Upholstery batting is the fabric padding found between two layers of upholstery covering that is typically made from materials such as foam, cotton, or polyester. When upholstering a piece of furniture, it is important to consider the intended use the furniture will have prior to selecting the batting material. It is also helpful to know a little about the characteristics of the different types of batting since this will help you select the most suitable type for your purposes
1. Regular Cotton Batting
One of the most common types of upholstery batting to use is cotton batting. The fibers used are usually a blend of cotton from different plant types.
Linters and binders are the most common materials that make up the cotton felt mix. Linter material is a wooly and fuzzy fiber that is usually on the seeds of the cotton plants. The procedure to draw out these fibers involves the combing of the “first cut” cotton from the stem. Most batting materials will have an indication of the linter to binder content ratio, so when purchasing cotton felt batting, take note of these two numbers. The first will be the total amount of linters in the material and the second, the amount of binders.
Batting with higher linter content may be expected to result in a softer material. Take note, however, because the durability of the upholstery batting used may not last long with high linter count.
Polyester is another popular batting material used for upholstery. It is most commonly in quilts, futons, and pillows. Polyester batting is a form of the foam wrap that is commonly used in many upholstered furnishings for the foam cushions that soften the edges of a piece of furniture. One major advantage of polyester upholstery batting is that it is mildew resistant. As a result, polyester upholstery batting is typically seen in outdoor furniture, patio cushions, and in boat cushions.
3. Organic Cotton
Organic cotton is another commonly used upholstery batting. It is soft, durable, and often has an invisible scrim.
Organic cotton refers to cotton produced from a non-genetically enhanced plant. This eliminates the risk of having the chemicals retained in the cotton which may affect the user of the upholstery. Common irritants in genetically enhanced cotton materials can lead to skin rashes and other skin conditions in sensitive individuals. Organic cotton upholstery batting is also of a soft and smooth texture.
Types of upholstery batting continue to increase as more batting fabrics and foams are made. Deciding which type you want will entirely depend on personal preference, but knowing more about your options will allow you to make a more informed choice.