Not all quilting fabric is created equal, and some fabric is better quality than others. ZJ Humbach breaks down what can make one fabric better to use than others and how to tell.
ZJ begins by explaining how all quilting cotton fabric starts out. She explains what a woven greige is and how it is essentially a blank canvas waiting for color or print. ZJ shares that there are different quality levels of greige, which essentially determines the quality level that the end fabric will have. There are also several ways to enhance the fabric, making it last longer or feel softer, which some of the bigger-name fabric companies do. This high-level greige and additional enhancements to the fabric is often what makes the end fabric cost more as well. ZJ then talks about how designs are printed onto fabric. While most high-quality fabrics will ensure that the design is printed straight onto the fabric, lesser-quality fabrics may not, and you might end up with a pattern that is not properly aligned on the fabric. It can be tricky to know whether the design is printed straight along the grain of the fabric when simply looking at it on the bolt; however, you can test the fabric when you get it home by either cutting or tearing along the grain line to see if the pattern is straight. ZJ then talks about several other ways you can determine whether a quilting fabric is high quality or not, including how it is dyed. She gives simple ways that you can test to see if the quilting fabric dye is going to rub off on or bleed onto other fabrics when it’s used. ZJ then wraps up by talking about additional quilting fabrics that you may be interested in using if you plan to be quilting with textured fabric or other fabrics like homespun fabrics or flannel.