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What Are the Different Types of Quilt Backing?

Quilt backing may be made from a variety of fabrics.
Flannel is a popular quilt backing material for quilts used in winter.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2014
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Quilt backing can be made from pretty much any type of fabric. Choosing a quilt backing means simply considering the intended usage and desired aesthetics of the quilt. For example, if a quilt is being made for use on a child's bed in the winter, for example, it might be wise to use polar fleece. Not only is polar fleece warm, but it is also stain resistant and easily laundered. This is especially important if the child is the kind of kid who likes to drag his blanket around the house and snuggle up with it on the couch.

Another good kind of quilt backing for quilts that will be used in the winter is heavy flannel. This is especially nice for quilts that will be used directly on the body and not on top of a sheet. The soft flannel feels quite nice against the skin and can be used as a good quilt backing for quilts that are kept in the den or used to stay warm while enjoying one's deck or back yard in chilly months. For a quilt that will be used in warmer weather, quilt backing made of a lighter fabric, such as cotton, may be the best choice.

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Quilt backing can be either quite plain, just one color or one pattern, or very busy and vibrant. Quilts that will be used on a bed should have backings that complement the fabrics on the front of the quilt. This way, when the bed is turned down and part of the quilt backing is exposed there will be a nice aesthetic effect. Sometimes people choose busy backings for their quilts in order to hide imperfect stitching. This can be a good trick for beginners who are still refining their quilting skills.

Sometimes quilters decide not to use quilt backing at all and, instead, make a reversible quilt. This is basically two quilt "tops" and no quilt "bottoms" or, as referred to here, backing. These kinds of quilts can be technically more difficult but are also nice because they can offer two different or complementary looks, which can help to offer decorating options in the room or rooms where the quilt will be used. Although these quilts can serve as two different quilts in one, they may also take twice the time to make and finish as one regular quilt that has a normal quilt backing.

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