After the same question came up several times in Tuesday’s post about the Smitten Lawns, it seemed best to reply here. To everyone.
Durability. Based on my own experience – more on that in a moment – cotton lawns are very durable. For quilt backings and garments, I have found them to wash, wear and last as long as regular quilting cottons.
The bigger question is “how do you define durability?” And what sort of use and frequency of laundering do your quilts get?
First – the fabric is woven from a finer thread, one that has a higher twist. The finer thread means a higher thread-count than quilting cottons. Those two factors almost always make the fabric lighter and stronger.
A quilt I made almost twenty years ago (ack!!) was backed with cotton lawn. I . bought the fabric on sale in a shop that sold garment fabric, and it was not from that English company known for their lawns. I loved the print and thought it would look very nice on my blue-and-white more-of-a-triple-than-a-double Irish Chain quilt. (Don’t ask.)
I have also made lawn pillowcases for many years, and I’ve made and bought shirts/tops made with cotton lawn.
Because the quilt was on the bed and Rosie slept on the bed – don’t judge – it was frequently washed in hot water. The quilt – and my pillowcases and garments – held up without tears or wear spots for many years.
Camille made this two-sided lawn quilt as her travel quilt after years of using another quilt made with a lawn backing. Jen Kingwell’s three daughters grew up with quilts backed with cotton lawn, and they were used daily and washed regularly.
Jen also hand-quilts many of her cotton lawn quilts so she believes in the durability of cotton lawn. (I’m sure she’s making many lawn baby quilts for the first grandchild she is expecting the end of this year.)
This is Camille’s quilt – pattern – Head Over Heels. This pattern is available at your favorite quilt shop now – ask for Thimble Blossoms TB 223 Head Over Heels.
The Smitten Lawns are not available as a FQ bundle from Moda. But your favorite quilt shop might be able to help with that.
If you’re still not convinced, or worried about durability, start with something small. A pillow would be perfect! Use the lawn for the front and back – quilted or not – and see if it holds up to the kind of wear-and-tear you would give it.
So what did I forget? (Honestly, it’s always something.)