The full description on the bag has the following information:
> medium-loft batting
> easy to quilt
> ready to use
> machine washable
> resin free
> all new material consisting of 80% wool/20% polyester
> For best results quilt or tie in intervals of 5" or less
When the topic of battings came up on a hand quilting Facebook group I asked if anyone had experience with this particular Mountain Mist batting. Some had good words for the Mountain Mist brand; others had good words for wool battings; but it seems no one had used this particular brand of wool/poly batting. One person suggested that if the information didn't indicate that it had been pre-washed, it might not come out of the wash well. That (and another brief, negative review I saw online) spurred me forward to do what I intended to do all along: make a sample quilt sandwich to put it through the quilting process from layering, basting, quilting, washing, and drying.
This is what the batting looked like when I pulled it from the bag. It had the wonderful fragrance of washed wool: sheep and lanolin. I loved it because it reminded me of my spinning and dying days when I bought whole, raw fleeces to clean and spin. Some may not appreciate the smell of nearly-raw wool. The edges also had the tiny bits of seeds and straw found on raw wool. But the rest was pure and beautiful, almost cloud-like. It was thinner than I expected when the label said "medium loft" but, I thought, perhaps it would fluff up, or even shrink, in the dryer.
I cut a square of the batting to 12½" inches. I also two 12½" squares of fabric, one of older quilting cotton, the other a piece of (what appeared to be closely woven) cotton twill, originally from a shirt. I layered the outside of both fabrics together, then put the batting on top, pin basted, and stitched a ¼" seam around the edges, leaving an opening to turn the batting to the inside. (Sorry, no photos of this step.)
But here's the pin-basted quilt sandwich turned right side out. It measured 11¾". It lost ¾".
Then I quilted as I might have if it had actually been a quilt.
It was so easy to quilt, like putting a needle through soft butter. I loved it! After quilting the square measured the same as before quilting.
Next I put it in the washer with another quilt and a pouch of All Free and Clear laundry detergent. I set the washer for normal wash, high spin, with eco-warm water (which is cooler than lukewarm). I closed the lid and hoped for the best.
This is how the quilt looked when it came out of the washer, quilting cotton front and cotton twill back. It measured 11½" but I could stretch it back to 11¾".
And a close-up of the back.
I was disappointed, to say the least. The wool had migrated to the outside of the quilt, more evident on the twill side than the side with regular cotton quilting fabric.
I put it into the dryer with the other quilt and it came out looking like this. You can't see strands of wool from the photo, and I can't see them, either, unless I hold the quilt at an angle to the light. They're there, but there are fewer stands of wool than on the the front than the back. It measured 11 3/8" square.
This is the back after drying. It looks much the same as before drying.
The batting package said it was medium loft but this is no thicker than (and maybe less thicker than) the muslin I used instead of batting in Ohio Winter Browns.
To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. I had visions of a great, light-weight, warm quilt on our bed and the fun and ease of quilting with wool that others have mentioned. Now I'm hesitant about using any wool batting for fear of the wool fibers migrating to the outside of the quilt.
What will I do with this batting?! Certainly not use it for a quilt as it is. Could I wash and dry it before putting it in a quilt sandwich, or would that completely ruin it. Perhaps I could put it in a quilt I will never wash? Or maybe I could use a double layer of fabric on top and bottom and tie it? No matter how I try to use it, would I ever feel safe that the wool fibers wouldn't migrate to the outside of the quilt?
I will contact Mountain Mist Company and let them know of the problem. It's likely they won't do anything but least anyone else who has a question about this batting and who searches the internet might find this review and choose not to buy the batting.
One good thing is that I made a sample first, and now I know!