Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Batting Battles II: Warm and White vs. Polyfil Cotton Classic

Recently I was in Joanns and noticed the packaged batting was 50 percent off.  I needed some batting my for latest project and I happened to have a coupon for an extra 20% off my purchase, so I picked up the 1 brand of cotton batting not sold out: Polyfil Cotton Classic.  You know I had to do a review!  This review is completely sponsored by company sent me anything for free or gave me any money unfortunately.

Cost for Twin Size Polyfil Cotton Classic(equivalent to 2 yds on the bolt): $19.99
50% off price (which is not all that uncommon at Joann's): $9.99
extra 20% off price: $8.00

The regular price is about $10/yd...slightly cheaper than my regular batting, Warm& Natural or Warm&White.  My sale+coupon price was $4/yard. 

The Polyfil Cotton Classic packaging touts these features:

I like the organic part.  The pre soaking part?  Well, that is not gonna happen.  Sorry special treatment for battings around here.  I have 3 little kids that still need help bathing, so I am not about to add "batting" to the list of things I have to wash.

First thoughts- this stuff is very scratchy.  I had to check and make sure it was actually cotton.  It feels a little wooly.  It reminds me of the feel of polyester batting.  Have you ever basted polyester batting while having stitches?  UGHHH...having those little scratchy fibers tear at my stitches turned me off of poly batting for good.  One store selling this batting online says it "clings to the fabric making basting a breeze."  Heads up y'all: that is code for SCRATCHY.

Quilting Distance
Polyfil Cotton Classic 3-5"
Warm and Natural: up to 10"

Luckily I planned on free motion quilting this project pretty tightly.  If you like minimal quilting, this batting might not work for you. It does make me nervous that this batting requires this much quilting for stability.  For this reason, I would probably not choose this batting for a tying or hand quilting project (for the hand quilting I think I would go with the Mountain Mist Cream Rose Cotton batting I have previously reviewed). 

 Warm and White on the Left, Polyfil Cotton Classic on the right.  Polyfil seems *slightly* thinner.
 I pulled both out of square.
I then attempted to "fix" it.  Warm and Natural fared better, but I think the cotton classic performed well, too.

The Look
This quilt crinkled nicely.  It is thin and has a lovely drape.  It was pretty warm as I was doing the binding in my FREEZING living room.

Did someone ask about SHRINKAGE???

Before washing size: 46"x61"
After washing: 44"x58"
Shrinkage is about 4.5 % if my math is correct

If you recall from my first batting battle, Warm and White had almost no shrinkage even with a similar amount of a quilting (more quilting = more shrinkage)

The Verdict

You know how a lot of Bibles have "bonded leather" instead of real leather?  This reminded me of a "bonded batting."  I'd say this is a good batting for hand quilting due to the composition, but I don't know that I'd be up for hand quilting every 3 inches.  That makes me think this is probably better for machine quilting very densely.  I actually liked working with this despite the scratchiness.  I did NOT like the wrinkles from the packaging.  I love buying off the bolt.  I'd definitely use this again, though.   I still prefer Warm&Natural or Warm & White, but this is an ok alternative for densely quilted pieces.  

Have you ever tried this batting?  What did you think of it?  Do you have another favorite or a brand you'd like to see reviewed?  Tell me in the comments!


  1. I like the warm and natural too. So far I have machine quilted small projects (mainly table runners) and hand quilted a couple of larger projects (quilts) and prefer the snuggly softness of warm and natural and like you, I prefer it off the roll. I can buy it at Hobby Lobby and it runs about the same as yours did (well minus the giant discounts).
    I will be posting my houndstooth quilt beginnings in the next couple of days!!! I can not wait until it is finished!! :o) I have special little someone in mind for this quilt.
    Sincerely, Trish

  2. Thanks for the review. At least i know my old standby of Warm and Natural is still the best!

    I have tons of mustard fabric just waiting...

  3. I've been using Warm & Natural for over fifteen years and only tried the Polyfil version on a whim (again, Joann's with a 50% off coupon.) Thought I was crazy that it was so stiff and scratchy feeling, like it was starched or something, but did appreciate the fabric cling for quilting. However, I'll stick with Warm & Natural for two reasons: I love the feel of it, and quilting every 10 inches is better for my sanity!

  4. I just recently finished machine quilting a wallhanging (36" x 60") and I used the Polyfil 100% cotton batting for the first time (I usually use Hobb's Heirloom or Warm and Natural but thought I would give the Polyfil a whirl. Mostly because the regular price at Fabricville is 15.99 Cdn for a full size batt. I found it great to work with. The only thing I can say that I did not like in comparison to my favourite battings is that the Polyfil is very lightweight. Other than that ,for the price, I thought it was Ok and will use it again.

  5. I wonder if this is what I have. I cut a piece for a smaller quilt, but not been able to get it to fit in between my layers. It seems it isn't the same size or shape I started with and it sticks to the fabric so much that I can't get it smooth. I've been sitting with this "quilt sandwich" for months now.

  6. My very favorite right now and for the last several years is Quilter's Dream Request (I like the antique look.) Second choice is Mountain Mist Rose.

  7. Good to know. Thanks Mary. your quilt is darling.

  8. Thank you for your batting comparison. When I started quilting, years ago, I began by using Fairfield's (Polyfill) Cotton Classic. I have also used Warm & Natural and appreciate that it can be quilted further apart. But there is just something about the results from Cotton Classic - I love the antique look and the ease of handquilting it.
    I read your blog regularly and enjoy your pattern and fabric choices. Thank you for sharing.

  9. i've used this before and didn't like it at all! it felt flimsy and light weight to me. i usually buy warm and natural off the bolt when it is on sale - buy many yards at a time!

  10. I have tried both Polyfill (Fairfields), and Warm and Natural. The first quilt I ever FMQ'd was on the Poly. It quilted like a dream. I had no problems and fell in love with FMQ from that point on. The next quilt I FMQ'd sent me the other way-hated it- using Warm and natural. I couldn't get the stuff to stay in place- even to baste. This quilt had a few scrunches on the back. The poly one- not one scrunch. I tried spray basting, pin basting close and wide. I simply couldn't get the "Warm & Natural" to behave. That was several years ago and Warm and Natural and I have become friends, but it took some getting used to. I still use the poly when I want to and it does make a nice feeling quilt. Lightweight and easy to snuggle. The Warm and Natural also takes considerable more time to dry-so if you make a kiddo quilt (wooby) which sometimes needs a quick wash and dry from a spill or that dragged around look (some of you know what I mean- where the kiddo sits by the machine just waiting for that wooby to be done bathing) the poly is the way to go.


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