Vlieseline have bought out two new eco-friendly waddings as part of their commitment to sustainability. They already make a large part of their range using 100% renewable raw materials as well as recycled polyester fibres. Now they are the first manufacturer to bring a fully biodegradable wadding to market too.
New Eco-friendly Waddings
ECO 150 – A light and voluminous sew in wadding. This wadding is biodegradable.
R80 – A soft lightweight wadding
The ECO 150 wadding biodegrades when in the ground after 57 days. But don’t panic! Vlieseline assured me it doesn’t start to biodegrade unless it is in the ground. It is the soil enzymes which trigger the degrading process. So, any quilts or products you make using this waddings can be washed and cared for in the usual manner without the wadding being affected.
This biodegradable wadding is made from Lyocell from Eucalyptus trees. It cane be used for making garments as well as quilts, it is breathable with up to 45% moisture absorption.
The only thing you do need to be aware of is that the shrinkage on these waddings is 20% more than comparable waddings after 3 washes.
I have tested the degradability of this wadding. I buried samples of both the ECO150, and the R80 (as a control sample and so I know I’m digging in the right place!) in the garden. I checked it after 1 month and it was already started to break down. 2 months later there was no trace at all of the ECO150.
I wanted to try out each wadding in a project so I could let you know more about each of them. Wadding is something that is hard to properly see in photos so I will do my best to describe them well to you.
ECO 150 Wadding
This biodegradable wadding is a high loft wadding, it has 2 outer layers which are feel kind of grippy. By this I mean it feels like it sticks to you, but in a gripping/Velcro sense not in a sticky glue type way. It would adhere well to fabric when you are basting your quilt.
Between the outer layers is a super soft fluffy wispy layer that reminds me of toy stuffing. It gives the wadding really squish! The image above shows you the thickness of the wadding, that is without my applying any pressure to it. It’s 2cm thick.
When lightly quilted it still retains a lot of volume as you can see with the cushion cover (view the finished cushion here) I was making above. I didn’t use a backing fabric and it did stick a bit to my machine whilst the fabric was moving through meaning I had to pull it slightly at times. But if you are making a quilt you would have backing fabric between the wadding and the sewing machine.
My quilting lines were 1.75 inches apart. Adding more quilting compressed it as you would expect. You can leave up to 15-20cm between your quilting lines. The more gap you leave the more volume the wadding will add to your project. I can see this wadding being good for squishy padded items like quilts, baby’s playmats, cuddly quilted cushions, quilted jackets etc.
One thing to bear in mind is that it does have 20% more shrinkage than traditional polyester waddings after 3 washes. It is the loft that shrinks rather than the size, so it just loses a little of the squishiness.
I have to say I don’t think I have ever felt a wadding softer than this one, it is really soft and strokable. It is thinner than the ECO 150 (0.5cm thick) – more comparable to the thickness of the H640 fusible fleece which I use a lot. I find this thickness is perfect for pouches, bags, wall hanging quilts or lightweight quilts. This wadding is made from recycled polyester fibres but unlike the ECO 150 is not biodegradable.
I decided to make an improv quilted cushion with this wadding (free tutorial here), using it for a quilt as you go method. I did find because it’s quite soft and fluffy I got some fluff stuck in the ridges of my cutting board, but you just run your finger over it to remove it. It’s worth cleaning your machine after using it too to remove any fibres which escaped. I do this when using any wadding.
As a base to my fabric during the quilt as you go process it worked perfectly. It’s strong enough to support my patchwork but not too bulky. Unlike the ECO150 it didn’t grip to the machine when sewing it. It doesn’t give your project too much body, so if you like your bags to have a little slouch this product would be ideal.
My go to Vlieseline product has always been their H640 fusible fleece, but I can see that now if it doesn’t need to be fusible, I’ll be using the R80. They are similar thicknesses and handle, but the R80 feels softer.
Find stockists of these environmentally friendly waddings and other Vlieseline products on their website.
Disclosure – I am a Vlieseline ambassador because I love their products and use them in most my projects. However I give my honest opinion when reviewing them.