Quilting Manufacture

Quilted fabric is typically made using three different layers of fabric. The top layer is usually the fabric that is intended to be seen. This is then put over a layer of padding and then a layer of backing fabric. The layer of padding is usually batting or insulating material. The method of attaching all of these three layers together is either done by hand or using a sewing machine. Lines of sewing are then made in the fabric, they can either be straight, evenly spaced lines, geometric shapes or flowing, floral patterns.

The middle piece of batting fabric is usually only available in white, but this is not usually a problem because it isn’t seen. The decorative stitches that bind the fabrics together can either be in the same colour as the top layer or a contrasting layer to create interesting effects. Embroidery stitches can be used and the stitches can be embellished depending on the end use of the quilting.

Different thicknesses of Batting material is available and it is usually very lightweight. The stitches most commonly form the shapes of diamonds to join all of the materials together. The material formed at the end of this process is usually referred to as ‘Quilted’ fabric.

The earliest known quilting was discovered in Mongolia and dates back to as early as 100 BC, it is a very old craft and was originally only done by hand, until the invention of the sewing machine.

Properties of Quilted Fabrics

  • Insulating
  • Lightweight
  • Different characteristics depending on the fabrics used
  • Can be waterproof
  • Decorative
  • Can be heavily embellished
  • Warm to wear
  • Bulky
  • Comfortable

End Uses of Quilted Fabrics

  • Barbour is well known for using quilting in its jackets
  • Coats
  • Tops
  • Gilets
  • Footwear
  • Decorative pieces on garments
  • Linings
  • Handbags

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Written by Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, extremely competent and reliable, she is currently in her third year at the University of Lincoln UK, studying Fashion. Kelly is responsible for the Fabrics, Fibers and Leathers sections of our Dictionary

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