What is Quilted Fabric? Characteristics, Types, Uses

Quilted fabric, with its special crisscross pattern, has been a favorite material for a very long time. It’s made by sewing layers of cloth together with some soft stuff inside. This makes it great for lots of things, like clothes, home stuff, and blankets. People have been making quilted fabric since the olden days, and it’s changed a lot to fit different needs. In This comprehensive article, we discussed What is Quilted Fabric? Characteristics, Types, Uses, and many more details are below.

Nowadays, you can find quilted fabric in many things like jackets, bags, pillows, and even things for horses. It’s good at keeping you warm and comfy, so it’s perfect for cold places or making your home cozy.

We’ll talk about what quilted fabric is like, how to use it, take care of it, and its impact on the environment. Whether you love quilting or just want to know more about this cool fabric, stick around to learn all about quilted fabric and what you can do with it.

What is Quilted Fabric?

Quilted fabric is a special kind of cloth that’s known for its diamond grid pattern. It’s made of three layers: a top layer, a middle layer with cotton or soft material, and a bottom layer. These layers are sewn together in a regular pattern to make a unique quilted design. This doesn’t just make it look good; it also makes the fabric really useful. Quilted fabric keeps you warm and cozy because of the soft layer in the middle. People use it for making blankets, bedspreads, jackets, and bags. It’s great for both feeling comfy and looking nice in different things.

What is Quilted Fabric? Characteristics, Types, Uses
Fig: Quilted Fabric

The History of Quilted Fabric

Quilted fabric has been around for a really long time, even in medieval times. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has old examples from Europe, India, and the Far East, showing how important it is all over the world. The word “quilt” comes from the Latin word “Culcita,” which means a cushion. People in England started using the word in the 13th century. In the beginning, quilting was used to keep warm in bedding and clothes.

As time went on, it turned into an art. People started making fancy designs by sewing carefully on the fabric. Today, we still love quilted fabric because it has a lot of history, comes from different cultures, and looks pretty.

Characteristics of Quilted Fabric

Quilted fabric has a few important things to know:

  • Layered Structure: It has three layers. The outside layer looks good and protects the fabric.
  • Middle Layer of Wadding: In the middle, there’s a layer made of soft material like cotton or polyester. It keeps the fabric warm.
  • Sandwiched Construction: The soft layer is between two woven layers of fabric. These can be made from different materials like cotton, silk, or synthetic stuff.
  • Stitching: They use stitches to keep the layers together. The stitches make the special diamond pattern we see in quilted fabric.
  • Durability: Quilted fabric is strong. The stitches keep the layers from moving or coming apart when you use it or wash it.
  • Insulation and Comfort: The soft layer makes the fabric warm and comfy. It’s great for things like blankets, jackets, and cozy clothes.
  • Versatility: Quilted fabric can be used for many things like bedding, furniture, bags, and accessories. The quilted pattern makes these things look interesting.
  • Decorative Potential: You can make pretty patterns with quilted fabric. You can choose simple or fancy designs to be creative.

Types of Quilted Fabric

There are different kinds of quilted fabric. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Quilter’s Weight Cotton: It’s a medium-weight cotton made for quilting. It’s strong, easy to sew, and comes in lots of prints and colors for different quilting projects.
  • Voile: Voile is a light and see-through fabric. It’s used for delicate and airy quilts or for making fancy clothes and home decorations.
  • Cotton Flannel: Cotton flannel is warm and soft. It has a slightly fuzzy feel. People use it for quilts, blankets, and cozy clothes, especially in cold weather.
  • Quilter’s Linen: This fabric looks like linen but is made from cotton. It has a slightly rough texture, giving quilts a rustic and natural look. People use it for vintage or farmhouse-style quilts.
  • Wool: Wool is a natural material that’s very warm. Quilted fabric with wool is great for making comfy quilts that keep you warm in the cold. Wool quilts last a long time and help control your body temperature.
  • Cotton Decorating Fabric: This is printed cotton fabric used in quilting. It comes in many designs, patterns, and weights, so you can be very creative. People like it for its bright colors and pretty prints.
  • Essex Linen: Essex linen is a mix of linen and cotton, which makes it strong and gives it a natural look. It’s good for all kinds of quilting projects, whether they’re traditional or modern.

What’s Quilted Fabric Made Of?

Quilted fabric is made of a few things:

  • Outer Fabric Layer: The first layer can be made from different stuff like cotton, silk, polyester, or mixes of fibers. This layer makes the fabric look good, and strong and keeps it safe.
  • Middle Layer with Cotton Wool or Fleece: The second layer is filled with soft cotton wool or fleece. This layer makes the fabric warm and comfy. It’s good at holding heat and giving you a cozy feeling.
  • Inner Fabric Layer: The third layer can also be made from different materials. It’s like the outer layer but adds extra protection and holds the middle layer.
  • Putting the Layers Together: The layers are put in a certain order. The outer layer is on top, the middle layer is in the middle, and the inner layer is at the bottom. This way, the middle layer is safe and cozy between the other two layers.
  • Stitching: After putting the layers together, they sew them with a sewing machine or by hand. These stitches make the famous diamond pattern you see on quilted fabric. The stitches go through all three layers to keep them together and stop them from moving or coming apart.

What Do People Use Quilted Fabric For?

Quilted fabric is used in many ways:

  • Bedding: It’s used to make blankets, bedspreads, comforters, and quilts. The layers and stitching make a warm and comfy fabric for a good night’s sleep.
  • Clothes: Quilted fabric is used for making jackets, coats, vests, and other outdoor clothes. The padding and warmth make it great for cold weather while still looking stylish.
  • Furniture: It’s used for indoor and outdoor furniture like cushions, chair seats, and sofas. It adds texture and extra comfort.
  • Horse Riding: Quilted fabric is common in horse riding gear like saddle pads, horse blankets, leg wraps, and protective gear. It’s good for cushioning and protecting the horses.
  • Cars: In the automotive industry, it’s used for car seat covers, car boot liners, and inside the cars. It’s durable, keeps you warm, and can handle a lot of use.
  • Bags and Accessories: It’s used for making handbags, backpacks, and travel stuff. The quilting adds a special texture and makes these items strong and stylish.
  • Home Decor: You can find it in curtains, table runners, placemats, and other home decorations. It has pretty patterns, keeps things warm, and looks nice in your home.
  • Crafts and DIY Projects: People use quilted fabric for all kinds of crafts like pot holders, wall hangings, ornaments, and fabric jewelry. It comes in many colors and patterns, so you can get creative and make things your way.

Is Quilted Fabric Waterproof?

Quilted fabric on its own is not waterproof. Even though the stitching makes it strong, it doesn’t keep water out.

But you can make quilted fabric waterproof by adding special things. You can put on a waterproof layer or add a waterproof material between the layers.

With these extra steps, quilted fabric can resist light rain or moisture. This makes it good for things like clothes, pet clothes, jackets, sleeping bags, and saddle clothes when you want some water protection.

Is Quilting Fabric Made of Cotton?

Yes, the quilting fabric is usually 100% cotton. People like to use cotton for quilting because it has good qualities. It lets air through, it’s not heavy, and it’s easy to work with, which is great for making detailed quilts.

Cotton also soaks up moisture and lets heat out, so it’s comfy in quilts. Plus, it’s strong, so quilts last a long time.

Sometimes, the price may vary for quilting fabrics. But it’s important to look at the fabric’s specific qualities, quality, and design to understand the price differences and pick the best one for your quilting project.

How to Wash Quilted Fabric

Here’s how to clean quilted fabric:

Check the Care Instructions: Always look at the care info from the maker before washing. Different fabrics may need special treatment.

Deal with Stains (if needed): If there are stains, you should treat them first. Follow the directions on the stain remover and wait as long as they say before moving on.

Get the Washing Machine Ready: Set your washing machine to a gentle or delicate cycle with cool water. Hot water can make the fabric shrink or get damaged.

Use a Mild Detergent: Put a mild detergent for delicate fabrics in the machine. Or you can use Orvus soap, a special detergent for quilting fabrics. Use the amount the detergent says on the package.

Put in the Quilted Fabric: Put the quilted fabric in the machine, but don’t stuff it too much. If it’s too full, it might not get clean or could get damaged.

Wash Carefully: Start the machine, and let it finish the gentle cycle. Also, let it rinse and spin.

Dry with Low Heat: Once the washing is done, move the quilted fabric to the dryer. Use low heat to prevent it from shrinking or getting hurt. If you can, take the fabric out of the dryer as soon as it’s dry to avoid lots of wrinkles.

Optional – Iron the Fabric (if you want): If you like your fabric to be flat and wrinkle-free, you can use an iron on low heat. But make sure to follow the fabric’s ironing rules to avoid harm.

How to Care for Quilted Clothes?

Here’s how to look after your quilted clothes:

Spot Clean for Small Stains: If there’s a little stain, use a gentle detergent and a soft cloth to clean it. Gently pat the stained part without rubbing too hard.

Don’t Wash Them Often: Quilted clothes like jackets or vests should not be washed a lot. Only wash them when they get really dirty or start to smell.

Hand-Wash If You Can: The gentlest way to clean quilted clothes is by hand. Fill a basin or sink with cold water and add a mild detergent for delicate fabrics. Put the quilted clothes in and gently move them around for a few minutes. Rinse well with cold water to get all the detergent out.

Machine Wash on Delicate (if needed): If you can’t hand-wash, you can use a washing machine’s delicate cycle as a last choice. Put the quilted clothes in a mesh laundry bag to protect them. Use cold water and a mild detergent made for delicate fabrics.

Use Gentle Detergent, No Bleach: When washing quilted clothes, use mild detergents without strong chemicals or bleach. These can hurt the fabric, make the colors fade, and mess up the quilted stitching.

Air Dry Flat: After washing, don’t use a dryer. Instead, gently get rid of extra water without twisting and lay the clothes flat on a clean, dry towel. Make sure they keep their original shape and let them dry in the air. Don’t put them in direct sunlight because it can make the colors fade.

Store the Right Way: When you’re not wearing quilted clothes, put them in a clean, dry place away from the sun. Don’t fold or hang them in a way that makes creases or messes up the quilting. If you can, use padded hangers or fold them with acid-free tissue paper to keep their shape.

Be Gentle: Handle quilted clothes gently, especially when you’re putting them on or taking them off. Don’t pull, stretch, or snag them too much because it can hurt the quilted stitches or fabric.

How to Sew Quilted Fabric

Here’s how to sew quilted fabric:

Get the Fabric Ready: First, cut out the fabric pieces you need for your design. Remember to include some extra for the seams.

Layer the Fabric and Padding: Put the padding on a flat surface and lay one piece of fabric on top, with the right side facing up. Smooth it out so there are no wrinkles.

Pin or Baste the Layers: Keep the layers together by pinning or basting along the edges and inside the seam allowance. This stops them from moving when you sew.

Do the Same with the Second Layer: Put the second piece of fabric on top of the first one and the padding, but this time with the right side facing down. Line up the edges with the first piece and pin or baste them together.

Sew the Layers: Use a sewing machine to stitch along the edges of the fabric layers, but leave a small opening for turning. Use a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch seam allowance. Start and finish with a few backstitches.

Turn the Fabric Right Side Out: Carefully turn the quilted fabric right side out through the opening. Use a dull tool like a chopstick to gently push out the corners so they look nice.

Iron and Flatten: Iron the quilted fabric on low heat. This makes it smooth and neat.

Quilt the Fabric: To make it look like a quilt, sew along the quilting lines. You can use a sewing machine with a walking foot or a darning foot for free-motion quilting. Or, you can hand-quilt with a needle and thread. Pick a quilting pattern that fits your design.

Cut Extra Fabric and Finish the Edges: Trim any extra fabric or padding around the edges, leaving a little seam. Finish the edges by folding and sewing, using binding, or adding cool trims.

Final Touches: Iron the quilted fabric again to make sure it’s flat, and the quilting stitches look great. Take out any remaining basting stitches or pins.

How Quilted Fabric Affects the Environment

Quilted fabric can have these effects on the environment:

  • Using Resources: Making quilted fabric, especially if it’s from natural materials like cotton or wool, can need a lot of water, land, and energy. Growing and processing these materials can lead to problems like not enough water, cutting down forests, and using chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Making Waste: When quilted fabric is produced, there can be leftover bits of fabric, trims, and extra stuff. We should manage this waste properly to lower the harm to the environment. We can recycle or find new uses for these leftover materials.
  • Synthetic Fibers and Tiny Plastic Bits: Quilted fabric made from synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon can let out tiny plastic bits called microplastics. These can gather in water, soil, and wildlife, which might hurt the environment and animals. Using eco-friendly options and being careful about how we throw these fabrics away can help.
  • Using Energy: Making and processing quilted fabric needs energy, which can add to greenhouse gases and climate change. Also, moving quilted fabric from where it’s made to where it’s sold or used can make even more carbon emissions if it’s not done well.
  • Getting Rid of It: Quilted fabric, especially if it has synthetic fibers, can take a long time to break down in landfills, which can pile up waste.
  • Reusing and Recycling: We can make quilted fabric have less impact on the environment by reusing and recycling. People can pass quilts down to save making new ones. When quilted fabric is old, we can recycle it by using it for something else or turning it into insulation. This helps lower waste and save resources.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Quilted Fabric


  • Warm and Cozy: Quilted fabric keeps you warm and comfy, which is great for cold weather and as a blanket.
  • Strong and Tough: The stitches make quilted fabric strong, so it doesn’t wear out quickly. It can handle regular use and stay in good shape.
  • Versatile: Quilted fabric can be used for lots of things. You can make clothes, bags, pillows, and more. It’s good for many creative projects.
  • Looks Nice: Quilted fabric lets you create cool patterns. You can change the stitches or use different colors and patterns to make it look pretty.


  • Big and Heavy: Quilted fabric is usually bigger and heavier because of the extra padding. This can make it hard to store, move around, or work with, especially for large or detailed projects.
  • Cost and Time: Making quilted fabric takes more materials, time, and work than regular fabric. It costs more to buy the materials, and the fancy stitching takes a while. This can make quilted stuff more expensive and less accessible for some people.
  • Washing Challenges: Quilted fabric can soak up a lot of water because of all the layers, which can make washing and drying tricky. It might need special care like hand washing or gentle cycles to avoid shrinking or losing its shape. Also, it can take longer to dry.
  • Allergies and Skin Sensitivity: Some folks might get allergies or skin irritation from the padding materials or dyes used in quilted fabric. It’s important to think about individual sensitivities and pick quilted fabric made from hypoallergenic stuff if needed.

Comparison between Quilted Fabric and Other Fabrics

AspectQuilted FabricFleecePadded FabricThermal Fabric
ConstructionMultiple fabric layers stitched with paddingSingle-layerSingle-layer with padding in between layersDouble-layer with thermal insulating material
WarmthExcellent insulation and warmthGood insulationProvides warmth and insulationHigh thermal insulation for heat retention
WeightRelatively heavy and bulkyLightweightVaries with padding thicknessGenerally lightweight
VersatilityClothing, bags, bedding, home decorClothing, blanketsUpholstery, cushions, quilts, paddingOutdoor gear, thermal clothing, insulation
AppearanceQuilted pattern with visible stitching, decorativeSmooth, fleece-likeMay have visible stitching or patternsSmooth with a slightly textured surface
Care & Maint.May require special care, hand wash or delicateMachine washableVaries with padding type, may require wash or dry cleanDepends on fabric and insulation, some machine washable
CostMay be more expensive due to materials and laborGenerally affordableCost varies with padding quality and typeCost varies with fabric and thermal properties
Common UsesClothing, bags, bedding, pillows, home decorJackets, blankets, hats, scarves, throwsUpholstery, cushions, quilts, protective paddingOutdoor gear, thermal clothing, heat retention


Is quilted fabric good for summer clothes?

Quilted fabric is usually thick and keeps you warm, so it’s not the best for summer clothes. But there are thinner quilted fabrics that can be used for summer outfits. They look cool and still let a bit of air through.

Can I use quilted fabric for furniture?

Yes, you can use quilted fabric for furniture like chairs and cushions. It makes furniture comfy and adds some style to its textures. People use it for seats and decorative furniture projects.

How do I get rid of stains on quilted fabric?

Stains on quilted fabric can be tricky. It’s best to check the care instructions first. Usually, you can start by cleaning the stain with a gentle detergent or a special fabric cleaner and a soft cloth or sponge. If it’s a tough stain, you might need a pro to clean it.

Can I use a sewing machine to quilt fabric at home?

Yes, you can use a sewing machine with a quilting foot at home. It’s faster and more precise, especially for big projects. But it takes some practice to get it just right. You can check out quilting tutorials or ask experienced quilters for help.

Can I quilt fabric by hand?

Yep, you can quilt by hand. It’s a traditional way to do it. You use a needle and thread to make stitches and patterns through the layers. Hand quilting gives you lots of control and fancy designs, but it takes time and skills.


Quilted fabric is a useful and warm material made by sewing layers together with some padding. It’s good for things like clothes, blankets, and home decorations. It’s strong and can look nice, but it can be heavy and cost more. Washing it can be tricky. If you have allergies, you should pick quilted fabric made from materials that won’t cause allergies. It’s also good to know how it affects the environment.

What is Quilted Fabric? Characteristics, Types, Uses

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top