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advice re: using wool in patchworking

vd | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

have searched hither ‘n yon regarding this topic.  have some stupendous tropical weight wool (some w/a % of cashmere, silk or vicose) men’s suiting samples (about 8×5).  want to put together a foundation pieced quilt.  not sure how large the final size will be.  the design i sense should be relatively simple, perhaps amish in feeling.  i may tie and use sashiko selectively, depending upon how large the design segments are.  that’s what i know.  any further advice before i dare (e.g., will it fray and so should i use larger than 1/4″ seams, what complications/considerations will that pose)?  have only been able to find online sources re:  wool batting and felted wool.  of course am also concerned about maintaining the quilt after assembly, both in terms of moth/ pestilence proofing and laundering.  WRITE SOON!


  1. CarolFresia | | #1

    I saw some really great-looking wool quilts in a home dec catalogue this winter (Pottern Barn, perhaps?)--all shades and patterns of grey suiting. What a neat, sophisticated look! If you have enough fabric to work with, I'd say try stitching a few bits together and washing them to see how they react re: ravelling, shrinking, pilling, etc. Hard-finish lightweight wools can be surprisingly cooperative in the washer and dryer, although you might see some shrinkage. I don't know of any special tricks to deal with this--it seems to me that you'd want to eliminate as much shrinkage as possible before sewing the quilt to avoid odd puckering later, so you probably ought to prewash all the fabric first (unless you won't be washing the quilt--then treat the fabrics as you plan to treat the final quilt).

    Wool batting is really nice, by the way--soft, warm, and springy. I forget how you clean that, though--check first before using.

    Anybody else out there made wool quilts? Let's hear how you handled it!


    1. vd | | #2

      gemmy suggestions.  thx for taking time to respond.  have been thinking and thinking and because these are "samples," i'll not be able to prewash 'em.  i think i must either capitalize on the fabric's tendency to fray or forget doing it.  one thing i have seen online when examining this issue, is all the merits of wool batting.  again, appreciate your pains in responding.  am thinking steadily upon the fact this is a lovely fabric and since the topic has been relatively unexplored, what i decide to do to cope w/the project (if successful of course) should be shared, so others go there.  we'll see.

      Edited 1/16/2003 1:36:10 PM ET by vd

      1. Barbaran8 | | #3

        How enthused are you about the notion of edgestitching the squares before assembling the patchwork? That would deal with the ravel factor. Then you could also pre-wash (gently).

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