I decided to try out several different bamboo battings and compare them for you. I selected the following 6 battings from Fairfield, Quilter's Dream and Winline Textiles:
Fairfield Nature-Fil Batting - 50% Rayon from Bamboo and 50% Cerified Organic Cotton
Fairfield Fusi-Boo - a blend of 20% rayon fiber made from bamboo, 50% cotton, 30% poly fiber. This batting has a water soluble heat activated fusible resin, so there is no need to baste with this batting
Quilter's Dream Orient - a blend of silk, bamboo, Tencel and cotton
Winline 50/50 Bamboo - a blend of bamboo and cotton
Winline 100% Bamboo - this batting is 4 oz of Bamboo
Winline's New 6 oz Bamboo - a slightly thicker and softer batting than the 100% Bamboo
I wanted to compare how each batting felt, what the loft was like and how it looked when quilted. I decided to make a small baby bib out of each batting to test them out. I also washed the bibs afterwards to see how they held up to washing.
I had a lot of fun making the bibs. Each bib is out of a different fabric. I added a fusible applique to each bib to see how the applique looked when quilted, and I quilted each bib differently - just for the fun of it!
Here are the first three bibs- these are before washing. The pink one is with Fairfield Fusiboo, the second two colored quilt is with Quilter's Dream Orient and the blue one is with Fairfield Nature-Fil.
The second three quilts- the purple one is made with Winline 6 oz Bamboo, the green one with Winline 50/50 Bamboo and the last yellow one is made with Winline 100% Bamboo.
How did the battings feel to the touch what was the recommended quilting and shrinkage :
Fairfield Nature- Fil is needle punched and soft. 2-3% shrinkage. Low loft. Quilting distance up to 8". They recommend machine quilting.
Fairfield Fusi-Boo is needle punched, thin and firm to the touch because of the resin, has an estimated 3% shrinkage. Quilting distance 2-4". You can hand and machine quilt this It is really nice to be able to iron this batting to fabric so there is no basting needed.
* Fairfield says on it's packaging that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these two battings will be used to support ecological initiatives.
Quilter's Dream Orient -fibers are blended, carded, crosslapped and finely needlepunched- it is thin, and very soft with quilting up to 8". Good for both hand and machine quilting. Minimal shrinkage. It says it is Mid-loft, but it is very thin.
Winline 50/50 Bamboo -soft with slight bumps due to the needle punching. 2-5% shrinkage on first wash. Machine or hand quilt up to 8"apart..
Winline 100% Bamboo - softer feel than the 50/50, still with some bumps from the needle punching. 2-5% shrinkage on first wash, machine or hand quilting up to 8" apart
Winline's New 6 oz Bamboo- very soft-silky feel. 2-5% shrinkage on first wash, machine or hand quilting up to 4" apart. Thickest of the three Winline battings
*Winline recommends hand washing these bamboo quilts, but they can be machine washed and dried on the delicate cycle.
How did they quilt and what did the loft look like? It is hard to tell by the photos now nicely they quilted- so you're just going to have to take my word for it.
The pink Fairfield Fusi-boo of course ironed very flat. The quilting lays pretty flat on it and it stayed flat after washing. It actually has a very nice feel when quilted and I felt worked really well for a baby bib which didn't need any "pouf" in the quilting. This could be good for certain projects.
The two color/green bib with Quilter's Dream Orient quilted up very nice with a little loft in the quilting. A very nice feel to the quilted project.
The blue bib with Fairfield Nature-Fill also quilted up very nice with some loft in the quilting.
The purple bib with Winline 6 oz Bamboo quilted up nicely with some loft in the quilting.
The green bib with Winline 50/50 had a tiny bit of loft and feels a bit thinner- but again this works good in this project.
The yellow bib with Winline 100% Bamboo also quilted nicely. Some loft and also feels thin, but very soft and drapable.
How did they wash up? They all washed up well. I put them all in the washer and dryer. I did have to do a little ironing on them afterwards. The Winline 6 oz didn't shrink, but looked a bit like it- and I have to admit, it may have been my fabric that shrunk on that one as I don't prewash my fabrics. It wasn't very noticeable. Judging by the size of the washed bibs, I don't think any of them shrunk noticeably- of course they are very small..
I was impressed by all of these Bamboo battings. If I were to touch these and not know they were bamboo, I'm not sure I could tell them from other battings. The Winline 6 oz Bamboo did have a silkier feel than the other battings.
I'm finding that a lot of battings today are very thin and don't have much loft so they don't show the quilting very well. If I go to the bother of quilting a project- I like it to have a little loft so the thread doesn't just lay on top of the fabric. So...I do like the battings that showed a bit more loft. Because of this- my favorites of these 6 battings were: Fairfield Nature-Fil, Quilter's Dream Orient and Winline 6 oz Bamboo.
Every batting whether it is cotton, poly or bamboo has its strengths and we all look for our favorites. When you are searching for a different batting- give a Bamboo batting a try. I think you'll like them!