toasty Cotton and 100% Cotton Fabric can be microwaved with food or beverages. It is important to note that microwaves need moisture in order to cook food, so it is not safe or practical to put fabric items into the microwave without any food or beverage. To be confident, you can add a cup of water in the microwave or make sure the contents are moist when being cooked. Never put the batting or finished fabric item in a microwave on its own. If the microwave is on for too long of a time period or there is not enough moisture, the finished fabric item can start to burn. Use care and never leave the microwave unattended when using a fabric item in the microwave.
Normally bunching, called fiber migration, occurs if the quilt has not been quilted closely enough to hold the quilt batting securely in place. Quilting distance recommendations are printed on each of our quilt batting packages. The recommendations vary depending on the batting selected. If your batting is no longer in the original bag, you can assume that 2 – 4 inches apart is a safe distance for any batting. For best results, baste your quilt sandwich securely and quilt working from the center outward in concentric circles.
Fiber migration will typically occur when the quilt stitching is too far apart, allowing the batting to move around between the layers. To prevent fiber migration, always follow the recommended quilting distances for the batting you selected. These distance recommendations are typically the minimum distance stitches should be from each other. You may wish to place your stitches closer than recommended to be certain your batting is secure.
Several factors contribute to bearding. Fabric quality is a key factor. Fabrics with a low thread count have gaps between the threads that allow fibers to escape. Batting construction may also be a factor. Some needle-punched battings will beard because the fibers are loosely intertwined and may catch on a dull needle (or a burr) and pull through the fabric when quilting.
If bearding occurs, it is best to leave the quilt as it is; over time the fibers will break off. Lint rollers and sweater shavers will pull out even more fibers.
Prevention of bearding begins by using quality fabrics with a high thread count. Selecting the appropriate batting for your project will also help to avoid bearding. Bonded battings do not beard as the bonding locks the fibers together. We also recommend using a new needle for each project so that your needle is sharp and doesn’t snag in your batting.
In order to make the proper batting selection, there are several points that must be considered:
- End use of the quilt
- Frequency of washing
- Method of quilting (hand or machine)
- Size of the quilt
- Fabric selection
- Desired look of the finished quilt
Once you have considered these points, you can determine the qualities to look for in a batting (loft, warmth, ease of needling, drape-ability, softness, wash-ability and resistance to fiber migration and bearding) to further narrow down your selection.
Natural Fibers: For centuries quilts were made from start to finish with all-natural fibers. Wool and cotton were readily available and became the staple for quilt makers to use as a filling. These fibers are still used in quilt battings today, along with other natural fibers like bamboo.
Synthetic Fibers: The invention of polyester batting revolutionized the quilting market. The ease of handling, along with the warmth and strength of polyester batting account for the widespread increase in the popularity of quilting.
Fairfield offers several options you can consider for your tied quilt. Keep in mind the recommended quilting distances apply to tied quilts too. Bonded polyester battings are popular choices, particularly Poly-fil Hi-Loft® 100% polyester batting – our “thickest” quilt batting that will create a puffy quilt. If you prefer cotton or cotton blend battings, you may want to consider a batting with a scrim, such as Machine 60/40® Blend or Nature-Fil™ batting made with rayon fiber from bamboo and certified organic cotton.
Fairfield offers many battings that deliver beautiful machine quilting results. Battings with a scrim, such as Soft n Toasty, Machine 60/40® Blend and Nature-fil™ batting made with rayon fiber from bamboo and certified organic cotton, are ideally suited to machine quilting. Bonded battings like Cotton Classic® and Poly-fil® brand polyester battings machine quilt beautifully. Fusi-boo™ fubsible batting is another option if you would like to eliminate basting. Consult the recommendations on the batting bag to help you select the right loft and fiber content for your quilt.
Needlepunched battings and bonded polyester battings are preferred by many hand quilters because the needle easily glides through the batting. Fairfield offers a variety of natural fiber battings, polyesters and blends that include these hand-quilting favorites: Poly-fil Low-Loft® polyester batting, Quilter’s 80/20, Purely Cotton batting, and Nature-Fil Wool batting. Consult the recommendations on the batting bag to help you select the right loft and fiber content for your quilt.
We recommend breathable battings made from natural fibers such as Soft & Toasty or Toasty Cotton batting, which is made from 100% cotton with a scrim for strength, cotton/poly blends like Quilter’s 80/20, and wool battings because they are easy to wash and care for and lie flat.
“Needlepunched” and ” bonded” refer to the manufacturing method used to hold the fibers in a blanket form. With needlepunched batting, the fiber blanket passes through barbed needles that tangle the fibers together. Bonding can be done by either spraying a resin on both sides of the fiber blanket to hold it in a sheet form or by melting fibers with a low melting point to fibers with a higher melting point.
Because the batting is folded in the package, the layers of the batting may compress and creases may form over time. The best way to rejuvenate its loft is to unfold the batting and let it rest overnight or fluff it in a dryer with a damp towel for a few minutes on a low setting.
To make batting loose strands of fiber are laid out into sheets in a mechanical process. Occasionally the fibers will overlap to form a stripe of denser fiber. This is not considered a product flaw and it will not affect the performance of the batting or the look of the finished quilt in most cases.
Stitch skipping is not a commonly reported problem and the likely culprit is the machine itself, not the batting. Try doing the following and see if it solves the problem:Change the needle. Rethread the machine. Rewind and reinsert the bobbin. Oil your machine. Adjust thread tension. If these don’t work, it may be time to book an appointment to take your machine to the spa for a day of beauty to bring it back to top performance.
We recommend spot cleaning your project to avoid shifting or bunching of the fiberfill. If necessary, a project stuffed with 100% polyester fiberfill can be washed although the fiberfill may shift. If this occurs, you can knead the outside of the project with your fingertips once it is completely dry to help redistribute the fiberfill.
One cup of Poly-Pellets weigh 5.25 ounces. Three cups weigh about one pound.
Yes Poly-Pellets work wonderfully for any weighted sensory item.
Poly-Pellets can be washed and dried. However we suggest having a removable bladder for the pellets because we don’t know what damage they would do to your machines if they got loose.
Poly-Pellets do not hold heat so we do not recommend warming them in the microwave.
Poly-Pellets will not hold fragrance and cannot be used as aroma beads.
A Micro-Bead is between .6mm – .8mm in size.
Micro Beads are best when combined with stretchy or double knit fabrics to create those soft and mushy pillows that are so popular these days.
Small (small child) 2 bags Medium (teen) 3 bags Large (two teens) 7 bags
With so many options available it may be difficult to decide which fiberfill is best for your project. By considering these points, you can narrow down your filling options and select the best fiber:
- The fiber material itself – natural vs. synthetic
- End use of the item (decorative/display item, well loved toy that will be washed)
- How if will feel (hard vs. soft)
Poly-fil® Premium Polyester Fiberfill – Our flagship 100% polyester fiberfill is the best selling fiberfill in America. Crafters appreciate the lasting quality and the extraordinary resilience that can only be found in Poly-fil. Testing shows that 12 ounces of Poly-fil® Fiberfill will go 25% further than 12 ounces of most other fiberfill brands. Poly-fil is available in various individual packaged sizes and in bulk cartons.
Soft Touch® Poly-fil Supreme is a silky 100% polyester fiberfill with a “down-like” luxury feel. Perfect for stuffing soft, plush toys and crafts. Easy-to-use and washable, it is available in various individual packaged sizes and in bulk cartons.
Crafter’s Choice® is a blend of 100% polyester all-purpose fiber. It’s the perfect choice for craft projects. It’s available in various individual packaged sizes and in bulk cartons.
Nature-Fil™ fiberfill is a garneted fiberfill made from 100% rayon fiber from bamboo – a renewable, earth-friendly resource that is grown without fertilizers or pesticides. Strong, high-luster antibacterial bamboo fiber has a unique soft and silky texture that is ideal for stuffing crafts.
PLA Corn Fiber is a 100% corn sugar-based fiberfill made using the same proprietary process as Poly-fil® polyester fiberfill, giving it superior resiliency and a familiar texture. It is a washable fiber that is non-allergenic and makes a great stuffing for “well-loved” toys and crafts.
Using long blade scissors, cut through it in layers. For pieces more than 2″ thick you can draw a cutting line on the front and back of the NU-Foam® and cut through the layers from both sides. You can also use a utility knife or a large rotary cutter with a metal ruler or square as a guide. Cutting the NU-Foam will dull the cutting blade.
We do not recommend using NU-Foam® to replace couch cushions or as a mattress. NU-Foam® works best for occasional seating. NU-Foam will compress over time so we recommend using NU-Foam that is 1″ thicker than your intended cushion to allow for compression. It will be a snug fit inside the cover.
NU-Foam® may retain water if it has been saturated. If this occurs, place the NU-Foam® on its side to help the water drain. If NU-Foam® is to be used outdoors we recommend making a removable cover or include grommets in your cover for drainage. We also recommend bringing the Nu-Foam® cushions inside during inclement weather.
While we do not treat the NU-Foam® with any chemicals during the manufacturing process, we do not recommend using NU-Foam® in an aquarium filter as the product has not been tested for this application. Please consult an expert on water filtration before using NU-Foam or any other Fairfield product in this capacity.
We have found 3M® Spray Adhesive works best to attach pieces of NU-Foam® together. To avoid seams showing through the fabric covering we recommend placing a layer of batting on the top surface of the NU-Foam before covering.
NU-Foam® should not be used as a floatation device.
You can cut foam using a carving knife with a gentle back and forth sawing motion making sure you don’t compress the foam while cutting.
You can also use an electric carving knife to cut your foam. Make sure you don’t push the knife through the foam but just gently glide it through for a nice smooth cut.
We have found that using a spray Adhesive works best to attach pieces of foam together. To avoid seams showing through the fabric covering we recommend placing a layer of batting on the top surface of the Foam before covering.
While it is not required, wrapping your foam cushion with a layer of polyester batting or cushion wrap will create a tighter fit in the cover which gives the cushion a more rounded and fuller look. Also when two pieces of foam are glued together wrapping the cushion with the layer of batting will keep the seam from showing through the cover.
Project Foam: Multi-purpose soft and supportive polyurethane foam for a variety of household projects. Insulating, protective and durable. Contains bio-based materials.
Cushion Foam: This polyurethane upholstery foam called Cushion Foam is intended for home-style projects where high density material and support are important. Cushion foam contains bio-based materials (derived from renewable biological resources) so you can take comfort that this product has been created with the environment in mind.
Household Utility Foam: Utilitarian thin and flexible foam sheeting. Use it for adding a moisture barrier for insulation or for some added protection. Great for padding over sharp edges and for protecting camping, sporting and outdoor equipment. Black ¼” thick foam cuts easily with scissors or utility knife. Large roll is a hefty 48″ wide and 96″ long for big projects.
The term Fire Retardant (also called Flame Retardant) simply means that it is difficult to burn. When an item is stated as being Fire Retardant, this usually means that a substance has been added or applied that suppresses or delays the combustion (the current standard is to withstand a candle-like flame for 12 seconds). Flame retardants do not prevent ignition and burning, however, if properly treated, these materials will not sustain a flame on their own.
Safety standards and regulations are changing rapidly in today’s market. In turn, some Foamology products are fire retardant, and some are not. Check the safety labels and review our Foam Product Details Guide to learn about each specific type of foam.
Check the Foamology packaging for a safety label. You will see either the term Technical Bulletin 117 (TB 117) which indicates that the product does contain fire retardant materials. If the Technical Bulletin 117-2013 (TB 117-2013) is listed, the product meets the new 2013 regulations, which do not require a company to put the fire retardant chemicals in their product. Most Foamology products with the TB 117-2013 label will not include fire retardant chemicals, but you should review our Foam Product Details Guide to learn more about the specific attributes of the foam product.
Both are flammability standards set forth by California legislature. Because California has the strictest requirements within the 50 states, it has become a default industry standard. For more information, you can refer to these links:
Technical Bulletin 117 – http://www.bhfti.ca.gov/industry/117.pdf
Technical Bulletin 117-2013 – http://www.bhfti.ca.gov/about/laws/attach_11.pdf
It has recently been determined that some fire retardant additives can become environmentally mobile and can accumulate in people and cause adverse health effects. The new fire retardant standard of TB 117-2013 will allow manufacturers to not include fire retardant chemicals.
As there is now the option to not use Fire Retardant additives, there is a mix of products available in the marketplace. Some consumers are interested in buying fire retardant products and others are not. If concerned about additives, look for the “TB 117-2013″ tag as this may likely signify that flame retardant chemicals have not been used. For further information about a particular product in the Foamology line, check our Foam Product Details Guide to know the specific attributes of the foam product of interest.
Proposition 65 (referred to as Prop 65) was intended to protect California citizens from unsafe chemicals. Formally titled “The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986″, this law requires a warning label as to chemical contents. Prop 65 informs the consumer if the product is fabricated using materials which may contain chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. For more information, you can refer to this link: http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html
As there is now the option to not use Fire Retardant additives, there is a mix of products available in the marketplace. Some consumers are interested in buying fire retardant products and others are not. It is these chemicals that determine whether or not your foam would be labeled with a Proposition 65 warning. If concerned about additives, look for the “TB 117-2013″ tag as this may likely signify that flame retardant chemicals have not been used and no proposition 65 would be featured/. For further information about a particular product in the Foamology line, check our Foam Product Details Guide to know the specific attributes of the foam product of interest.
Oly*fun is a specially engineered material that features some of the best things about fabrics and papers.
Very easily! There is no grain to oly*fun, so you can cut it any which way you want. There is no need to pre-wash, as there is no sizing or shrinkage. Use a simple stitch to attach pieces together, and hem only if you want. oly*fun will not fray.
There is no sizing in oly*fun, so there is no need to prewash.
It’s best to wash on gentle cycle and air dry.
Absolutely! oly*fun is weather resistant –so water rolls right off.
Yes! oly*fun glues best with fabric glue such as FabricTac or Aleene’s Tacky Glue. A hot glue gun works great too. It’s best to test the glues before kicking off a big project.
Yes! oly*fun runs through any pressure style diecutters like Sizzix, or Accu-cut. It will work with a digital diecutter if a stabilizer is used.
Use scissors, rotary cutters or paper cutters with a rotary style blade. It’s best to test before kicking off a big project.
No. oly*fun is not flammable, it will melt if exposed to flame.
Oly*fun is sold on bolts and in quick grab and go packages. The bolted material is 60 inches wide and can be cut to whatever length you like. The grab and go package is 20 inches wide and includes 3 yards of material.
Oly*fun comes in a rainbow of 18 vibrant solid colors.
Oly*fun is available at retailers nationwide and online. Ask at your favorite store.
As a general rule you would use a pillow insert that is 1 inch larger that your pillow cover.
26″ square pillow.
We recommend spot cleaning with a touch of mild soap and water. A polyester filled pillow insert may be washed in the washing machine if it cannot be successfully spot cleaned. When washing, use the gentle cycle and include a towel in the machine to help the machine stay balanced. Air dry your pillow insert on a drying rack. When it is almost dry you can put it in the dryer for a couple minutes to remove excess moisture and help to fluff it up a bit. Washing the pillow insert may cause the fiberfill to bunch in the shell and it may also affect the loft of the fiber inside. It is best to make the pillow so that you can remove the pillow insert and wash the pillow cover separately.
Flame resistant fibers are chemically treated to extinguish a flame. Flame retardant fibers do not support a flame by nature and must be indirect contact with an ignition source to burn.
Fairfield’s does not chemically treat its products to prohibit burning. 100% polyester products are flame retardant by nature because they will not burn unless they are in direct contact with a flame. Fairfield products made from, or blended with, natural fibers are not flame retardant, nor have they been treated for flame resistance.
Our guarantee is our promise to you that we will stand behind the performance of each and every product we make and replace any defective merchandise.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) are regulations governing the lead and phthalate content in finished Toys and Childcare products. Our products are not classified as toys or childcare products so we are not required to perform CPSIA testing; however, we have had samples of our 100% polyester products tested for lead content and we are in compliance with the CPSIA regulations.
No. Samples of our 100% polyester products have been tested for lead content and found to contain <5mg of lead, the lowest rating for lead content.
Cellulose is extracted from the bamboo plant using a process called “hydrolysis alkalization.” The cellulose is mixed with chemicals to convert the plant pulp into textile-quality rayon fiber produced with strict controls over the manufacturing process to reduce emissions and filter and reclaim chemicals to reduce waste. Fairfield’s Bamboo fiber is Oeko-tex Standard 100 certified. This standard is a globally recognized testing and certification system used to test the finished fiber for substances (chemicals) that are known to be harmful to health.
The bamboo plant itself contains a naturally occurring agent, called “bamboo kun,” that resists the growth of bacteria. Recent testing by the Federal Trade Commission indicates that the processing of bamboo into rayon fiber removes the naturally antibacterial characteristics. In light of FTC findings we are removed reference to antibacterial from our product packages and marketing materials.
Our bamboo is plantation grown in order to maintain control over the raw bamboo in strict accordance with the international organic standard of OCIA/NOP. The bamboo is 100% naturally grown without any chemical pesticides or chemical organic materials.
Backing fabric should be cut at least 6″ larger than your quilt top.
Making the quilt sandwich: Place the backing fabric face down on a flat work surface and tape or clip it flat and smooth. Lay the batting over backing, making sure it is smooth and that it covers the entire backing fabric. Place the quilt top; face up, over the layer of batting, smooth out all lumps and wrinkles. Baste the three layers together.
Baste in a grid pattern beginning at the center and working out to edges.. Use your hand width as a guide for the space between rows of basting. Use a single strand of basting thread and take long running stitches.
Smaller stitches on top and longer stitches on the bottom will help prevent your basting thread from being caught in the walking foot when machine quilting.
Basting thread is a long staple fiber thread made to break easily. When you finish quilting, you need to pull out your basting stitches—you want this thread to break before it pulls at your quilting stitches.
Begin basting by knotting the thread and end with a back stitch. A final row of basting should be done as close to the edge as possible to secure the stitching in place.
For best results, we recommend 10/11 to 14 (70-90) machine quilting needles.
Use regular sewing thread. Metallic thread may be used for accenting your design.
Experiment with different types and sizes of needles. If you are struggling, stop and analyze what may be causing the problem. Occasionally a change of needle can make all the difference in your quilting experience.
Use a walking foot or even feed foot on your machine. This will feed all layers of the quilt through at the same rate of speed and will prevent pleating on the underside of the quilt.
Adjust your machine stitch length and tension for the thickness of project involved. Use a practice sample for testing and adjusting machine settings prior to quilting the actual project.
Small, intricate designs or those with sharp angles may be difficult to execute on the sewing machine.
When you are deciding to quilt your piece, you have several options. You may wish to select an overall quilting design. If this is your decision, commercial templates are available, or you may wish to design your own template.
To make your own quilting template, trace desired pattern piece or quilting design onto the paper side of a piece of fine sandpaper or non-slip plastic. Cut out. This template can be reused many times if stored and handled properly.
When using a sandpaper template, place the abrasive side down on top of fabrics to prevent slipping. Use a sharp quilt marking pencil to mark fabrics.
When machine quilting on piled fabric or directly on batting, you will want to cover the leading edge of the presser foot with transparent tape to prevent the presser foot from catching on the pile or batting.
The use of a quilting frame or hoop is highly recommended. This will keep the three layers taut and will help prevent wrinkles in the fabric. When quilting is completed and the tension released from the hoop or frame, the natural relaxation of the fabric will create a dimensional effect around the quilting stitches.
Use thread specifically made for hand quilting. The thread color should match the color of the area to be quilted. If a contrasting color of thread is selected, keep in mind the stitches will be more noticeable.
Never use more than 18″ of thread at one time and always use a single thread.
Quilting needles are called “betweens”. They are short needles with a fine eye. The rule for betweens is, the higher the number, the smaller the needle.
You may find them awkward to use at first, but shorter needles give you more control with your stitches. Beginners usually start with a size 9. Different manufacturers make between quilting needles.
If your needle is resisting when you quilt, try a different brand of quilting needle.
The quilting stitch most often used today is a running stitch. Care should be taken to keep the stitches as small and evenly spaced as possible.
To begin hand quilting, tie a small knot in the thread and secure the knot within the batting by inserting the needle approximately 1″ from the spot where quilting will begin. Bring the needle up at the point where quilting will begin and tug lightly on the thread to pop the knot into the layer of batting.
Although you may find it difficult to work with thimbles, it is suggested that a thimble be worn on the middle finger of the hand which holds the needle and on the index finger of the hand beneath the piece being quilted.
For in the ditch quilting by hand, always quilt along the edge where the seam allowance is not.
While signing a quilt or quilted piece is an option, any piece that is created for display or competition should be signed. In years to come, a signature and date on any piece will be of interest to the owner.
Pigma drawing pens come in different nib widths and mark permanently on fabric. Keep the overall design of the piece in mind when selecting the method and placement of the signature so that it compliments rather than distracts from the piece.
If the finished piece is intended to be hung on the wall, a rod casing is an ideal means to hang the piece.
We have found that we like the “sleeve” method the best.
Cut a piece of fabric 4½” X the quilt width. Turn the edges on both short and both long sides in ¼” and press.
Turn these edges under another ¼” and press. Top-stitch along these edges. Pin the sleeve on the back of the quilt along the top edge just beneath the binding.
Hand sew to the back of the quilt. Be careful not to needle through to the front of the quilt.
Hanging HintCafé curtain rods make great quilt hangers. They come with all the hardware and they can’t be seen from the front of the quilt. By using this sort of hanger you can spread the weight of the quilt evenly so that you won’t get any “sagging”.