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Forum > Fabrics and more... > quilting cotton vs clothing cotton ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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quilting cotton vs clothing cotton
zinna
zinna
Intermediate
New York USA
Member since 8/23/04
Posts: 75
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Date: 12/20/11 11:37 AM

I'm just starting to make some cotton button front shirts instead of knit Ts when I saw a member's review of a shirt she had made using quilting cotton. She didn't like it, and said next time she'd use the other. What is the differerence? I know someone on PR will know! Thanks and Merry Christmas to all!

patternaddict
patternaddict
Intermediate
Indiana USA
Member since 4/19/10
Posts: 137
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Date: 12/20/11 12:23 PM

Quilting cotton is commonly a little heavier/stiffer. It works fine for some garments, but not others.
(I love cottons and floral prints, so I sew with fabric that is theoretically for quilting all the time.)

rfsews
rfsews
Beginner
California USA
Member since 11/21/06
Posts: 174
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Date: 12/20/11 12:56 PM

I agree with above: Quality quilting cotton is thicker so they don't have as much drape.

When I was new and before I knew the difference between quilting cotton and apparel cotton, I bought tons of quilting cotton because they have pretty prints. Now I don't know what to do with them. Supposedly some patterns are good for quilting cotton but I haven't found a clothing pattern that would really suit them. I can't remember any RTW garments have a feel like quilting cotton.

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 9/18/04
Posts: 1759
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Date: 12/20/11 3:36 PM

What to do with quilting cottons?

Kwik Sew, Quilter's Highlights patterns

These are patterns that Kwik Sew suggests for quilting cottons.

In this collection of patterns, there are accessories, home dec, kid's clothing, pajamas, robes, a few women's dresses and shirts. (The photos of the dresses and shirts do not show drapey garments, they have some body to them. They also tend to be very simple in design.) I would also suggest camp shirts, Hawaiian style shirts, boxer shorts. Also, tote bags, reusable grocery bags.

Choice of pattern makes all the difference. Any pattern designed for a drapey fabric will not work well with quilting cotton. If a pattern suggests light weight denim or corduroy, I consider it a viable choice for quilting cotton.

Not all quilting cottons are equally thick. Hancocks and Joanns have store brands, that tend to be on the thinner side, but even in the store brand selection, you'll find very thick quilting cottons sometimes.

On the bolt, quilting cottons have been treated with a fabric finish, similar to fabric sizing. Once you wash the fabric, it does soften up quite a bit, but it will never be a soft as some garment cottons. The thinner the quilting cotton, the softer it will be after laundering. The amount of dye used in the printing can also make the fabric stiffer.

I like to make aprons out of quilting cottons. If you make them reversible (using two quilting cottons), they are very sturdy and lots of fun to wear.

CMC
Edited (7-31-2013) to update link.
-- Edited on 7/31/13 5:52 PM --

Needlenut
Needlenut
Member since 8/5/06
Posts: 5
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In reply to zinna


Date: 12/20/11 4:10 PM

EXACTLY! The light bulb went on for me when I made my last blouse from fabric I had in my stash. The fabric was cotton but oh so soft and drapey. My question is...how do I find this kind of cotton and does it have a name???? Clothing cotton? Thanks!

CM_Sews
CM_Sews
Intermediate
California USA
Member since 9/18/04
Posts: 1759
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In reply to Needlenut


Date: 12/20/11 6:56 PM

Quote: Needlenut
EXACTLY! The light bulb went on for me when I made my last blouse from fabric I had in my stash. The fabric was cotton but oh so soft and drapey. My question is...how do I find this kind of cotton and does it have a name???? Clothing cotton? Thanks!

I've never seen cotton specified as "clothing cotton" on the bolt end. (Doesn't mean it never happens, just that I've never seen it.) Cotton shirting, cotton lawn, some other designations, but not "clothing cotton".

Sometimes the recommended fabric list for a garment pattern will specify something like this:

Cotton
Laundered Cotton
Cotton blends

A list like this drives me nuts. OK, so what is "cotton" exactly? (The same question being asked here -- if "cotton" is NOT "quilting cotton" then what is it? How do I tell the difference between quilting cotton and "cotton"?)

But more crazy-making is -- what the heck is "laundered cotton"?????? In what way is "laundered cotton" different from "cotton"? If I take some "cotton" and launder it, does it then become "laundered cotton"? Should I never launder "cotton" for fear it will then become "laundered cotton"? Curious and Confused Minds want to know.

This question (about "laundered cotton") has been posed on the PR message boards before, by me and by others. I have no good answer, not even a bad answer.

CMC
Needlenut
Needlenut
Member since 8/5/06
Posts: 5
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Date: 12/20/11 7:31 PM

I feel your pain believe me! I have seen "cotton shirting" at Joann's, etc. and haven't paid too much attention to that since my eye tracks the prints, etc. and the cotton shirting seems a tad conservative. Maybe I need to take another look at cotton shirting and then if the weight is closer to my fabric dream, surf the net. But I still like that touchy/feely thing....

Glynis Ann
Glynis Ann
Intermediate
Member since 11/7/10
Posts: 84
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Date: 12/20/11 8:01 PM

Like the old ad said: The touch, the feel of cotton...the fabric of our lives.

svetlana
star
svetlana
Intermediate
Illinois USA
Member since 12/30/06
Posts: 360
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Date: 12/20/11 8:42 PM

I make quite a number of scrub tops from quilting cotton. They aren't known for being drapey, and I get the kind of fun prints that my pediatric patients seem to enjoy.

------
Svetlana

rag doll
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rag doll  Friend of PR
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 1/31/06
Posts: 560
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Date: 12/20/11 9:34 PM

I love quilting cottons for boxer shorts. They're fun and I find them fabrics for the guys. I also like these fabrics for kids PJ's.

If you are looking for a nice soft cotton the cotton lawn is nice and usually fairly easy to get. Sometimes I find normall apparel. Ottos ca still e a bit crisp for some applications.

------
Brother QC1000, Brother PQ1500, Bernina Virtuosa 160, Pfaff (old), Babylock BLCS, Bernette 1100D, Bernette 334DS

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