How to Determine the Scrim Side of Your Batting

The Mysterious Scrim Factor by Laura Wasilowski

Do you know which side is your scrim side? As a fuser, it’s important for me to figure out which side of my batting has scrim.

 

 

Fused Art quilt by Laura Wasilowski

 

Scrim is a network of non-woven fibers or a light-weight glue that holds batting fibers in place as you stitch. Not all batting has a scrim, but if it does and you fuse your quilt to the scrim side of the batting, you may end up with a rippled quilt.

 

fusing a quilt scrimside

 

When fused fabric touches the scrim side of batting and you apply a hot iron, the fabric may pucker up like this. The fusible web glue and the batting are not friends. You want a nice flat quilt, not a quilt that looks crumpled and wrinkled.

 

There are several ways to determine the scrim side of batting. Before you iron fused fabrics to batting, test for these items that indicate the scrim side:

  • The scrim side feels rough and course.
  • The scrim side has pills or pimples.
  • It appears flatter than the other side of the batting.
  • Or, you can separate the scrim at a corner of the batting like the image above.

 

To get a flat quilt, apply your fused fabrics to the non-scrim side of the batting. This side of the batting is:

  • Soft, fluffy, and puffy (like clouds).
  • The non-scrim side may have “dimples” as opposed to “pimples”.
  • And on some batting, you can see more cotton seeds and hulls on the good side of the batt. Yes, seeds are good!

 

fusing a quilt scrimsidedown

 

Still not sure? To test for the scrim side of your batting, place your fused art quilt onto the batting. Iron about a 5” square, just at one corner. Let the quilt cool. If the quilt top starts to pucker and ripple, pull it off the batting and place the quilt on the other side of the batting.

May all you quilts be flat and your dimples be seedy!

 

Techniques: quilting

3 thoughts on “How to Determine the Scrim Side of Your Batting

  1. Does the scrim side go against a quilt top when quilting? I always thought it did or you’d get bearding. Have I made my first 100 or so quilts wrong? Thanks,
    O

    1. I’m no expert on scrim when it comes to hand quilting but I do know it makes a big difference when you fuse a fabric directly to the scrim. Then the fabric ripples.

      I would assume that any batting made for hand quilting will not beard no matter what side is placed next to the quilt top. If your method is working for you, then it must be the right way to do it!

Leave a Reply