When you need stability you make sure you use proper chairs, ladders, and other devices that won’t wobble or wiggle on you. Scrim is that solid foundation that helps batting remain where you want it to be. But not everyone likes scrim as it may compromise the quilt.
What is scrim in batting? This is a little polyester grid that helps anchor the cotton fibers used to make batting. If the package says 97% cotton, it means that 3% of the material is scrim and made from polyester materials. If you fuse the quilt to the scrim you may end up with a rippled quilt.
To learn more about scrim and its purpose, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to use cotton batting with scrim more effectively. Take a few moments to see what scrim is all about. Using it right produces great results.
When you hear the word scrim, it is not always easy to determine what it actually is. Scrim is a lightweight binder made from polyester and added to batting to make the batting more stable and keep it from stretching out of shape.
It is a favorite additive of long arm quilters as the scrim keeps the batting from stretching during the rolling part of the quilting process. Also, the fibers are non-woven and can be made of lightweight glue as well.
The good news is that if you are an old-fashioned quilter, not all batting has scrim and you can still find this needed material in 100% cotton. When the package does say 100% cotton then no scrim is added and any lower percentage means that scrim is part of the batting.
The trick is not to fuse the quilt material with the scrim side or you may end up with a rippled quilt or if you apply any heat, the fabric can pucker on you. It is important to make sure you handle scrim correctly if you want great results with your quilt.
While there is no scrim on some cotton batting, you will find it on many packages that have cotton batting inside. Scrim is also added to polyester batting and other versions of this material.
One of the fabrics that don't come with any scrim is wool batting. At least in most cases unless that practice has changed recently. When adding scrim to cotton or other fibers, the fibers are usually needle punched through the polyester or glue scrim.
This is a method that forces the cotton fibers through the scrim and creates a tight hold on the fibers. While scrim does perform some needed services like keeping the batting stable and prevents stretching, it can also produce some bad results.
As we said, if you are doing a fusible quilt, scrim is not something you want to have as a part of your quilt. One side will look good while the other side will look ad feel rough.
Using scrim on your batting will take some getting used to and many sewers have mastered it and do not want to return to using batting without scrim. They prefer the challenge as well as the stability they get as they sew.
When you are machine quilting, batting with scrim is preferred. The reason for that preference is that the batting with scrim can be pulled, tug, or maneuvered without creating a hole. That hole is often the result of pulling the scrimless batting.
Then if you prefer hand quilting, it is best not to use any batting with scrim. It is not the best material to use for that style of quilting. before you go and buy any batting make sure you know how you want to quilt.
If you are going to be basting and using a machine, then you will want batting with scrim. All this is saying is that each style of batting has its own unique purpose and one is not generally better than the other unless you go into the other batting’s territory.
You are getting a nice fill for your quilt no matter which version you use so you are not missing out on any comfort. The different styles make different types of quilting a little easier to do.
The other aspect you need to worry about and make a choice is the type of batting you will use. batting comes with different fibers than cotton and will either have or not have scrim.
There actually is a right way and a wrong way to use scrim-backed batting. You want the scrim side of the batting to be facing the back of the quilt. That will keep the front looking like you want it even when issues arise on the back side of the quilt.
Then one sewer came up with the idea of placing 2 layers of batting inside her quilt. When she was doing that, she faced the two scrim sides together so that she had nothing but cotton against the fabric. She had a very soft quilt in the end.
If you do not use that method, the scrim should be facing the backing fabric and what this does is open up those fusible quilters to some heat issues. When they apply the heat to the fusible material, the scrim will pucker or ripple on you.
The non-scrim side to the fusible quilt will appear nice and smooth. The rough side may be too much for some quilters to handle so you need to use scrim-backed batting with care and a lot of planning.
The strengths of scrim-backed batting should outweigh any negatives that come with this quilting option.
The rule of thumb is to have the scrim side facing the backing fabric. Due to the negatives that can happen when you use batting with scrim, this is the best way to go. However, we liked that sewer’s idea of using two layers of scrim-backed batting.
Her idea of placing the two scrim sides facing each other helps solve a lot of issues that will come when you use only one layer and the scrim side is exposed to other elements. It seems to keep the quilt smooth on both sides and adds another layer of comfort.
The key to using scrim-backed batting though is found in determining which side is which. Here are some tips to help you determine which side has the scrim on it:
Then the non-scrim side will have features like the following:
Yes, it does and it seems that this is the only version of batting they sell. The company says that it buys over 4 million pounds of American cotton to make its batting with scrim. When you go to their website, you need to click the ‘shop’ button to find all of the products they produce.
Also, their website says you can quilt up to 10 inches apart with their batting. Then you should expect up to 3 inches of shrinkage with the first wash in cold water. if you want a puckered look, which the company calls antique, then use warm water in the first wash for a 5% shrinkage.
If you are going to pre-wash the batting, the company’s directions state:
The benefits that you get from using their batting products are as follows:
There are several types of batting you can buy for your quilt. Whether they have scrim or not will not be the prime focus here. You should find both options with most of these types.
Whether you use scrim-backed batting or non-scrim style of the material is going to be up to you and your quilting project. But it is a decision you make before you start making the quilt. The style in which you make your quilt will help you decide which version you use.
The key when using scrim-based batting is to know which side is which and place the scrim side to the back.