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!
You were so smart to make that sample. I hope maybe MM will refund your money.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Cynthia. I'm glad I did! Mountain Mist will send new batts, cotton/poly 80/20. She said their policy was not to send refunds and they discontinued making the wool/poly batts. I suppose I'll have to do a trial for these new batts, too, though I've never had a problem with cotton/poly bearding. She offered Cream Rose but they are so very thin and not as easy to hand quilt as cotton/poly.Delete
What a smart idea to make a sample--that is too bad about how it reacted...I usually use Quilter's Dream battings and have never used a wool one...I wonder if they all would have migrated like that?ReplyDelete
They should give you a refund for sure...hope so
Hugs from afar, Julierose :()
Thanks, Julierose. When I bought the batt I thought I would need to make a sample; so glad the commenter on Facebook spurred me on to do it. I'm sad that I now have two batts that are almost useless, unless I can figure out a way to prevent the bearding. I'm not up for more experiments just now.Others have recommended Quilter's Dream. Looking online it seems like they are really thin batts. Is that your experience? And others have said they've had no problem with wool bearding when they used other companies' wool batts. Maybe I'll try one of them.Mountain Mist will not give a refund (not their policy, she said) but they will send two replacement batts, cotton/poly as I requested (instead of Cream Rose which I didn't enjoy hand quilting).Delete
I think you were so wise to test this batting in this way. Saved you heartache in the long run. I would contact the company. They may refund your money, but even if they don't, I always feel it helps if they hear from real consumers about how their product performed.ReplyDelete
I have only ever used the scraps of someone else's wool batting in a few minis that will hang on a wall and never be washed. It is wonderful for hand quilting, for sure.
Thanks, Janet. When I bought it I imagined that I'd need to test it. I just had higher hopes walking out of the store with it.Delete
I contacted Mountain Mist who said their policy doesn't include a refund but, instead, replacement batts. She suggested Cream Rose, which I didn't enjoy hand quilting, so I accepted cotton/poly batts. Now I'll have to decide whether to do another sample or not.Perhaps I'll try wool in a quilt one of these days. I like the idea of it -- light, lofty, and warm, and the fact that it will wick away any moisture. Others have recommended ones they like.
Thank goodness you tested this batting before using it in a full sized quilt. All that fiber migration looks like my little dog Willow slept on it for a week--yikes!ReplyDelete
For sure, Karen, to both testing it and to it looking like a little white dog slept on it. LOL.Delete
Nancy I loved how you sounded like a true pioneer when you mentioned your spinning and dyeing days. Well, this product turned out to be less than expected. I've never heard of fibers migrating outside like that. Yes, the company should know about this.ReplyDelete
When I was much younger I thought it would be fun to live a pioneer-style life, Jocelyn. Now that I'm older, not so much (or not at all, really).Delete
I know polyester batts sometimes beard but I didn't expect it of wool. I anticipated shrinkage. Good thing the batt was big enough to do a sample!
I let the company know and they're going two send two different batts (which I hope behave themselves).
How disappointing! But very good to know, thank you!ReplyDelete
I wanted to use wool batting a while back and my long-arm quilter told me about the bad results, said she refuses to use it. So I had an idea it might not be a good result.
I had to discard one of my first quilts when the white poly batting bearded all over the dark surfaces. Learned my lesson.
Oh, disappointing, for sure, Lizzy. I had such high hopes, and I don't know why. I know poly often beards but didn't think it of wool. Strangely, others have left comments on the FB page saying which wool batts they use, love, and have no problems with. One of these days or months perhaps I'll give wool a try again. How sad you had to discard a whole quilt because of a poly batt. All that work....Delete
I've used Hobbs heirloom wool in a bed quilt with no issues whatsoever. I think a big part of the issue may be in the fabrics chosen for the test, especially the back. You mentioned it is a twill weave and those by their weave pattern are typically much looser than a plain weave. Twills are generally a 3/1 or occasionally a 2/1 weave which means that the weft (horizontal) thread passes over 3 warp threads before weaving under 1 thread, then over 3 threads, etc. The next row of weaving would be set one space to the right of the first row, i.e. under 1, over 3, etc., producing a diagonal appearance to the fabric and a softer hand that makes it desirable for clothing use like shirts. But it also leaves more space for fiber migration than a plain over 1 under 1 weave. I've also never been happy with batting purchased at JoAnn Fabrics. I've been ordering from Connecting Threads online when they have Hobbs on sale.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the recommendation for Hobbs Heirloom, Pat. Others have recommended Tuscany, so perhaps both are good.Delete
I was aware the twill might cause a problem because of how it's woven but I used it because I often use shirt fabric in quilts and I wanted to know the worst. And I don't want to have to censor my fabrics based on the batting I use.
This wool/poly batt is the only batting I've purchased from JoAnn that I haven't liked. (Well, I wasn't thrilled with Cream Rose but only because it was a little harder to hand quilt.) I've used their Soft and Crafty 80/20 cotton poly for many quilts and have been happy with it. When I was there a few weeks ago I noticed that they no longer sell it so I'll be looking for new batting to use. Maybe I'll try Hobbs cotton or cotton/poly. I'll keep an eye out for a CT sale.
Oh, I'm so sorry. What a disappointment for sure! I'm so glad you tried it first, I know it was a hassle but well worth your effort. I, like Quilting Babcia above, have used Hobbs heirloom wool. I loved it. It spread so nicely when I was layering the quilt and it was delightful to needle. I also like the way it drapes over the edge of the bed when I'm under it, warm but not too warm. I'm wondering if you could layer it between two thin polyester batts and then tie it as it would be very thick to hand quilt. But, it would be a way to put it to use it and would make a delightfully comfy/cozy TV quilt. So frustrating. . .ReplyDelete
Thank you, Robin. A disappointment for sure, but at least I know now and didn't ruin a whole quilt.Delete
When I try a wool batt I think I'll try the Hobbs Heirloom or a Tuscany. Both have been highly recommended by others, especially on the Facebook page. Your description of the Heirloom sounds exactly like I want a quilt with a wool batting to behave.
I was wondering about layering the wool between poly or between muslin. Either one would probably be best tied, as you suggest.
Thanks for the education from you and your readers. Good to know.ReplyDelete
You're welcome, Scrappy101. I'm grateful for the input from readers, too. I learn so much!Delete
Will be interesting to see what the company says.ReplyDelete
I was pleased that a company rep responded, Jennie. So often there's no response at all. She said they don't give monetary reimbursements but offered battings. She suggested Cream Rose (which I've used before and didn't enjoy hand quilting) or, after a few exchanges of emails, cotton/poly batts in 80/20. I thought I might like them better than the Cream Rose, but I don't know how they'll be and I wish I didn't have to do a sample again.Delete
curious as to why you went with a wool/poly blend...why not all wool? i made a quilt and hand quilted it with an all wool batt and was totally pleased...i've also used a wool/cotton blend...no issues with either...ReplyDelete
Thanks for asking, Grace. I'm not usually impulsive but when I saw the batts in a bin at JoAnn it seemed like a good idea to get one. Wool/poly didn't seem odd to me and expected that the poly would add a little more loft. Wrong, wrong, wrong. (And this should curb those occasional, last remnants of impulsive behavior!)Delete
When I'm ready to try wool for a quilt I'll go with all wool in a batt that's been recommended several times over!
It is great that you did make a sample. I have tried some batting from Joann that was a good price - cotton, not wool - and it too didn't work as I expected it to. It was really thin and stretchy, which meant the quilt was a little uneven, but at least it didn't beard.ReplyDelete
I agree, Shasta, that it was a good thing I tried a sample. I've been using a cotton/poly batt from JoAnn for several recent quilts and have been satisfied but I know JoAnn doesn't carry the highest quality products. I'm sorry your quilt came thin, stretchy, and uneven but, as you say, at least it didn't beard!Delete