Thursday, February 3, 2011


I've been bamboozled - - - again - - - twice - - - and I don't like it at all!!!

The culprit - bamboo batting - that "go green" alternative to cotton - - - but wait - am I going "batty" - - - isn't cotton green too??? Why do I need bamboo to be green???

Details on the culprit:
batting that consists of a blend of 50% bamboo rayon and 50% organic cotton - - - makes me feel green all over - - - saving the planet with every stitch I take - right?

The scenario - When I quilt I pull all my threads to the top of the quilt and leave them there until I'm finished - - then, when I'm good and ready, and have American Idol to distract me from the boredom - I sit quietly and bury those threads into the batting.

Here are the leftovers from last night's burial - look at all of that batting in the threads - it was a mess!!! This was King Tut thread - a good quality thread that has never pulled the batting of 100% cotton batting.

Before I could thread my burying needle I had to strip the thread strands of accumulated batting - - - a big mess!!!
And, yes, I said "again - - - twice". Here's quilt # two where I was battered by bamboo batting. I was planning on adding chicken scratch quilting using a fine cross stitch needle and a 3 strand silk thread for the chicken scratch - I've used this same thread many times with complete success with cotton batting. I even conditioned the thread with Thread Magic to make it super smooth. Look what happened - - - the thread emerged from the fabric pulling with it that darn bamboo - - - that's what's called "bearding".
When I tried to pull the bamboo batting it just kept coming out - - - I could have spun a thread of bamboo fiber.
Kermit the Frog should have said "it's not complicated being green" - - - stick with cotton, don't get bamboozled into thinking you have to change to be greener - - - cotton batting is cheaper and it won't ruin your quilt with bearding.


Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

I got snookered into the bamboo batting ONE TIME and never again. I had the same experience that you write. Sheesh!

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

Hokey Smokes! What a disaster. And I'm guessing the harvesting methods and workers health considerations are not green...

Thank you for sharing your experience.
If we were hand quilting, would every thread pull result in the same experience? Seems like we'd have heard about it by now...? Wish I had a square to experiment with.

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

Still thinking with my Dick Tracy hat on, I wonder if it was the combination of fibers? Isn't the bamboo batting green in color? (I've only seen it in one store) So would that make it the cotton that is coming out?

Very interesting!

Lisa ONeill said...

Hey Sharon - The bamboo batting that I am using is off-white in color, and the nightmare continues. I returned to the quilt that I had intended on quilting with chicken scratch and decided to machine quilt something simple in the solid purple space - bearding galore with machine quilting. When you quilt on a print fabric it is not as readily visible, but on a dark solid - wow! I use a 70 sharps for machine quilting with a 50 weight cotton thread - I'm not making any significant holes with the stitches. And there were so many batting fibers stuck to the top of the quilt from the excess batting on the edges of the sandwich that I was forced to use a sticky lint roller every few feet to remove the debris so that my quilting would not sew it to the top of my quilt!

Sharyn Mallow Woerz said...

The the mess to the store where you bought it and insist on getting your money back. If it was a reputable store they should be pulling it off their shelves.
Thanks for the response, I posted my query's to the quiltville list w/a link to your blog, hopefully you will get more feedback.

free indeed said...

THanks for the honest review. I like to see how others fair with 'new' items before I plunk my money down...and although bamboo batting sounds wonderful, I will avoid it...

NikiQuilts said...

Curious, was this the Fusi-Boo, fusible bamboo blend batting? I bought one and it is so sticky, like cotton candy. If you used that I bet the fusible is sticking to your threads! I wrote to Fairfield and got a refund.

Lisa ONeill said...

Hi Niki

This is not the FusiBoo - I agree FusiBoo is very sticky - it's a complete upper body workout just getting it unfolded from the packaging. I like the FusiBoo as a fusible bat, and there was no bearding with it.

My Sweet Prairie said...

I have had Arctic Bamboo come through the whole top twice, and four times not. I figured out it was the scrim the was falling aprt! Not happy either. :-(

Tonya Ricucci said...

yeesh, thanks for the good info - I'm never using that batting!

me@home said...

Thanks for writing about this. I was lamenting that bamboo batting isn't sold in this country (Israel), but I won't be anymore! You've just saved me the trouble of finding out the hard way about bamboo batting!

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