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    weights of fabric

    What do the different weights of the fabric mean? is there a certain weight that I should be using for quilting?

    #2
    Re: weights of fabric

    I'm not all that familiar with the quilting terminology since I am new to quilting, but I tend to hear more about "thread count" than weight of fabric. Some fabrics have a low thread count which makes them seem thinner and more coarsely woven where you can see easily through them when held up to the light. Fabrics that have a higher thread count or "density" have a much smoother, substantial feel to them.

    When I think about "heavy weight" fabrics I think of Duck cloth, Twill, Canvas, upholstery and decorator fabrics. Many of these will be 100% cotton but probably too heavy or thick to work easily into a quilting project. I believe (and ladies correct me if I'm wrong), that the ideal quilting fabric will be light enough to remain fluid so it is not too stiff or difficult to manipulate, but still have a reasonable thread count that gives it soft body and a smooth, satiny feel as opposed to coarse woven, lighter thread count cottons.

    I'm sure others more knowledgeable than me will come along with their input. If there is actual weight terminology that relates to quilting fabrics I am unaware of it, but would like to know too!
    Linda
    -its not the number of breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away!

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      #3
      Re: weights of fabric

      Sewbee, your explanation was good, we do tend to use thread count rather than weight. The weight usually comes in with the thickness of the actual thread that the fabric is woven with, hence your upholstery fabrics which are heavier will use a thicker thread for the weaving than quilting fabrics even though they may both be 100% cotton.

      Thread count is probably more important for us as it dictates the stability of the fabric for cutting and sewing. Low thread count fabrics ( the cheapy ones you can buy) will 'stretch' or move on the bias more than a good quilting fabric making it harder to work with. Conversely, high thread count fabrics can be a little difficult to work as well, fabrics such as poplin and Bali batiks are harder to hand sew or quilt as they have a higher thread count and are therefore denser in the weave and harder to push a needle through (fine for machine sewing, thank goodness, I love batiks). There is quite a lot of fabrics in between those which is why I prefer to be able to feel my fabric before buying it.

      I'm also not a complete expert on the topic so if anyone has other information please add it, I'm happy to learn as well.
      Lynn

      "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain" Anonymous.

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        #4
        Re: weights of fabric

        I am not an expert on fabric but I do carry a small lighted magnifying glass with me to check the density of the weave. The more the thread count seems to make the fabric hold up better to repeated washings and just looks nicer all the way around. It is not always easy to tell on some of the fabric because of the amount of sizing used by the manufacturer but the magnifying glass helps a whole lot.

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