Types of Quilting Fabric

The process of quilting involves sewing of two or more fabric layers together in order to come up with thicker padded materials so as to create quilted garments. Normally, quilting is done in three layers, the quilt top, insulating fabric and backing material. The fabric piece or sheet used for quilting backing layer should be close in weight to the top layer fabric. The color of the fabric should also match other colors to be used in the quilt. There are many types of fabric that are used in quilting, some of which include:

Quilting Fabric

Quilter’s weight cotton

This is a high quality 100 percent cotton fabric that perfectly suit quilting. It is usually regarded as the best material for quilting. Although quilter’s weight cotton has shrinkage, it is known to shrink less than the cheaper cotton fabrics. Traditionally, quilt shops have been the only credible source of this cotton fabric, but most recently, the number of fabric shops has increased to their inventory, the variety of quilting weight cotton. Additionally, this type of fabric should be washed and then dried before any sewing or cutting is made to avoid shrinkage after the garment is completed.

Home Decor Weight Cotton

This is a heavy cotton that has a sateen finish. It perfectly suits quilted home decor. Although this fabric does not wrap well because of the heavy weight it possesses, it is recommended for quilted pillows, quilted bags as well as throw cushions where an extra body is desired. This type of fabric is known to come in widths of fifty-four inches, making it economical for use in home decor assignments that are likely to require wide yardages.


This is silky, soft light-weight cotton that is slightly transparent. Due to its lightweight features, the fabric is used for clothing such as trousers, dresses, blouses, scarves and skirts. Also, this fabric has become popular in quilting. Many fabric designers have incorporated the collection of Voile that match and mix with their quilting weightiness cotton. Quilts can be made using all Voile material, or Voile can be mixed with other quilting weight cotton. Using Voile for backing gives the quilt a softer and silky finish.

Essex Linen

Essex Linen, developed by Robert Kaufmann, is an all-cotton material that has the texture and look of linen. Most quilters are in love with this fabric as they use it, together with quilting weight cotton, to produce the best quilt without having to worry about mixing various types of fabrics. Essex Linen is commonly used to quilt and sew home decor.


Silk is a luxurious and an elegant option fabric that can be used for quilting. However, it can relatively be expensive and slippery to stitch for many beginning quilters. This fabric is the best used to quilt insulating layer due to its soft nature.


Denim is informal, but popular quilting fabric that is used to make blue jeans. Light shades, dark, or the combination of denim squares and other shapes are stitched together to make quilt styles. Denim fits well when combined with other quilting fabric and is also recommended for clothing.