There are so many different waddings out there it’s no wonder we get confused about what is best to use. So many choices, personal preferences, cost, best for the planet. Well, good news this Vlieseline ECO 150 Wadding is the first 100% biodegradable wadding on the market, and I’m delighted to be reviewing it courtesy of Vlieseline and UKQU.co.uk.

The website features this new wadding in Quilting News,  and I’m here to test it out by quilting a mini quilt on my Brother NV1800Q sewing machine. When I have a quilt top ready, I’m also going quilt using the Vlieseline ECO 150 Wadding on my Simply Sixteen and check out whether the wadding is as biodegradable as claimed to be! – I will blog an update about this in the not-too-distant future!

Check out the information here for more detail direct from Vlieseline:

https://ukqu.co.uk/blog/2021/07/12/introducing-ec150-vlieseline-biodegradable-wadding/?doing_wp_cron=1630173704.2673490047454833984375

We all have our favourite waddings and, as a newbie to quilting some 4 years ago, I tended to buy the polyester waddings which were cheaper and also came in a range of lofts (thickness) and quality. I have since moved on to using 80/20 which is a mix of cotton and polyester so the Vlieseline ECO 150 is a totally new wadding to me too. I’m intrigued to see how it handles and, by making a mini quilt, I can also wash it and see how it comes out afterwards.

Here is a selection of the other wadding I have used over the years. As you can see there is difference is noticeable difference in the ‘depth’ of the wadding although C and D are almost the same at 0.25”. I still have left over pieces of A (1” depth) and B (0.75”) and mainly use these for making fidget quilts or sometimes baby quilts if I want them to have some ‘puffiness’ to the finished look. 

Vlieseline ECO 150 wadding has a depth of about 0.5” when it’s relaxed a bit once in use. It’s very soft and light to handle and has antistatic qualities. It’s made out of renewable resources, 100% Lyocell, which is sourced from Eucalyptus trees. There were no chemical smells on the wadding I received.

I checked out whether it is water repellent by spraying water onto a piece and yes, the water just ran off, it hadn’t soaked through the layers either.

The ECO 150 wadding has been specifically created to only start the process of biodegrading once it comes into contact with enzymes found in soil. I love a bit of science so I just have to check this out!

So, what to make with it? A mini quilt seemed a good idea. I made a quilt sandwich – backing fabric RS facing down, wadding in the middle and then the mini-quilt top RS facing up. The wadding and backing fabric were 2-3 inch wider than the quilt top.

I wanted to see how the wadding reacted to being quilted when held in place with pins and with a temporary fabric adhesive spray so I decided to use both methods. Vlieseline say that the wadding ‘can be hand or machine sewn and quilters should use a spacing of 6-8 inch (15-20cm). I chose to do straight line quilting approx ⅜” apart on the centre panel of the top.

I changed the settings on my sewing machine for a longer stitch and adjusted the tension too. As you can see below there were no ECO 150 wadding fibres pulled through the stitching and it didn’t snag on the machine needle during sewing either. My machine automatically adjusts the foot pressure to the fabrics being used and again, there are no problems with the ‘quilt’ gliding over the stitch plate during sewing. If you prefer to use a walking foot, then it should work just as well. There was no real difference between the finished results for either pinning or using adhesive spray, the wadding handled well using both methods. Personally, I preferred using the fabric adhesive spray but it was a small size quilt so it’s best if you use your chosen method for the size of quilt you are making.

Trim to the desired size. It cuts easily and cleanly with scissors or rotary cutters. Add your binding and voila, you have a finished mini-quilt.

On reflection I think it would be better to use this wadding with edge-to-edge quilting designs which would help to stop some of the puckering on the borders. I am really pleased with the way it handled during the quilting process though.

All that’s left to do is wash and dry it to see if there is any noticeable difference afterward. Vlieseline recommends washing at up to 40 degrees on a gentle cycle and pressed with a cool iron. It is also dry cleanable and OEKO-TEX 100, Class 1 Certified.

Like many quilters, to avoid waste, I join together off-cuts of my 80/20 wadding to make bigger pieces or use the narrower strips for padding bag handles and can do this quite successfully on my sewing machine using a zigzag/joining stitch. I couldn’t do this with the ECO 150 as it tends to bunch up on the stitch plate and the layers tend to separate on the smaller off-cuts. (e.g., less than 2/3 inch wide). You could probably piece/baste larger off-cuts together between the layers of fabric used to make a ‘quilt sandwich’.

Personally, I’d like to see the wadding have some stabilising stitched rows/grids as it is so soft and I’m not sure yet how well it will handle when making up a larger quilt, especially if it is being used on a domestic sewing machine as opposed to a long arm machine. I will be ‘testing’ out how well the wadding handles when making up a larger quilt top and quilting it on my long arm machine. Watch out for a mini blog to see how I get on.

After a quick trawl on the UK internet sites, I found prices ranging from £12.99 to £18.99 per metre for the Vlieseline ECO150 wadding so it’s best to shop around. It is approx 62 inches (155 cm) wide. You can also use the ECO150 with most fabrics and is suitable for garments, patchwork and quilting. There’s a list of stockists to be found via the Vlieseline website.

A huge thank you to Vlieseline for supplying this lovely ECO 150 wadding and a big thank you to UKQU.co.uk too for giving me this opportunity to review it.

Anyone wanting to know more about using wadding in general check out this site for some really useful information. https://www.thesewingdirectory.co.uk/choosing-and-usings-waddings/

Happy Sewing Everyone

Carol Lightburn

Twitter: @quiltsewgo           Instagram: quiltsewgo

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