Waterproof quilting fabrics are special types of fabric that are inherently
, or have been treated to become, waterproof. They’re different than regular sewing fabrics and are used to make clothing, tents, tarps, and raincoats. They are also often used to make outdoor furniture covers and shower curtains.
To be considered a waterproof quilting fabric, a material must meet certain standards for breathability and water resistance. While most quilting cottons are naturally resistant to water, they’re not necessarily waterproof. To achieve the waterproof property, a fabric must have a special tight weave or coating. This can be done during or after the fabric is made.
Most commonly, the fabric is treated with polyurethane or a similar synthetic to make it water-resistant. This process involves heating the fabric so that it bonds to the polymer and creates a barrier that water can’t pass through. Other methods include adding a waterproof laminate or using a waterproofing spray to make the fabric water-resistant.
Some fabrics are inherently waterproof, such as wool. Boiled wool is water-resistant, and can be made even more so with a coat of lanolin. Other natural, waterproof materials include jute, silk, and hemp. Many of these fabrics can be improved with a coating or layer to make them fully waterproof, however.
There are a wide range of uses for waterproof fabrics, and they come in a variety of colors, styles, and weights. They’re ideal for a number of projects, including lining sports jackets and bags, making shower curtains, and constructing cloth diapers.
They’re especially useful in heavy traffic areas of your home, such as family rooms and kitchens. They can protect your furniture from spills and stains, as well as other common damage like pet scratches and shedding.
Choosing the right waterproof fabric for your project can be difficult because not all materials are equal when it comes to water-repellency and breathability. The most important consideration is the purpose of your project and what type of fabric will suit it best.
Waterproof fabrics are often heavier and more expensive than regular sewing fabrics, but they’re worth the investment if you’ll be using them frequently. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, you can try plastic-coated fabric or vinyl tablecloths from the hardware store. However, keep in mind that these fabrics can get brittle over time and may flake or peel.
Regardless of the fabric you choose
, you’ll need to prepare your quilt before you start stitching. Start by deciding on a pattern that will finish to the same measurements as your backing. Then cut your batting about 2" larger on all sides than your quilt top. Quilt the quilt and baste it with your preferred method. After the quilt is completed, trim the batting to match the size of your quilt top and finish the edges with a stay stitching. This will prevent the batting from getting brittle over time. You can purchase pre-quilted batting, if desired, to save time and effort.