The choice of quilt cover fabric by quilt manufacturers is an important decision relative to appearance, softness, handle and the overall performance of the finished quilt.
Unfortunately, cost is all too often a major factor in fabric choice for lower quality quilts. The use of a poor quality or inappropriate cover fabric can have a major effect on the performance of quilt. We have seen some shockers in our time.
Kelly & Windsor only uses the finest premium quality cover fabrics in the manufacture of our luxury alpaca and wool quilts. To compliment the quality of the alpaca fleece fillings in our quilts we use a selection of specifically designed fabrics which are exclusive to Kelly & Windsor.
The quilt doona cover fabric used by Kelly & Windsor are an essential element in our quilt collections and are manufactured with very fine yarn counts, high thread counts and sateen constructions. We design our fabrics to create the ultimate softness to compliment the exclusivity of the alpaca fleece fillings in our quilts. Our cover fabrics are silky smooth with an appealing shiny lustre that perfectly matches the luxury of alpaca fillings.
All quilts have a quilt cover fabric which is usually woven using cotton, bamboo, viscose or polyester blend yarns. What separates a low quality from a high quality quilt apart from the quilt's filling is the cover fabric.
There are two basic weave types, plain and sateen constructions that are used in bed quilts which we would like to further explain below.
This is the oldest and simplest weave style with each end, warp and weft alternating over the other. Plain weave fabrics are commonly used in bed quilts.
In the Australia bedding industry, a commonly used quilt cover fabric is called a "Japara", a term unique to Australia.This is a plain woven cotton fabric made with medium fine yarn counts and woven into a thread count (often referred to as t/c) construction of approximately 230 ends per inch ie the sum of the number of warp and weft yarns in one square inch
Japara is commonly used in lower to mid-price point end quality quilts, primarily due to its lower cost compared to higher quality fabrics.
Unfortunately, a quilt which has a japara cover fabric is often over promoted as being export quality, premium grade, superfine or similar connotations of it having a higher quality than other fabrics. This is a highly inaccurate marketing spin, to be polite.
To offer a balanced article, we regard most (but certainly not all) Japara fabrics as being of an acceptable quality quilt fabric. We are not being critical of quilts made with Japara fabrics, they do have their place in the lower end of the bedding market, but we just don’t believe that a Japara fabric is of sufficient quality for a luxury alpaca quilt collection.
A higher quality fabric construction style, with the outer face of the fabric being weft filling floats usually in a 4:1 ratio. Sateen (also known as satin) weave fabrics have a smooth characteristic, lustrous surface with a considerably higher number of threads in the weft that forms the fabric face.
All of the Kelly & Windsor alpaca quilt collections are designed and manufactured using a premium quality sateen fabrics which have different fibre blends for our special collections -
We hope that you have found this article useful. Sorry that it is quite detailed and long, but if you have read this far at least give us a review and credit for being passionate and knowledgeable about our products and business.
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