Monday, March 12, 2012

Quilting Terminology: What is Bearding?

Have you ever seen a quilt that has a fuzzy appearance because the batting is poking through the surface of the fabric? The batting sticking out is what quilters call bearding. If the batting color is close to the color of the fabric, it might not show very much. If, however, the batting color varies widely from the fabric color, it really stands out.

Quilt image courtesy of Click and MorguFile.
How to Prevent Bearding
Bearding is most likely to occur if you make your quilt with loosely-woven fabric or if you use a needle that is too big.
  • If you are quilting with loosely-woven fabric, either make sure to either use batting that matches the fabric or place a layer of light-weight lining between the fabric and batting.
  • Also, make sure you are using a quilting needle that is the appropriate gauge for your project, so you are not making holes large enough for the batting to escape.
How to Get Rid of Quilt Bearding

Short of taking your quilt apart and replacing the bearded sections, you can't really get rid of bearding. That is obviously an impractical approach in most situations. However, you can improve the appearance of a bearded quilt by using a fabric shaver to remove most of the fibers that stick out.

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