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  1. #1
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    Question Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    I made this quilt top for my dad. (100% cotton) He is a natural fibers only guy. He also requested a heavy/warm quilt.

    I searched and found this great 'manly' blender fabric that is a garment 100% wool suiting. I've never sewn with suiting but I have washed and slowly dried the backing in the hopes of pre-shrinking it.

    I'm worried that after quilting and daily use (and washing) it will still shrink at different rates?
    Do you think it would work? Should I attempt to wash the top as well?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    I would not wash the top before it is quilted. Washing it could result in a great deal of fraying, to the point that your seams may come undone. We use wool for batting, so I don't see why a wool backing would not work. I would, though, include washing instructions to recognize the requirements of the wool fabric. Perhaps washing the quilt, cold water, gentle cycle, but air drying it? Definitely drying it as you dried the wool fabric before quilting.

    BTW - it is a lovely quilt top. I like the corners of the border.
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    I have no experience with wool in quilts, so no opinion to offer, but just wanted to say thats a gorgeous quilt.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    Thanks! I had a feeling the top washing would be a disaster. I'm going to have to hope he washes it per instructions.
    Does the wool batting shrink too?
    Thanks for the advice and compliment. The basket weave worked pretty good with pre-cuts. 10" square - cut in half, strips on 2 sides then trimmed square.

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline T. View Post
    I have no experience with wool in quilts, so no opinion to offer, but just wanted to say thats a gorgeous quilt.
    Thanks! It was pretty simple to actually make when I stop worrying about it and just do it!

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    I use mostly QD wool batting in my quilts and there is minimal shrinkage with that (it's super washed wool, so treated so that it doesn't shrink much at all), but I've also used vintage wool flannel yardage as batting in a quilt that I made for a cousin. I also have another piece of wool coating yardage that I'm going to use as batting in a small lap quilt.

    With both pieces of wool yardage I had to wash them in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer 5-6 times before they finally quit shrinking. I measured them before each wash/dry cycle and they did shrink a significant amount, mostly in the length. An advantage to washing it the way I did is that now the quilt can be tossed in the washer and dryer without worrying about damaging or babying it, because the wool's already done whatever it's going to do.

    When I give a quilt to someone, I don't want taking care of it to be a burden to them (plus, I don't treat any of my clothing or quilts with kid gloves either; if they can't handle a normal wash/dry cycle, they don't live here! ) I want them to use and love them without worrying that they're going to ruin them.

    Also, I prewashed the cotton fabrics that I used for the top, so there was no shrinkage there either. You didn't say if you prewashed the cotton fabric, but even if you didn't, I honestly don't think it's going to shrink, if it shrinks at all, enough to make a difference after it's quilted.

    It was wonderful to work with in the quilt that I finished and made a cozy, very warm (but heavy) quilt. Your suiting is probably lighter weight than either of my wool fabrics, but it will still be heavier than using a cotton backing.

    I love your quilt top and think that's going to be a beautiful, very special quilt! I'm sure your dad will love it.
    Last edited by SherylM; November 4th, 2016 at 10:13 AM.
    Sheryl

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  10. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    I think that suggestion of washing the wool in hot water and drying it hot is excellent. The quilt is soo muasculine . Lovely piece of work.

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by SherylM View Post
    I use mostly QD wool batting in my quilts and there is minimal shrinkage with that (it's super washed wool, so treated so that it doesn't shrink much at all), but I've also used vintage wool flannel yardage as batting in a quilt that I made for a cousin. I also have another piece of wool coating yardage that I'm going to use as batting in a small lap quilt.

    With both pieces of wool yardage I had to wash them in hot water and dry them in a hot dryer 5-6 times before they finally quit shrinking. I measured them before each wash/dry cycle and they did shrink a significant amount, mostly in the length. An advantage to washing it the way I did is that now the quilt can be tossed in the washer and dryer without worrying about damaging or babying it, because the wool's already done whatever it's going to do.

    When I give a quilt to someone, I don't want taking care of it to be a burden to them (plus, I don't treat any of my clothing or quilts with kid gloves either; if they can't handle a normal wash/dry cycle, they don't live here! ) I want them to use and love them without worrying that they're going to ruin them.

    Also, I prewashed the cotton fabrics that I used for the top, so there was no shrinkage there either. You didn't say if you prewashed the cotton fabric, but even if you didn't, I honestly don't think it's going to shrink, if it shrinks at all, enough to make a difference after it's quilted.

    It was wonderful to work with in the quilt that I finished and made a cozy, very warm (but heavy) quilt. Your suiting is probably lighter weight than either of my wool fabrics, but it will still be heavier than using a cotton backing.

    I love your quilt top and think that's going to be a beautiful, very special quilt! I'm sure your dad will love it.
    Thanks for the information. I totally agree. At age 69 and a widower I don't think he's knows the delicates cycle exists.
    I think I'll wash and dry the backing a couple more times just to be safe.
    the top was from precuts, I didn't pre-wash, but I don't expect it to shrink much. I hope.

    I might see what I can find for a thicker wool fabric to use as a batting. I just couldn't find a flannel or wool that matched the colors for the backing. The suiting is thicker than cotton, but is thinner than a flannel.

    THANK YOU for the suggestions and information!

  13. #9
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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    Thanks! I fell in love with the "Good Wishes" fabric and Dad lives on the coast so it was perfect. Nautical, but not girly. It only got tricky when I was short a couple pieces and had to get FQ's shipped from Washington state to finish it up! Thank goodness for the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by grammaterry View Post
    I think that suggestion of washing the wool in hot water and drying it hot is excellent. The quilt is soo muasculine . Lovely piece of work.
    Last edited by ncmphoy; November 4th, 2016 at 11:51 AM.

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Wool suiting as backing? Possible??

    Quote Originally Posted by ncmphoy View Post
    I might see what I can find for a thicker wool fabric to use as a batting. I just couldn't find a flannel or wool that matched the colors for the backing. The suiting is thicker than cotton, but is thinner than a flannel.

    THANK YOU for the suggestions and information!
    The only thing I would say is that that would probably make the quilt extremely heavy. Whether or not it would be too heavy...who knows? Some people like extremely heavy, so it's a personal preference.
    Sheryl

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