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Forum > Fabrics and more... > Quilting cotton ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Quilting cotton
Is it good for apparel?
USMCMom
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USMCMom  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/12/09 11:53 PM

I've been tempted by the quilting fabrics now on sale at Fabrics.com, but I wonder if they are suitable for apparel? What is the difference, if any, between quitling cottons and those advertised as for apparel? Is it the weight? Is quilting cotton sturdy enough for kids clothes? Or for making purses and bags?
FirecrackerKTM
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FirecrackerKTM
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Date: 5/12/09 11:55 PM

This gets asked a lot :)

I, personally, love the bright colors and bold patterns and I use it a lot. In fact I use it for kids' clothing a lot--many of my friends have little ones, and I love to make cute little dresses for them. But I've made shirts and even a dress for myself out of it as well.
Larri Seams Inspired
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Date: 5/13/09 7:07 AM

I second what Firecracker says. I use quilting cotton all the time (it's about all I can find in my town) for clothing. Most of my daughter's dresses are from quilting cottons. I love the variety. All the vivid colors and prints just scream "little kid" to me. I have found any I've used to withstand her rough playing outside. I wash in cold and tumble dry low. They hold up really well after repeated washings. (If you have kids, especially little girls, you know they have their favorite outfits that they wear day after day. It's only Wednesday, and Abbi has worn the same dress twice to school this week!)

As for answering your other question on the difference between quilting cottons and apparel cottons, I honestly don't know the answer. But I'm going to stay tuned and find out! I'd like to educate myself a bit more on the subject.

Larri
quiltingwolf
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Date: 5/13/09 11:21 AM

My daughter grew up with quilting cottons. They make great clothing. Best bet to use cotton thread also as polyester might cut through fabric at stress points.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

Irene Q
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Date: 5/13/09 12:16 PM

"Quilting cotton" is really just shirt-weight 100% cotton with prints that are designed for quilters. The quality and weight can vary quite a bit - just like with other types of fabric - but in general it's a light weight cotton that perfectly fine for, well, shirts. And dresses and anything else you want to use it for. It's probably not sturdy enough for something like pants where you'd want a medium weight fabric. You can use it for purses and bags if you wish, but again it's more typical to use a heavier fabric for those.

I wouldn't worry about using poly thread with cotton for kid's clothes. The clothes will be stained and worn out long before the poly thread cuts through the cotton fibers.
KitnRose
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Date: 5/13/09 1:48 PM

I like it and hope to pick up some cute lengths for some summer skirts this afternoon.

However do perform some touch tests before buying - quilting cotton varies from super soft with some drape and fantastic wear to cheap, scratchy stuff that tears easily. The first type can make nice skirts, dresses, and even tops while the second ... yeah. So look for high quality cotton. Cheap (which isn't the same as inexpensive) quilting cotton will nearly always scream happy-hands ... not my personal style choice.

I haven't bought much cotton from fabric.com but so far I've been really impressed, if that helps. :)

------
Kit
"Never underestimate the power of the right dress!" - drsue
"Hyu gots to know how to sveet tok de costumers, dollink" - Girl Genius, 11-24-08

Sharon1952
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Date: 5/13/09 3:34 PM

If I want a garment to last for years of service I would avoid quilting cotton. If it's for a child who is going to outgrow it before you wash all the life out of it- go for it. Sometimes I've made myself clothes from it- I just plan to only wear it over the next couple of years. If you love a fabric- sew what you want from it!

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Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

USMCMom
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Date: 5/13/09 4:05 PM

As always, great advice and info! Thanks everyone! I'm going to order some Michael Miller fabric to make a dress for my 18 month old niece, and maybe some for pajamas, too.
CM_Sews
CM_Sews
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Date: 5/13/09 4:16 PM

Ditto what everyone else has said so far.

One thing to keep in mind: Garments that are designed for very soft or "flow-ie" or very drapey fabrics do not work well in cottons, including quilting cotton. Rayons, for example, have a soft, fluid drape. Dresses and garments designed for fabrics similar to rayon do not turn out well in quilting cottons. Cotton just doesn't drape that way.

I use quilting cottons for most of my casual clothes (which is most of my wardrobe). For kids, clothes, go for it.

CMC
-- Edited on 5/13/09 5:01 PM --
pmarsh
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Date: 5/14/09 7:50 AM

I've used it.
But all Quilter's Cotton is not the same. Some is of a better grade than others.
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