1. Polyester wadding: broadly speaking is the easiest to use and the least expensive. It can be bought in rolls of varying widths and weights, used in all modern upholstery over foam. It is, but shouldn’t really be, used over traditional upholstery.
2. Wool wadding: is either woven and brushed or lightly felted and stitched, and is available in varying widths and weights. It’s the most ,luxurious and the most expensive, but the best. We always use wool wadding for the things that matter – when the fabric is costly and the time given to it extensive, for example hand quilting and all patch – working, then the difference in cost is well worth considering. If there is a drawback it is that it isn’t as ‘puffy’ as polyester wadding, and therefore arguably less obvious, it looks less ‘quilted’.
Cotton, wool or polyester is used to interline quilts. The depth and spring of the wadding, along with the fibre content determines the warmth of the quilt and the appearance of the design, which is showcased by the stitches: wadding that is too thin makes the stitches look flat and disappear, too thick and the pattern becomes hidden and somewhat confused.
Any type of wadding can be used to pad, soften and add depth –e.g. the overlayer of bedheads and stools. For small and odd shapes, it can be laid down in sections,built up in layers or rolled to fill corners and holes if necessary to achieve the required form. To create a soft edge, polyester wadding needs to be feathered out at the edges by tearing the edges in uneven layers.
For seats and arms and backs – cotton wadding as loose ‘fluff’, sandwiched between two layers of paper, is used in traditional upholstery as the soft layer over a horsehair pad. It can be laid between two layers of fabric to be stitched, or split in half with the paper layer to the outside.
Over foam : polyester wadding is the most compatible with foam: lay it over the foam so that it softens the finish and covers the edging works, creating a smooth surface against which to pull the top fabric.
Polyester wadding comes in thickness of 27″ and 54″ (c.a 69 and 137 cm) and in 2, 4, 6 and 8 oz weights.