Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about wadding and fabrics

Drape describes the ease with which a fabric or quilt can take up the shape of the mattress or the sleeper. Quilts should exhibit a natural drape to accentuate their appearance rather looking stiff or boardy. Good drape characteristics are also important to allow a quilt to wrap around the body and to let the quilt do its job to keep cold air at bay.

Some resins are solvent based and can be a skin irritant as well as giving off harmful VOC emissions. Resin bonding has not been used in Australia for decades due to occupational health and safety concerns. You should always consult the Material Data Safety Sheet when using waddings containing chemical additives, and preferably only use products which have independent safety certification.

Fibres that are held together by a needle felting process; which intermingles the fibres and uses their natural surface texture or morphology to hold them together. Scrims are introduced in cases where the needling action is inefficient or there aren’t sufficient fibres in the web to adequate allow the felting process to stop the fibres from dislodging or becoming loose during use or washing.  Resin bonding is used for the same reason.

Resin is a chemical applied to the top surface of a quilted wadding to hold the fibre in place. Resins are effective but can add to the stiffness of the product, making it “boardy”, and diminish the drape of the finished quilt. Some resins are solvent based and can be a skin irritant as well as giving off harmful VOC emissions. Resin bonding has not been used in Australia for decades due to occupational health and safety concerns. You should always consult the Material Data Safety Sheet when using waddings containing chemical additives.

Tontine wadding fibres are held in place by the application of heat in an oven which naturally “welds” the fibres in place. When cooled to room temperature the heat bonding of fibres keeps them in place and is why Tontine wadding keeps its shape, handle and drape. This also means that there are no other foreign materials used in the manufacture of Tontine waddings which might irritate the user or release unsustainable emissions.

Polyester is a popular wadding material and used extensively in quilts, mattress manufacture and upholstery. Polyester is also extensively used in textile manufacture and as a soft and warm filling for pillows, cushions, toys and many other applications. It is soft and resilient and has excellent insulating performance for those wanting to use their quilt in a colder climate or during winter. As a synthetic fibre its moisture management capabilities are not as good as cotton or wool, however it is cheaper to buy and work with as a wadding there is no felting, scrims or adhesive chemicals required to hold the fibre together to retain its shape, resilience and drape.

Wool and cotton are both organic materials and both are regularly used in textile manufacture. 

Wool is generally used in colder climates and has excellent thermal regulating capabilities.  Woolmark has undertaken extensive research into the benefits of wool in bedding products and this can be found here:  https://www.woolmark.com/fibre/

Cotton is the most widely used natural textile fibre (polyester is the most widely used synthetic textile fibre) and has excellent moisture management characteristics allowing the wadding to “breathe”. Cotton waddings are more often used in warmer climates or for use with babies or persons who may be in danger of overheating if a warmer material such as wool or polyester is used.  Cotton Australia provides an overview of the properties of cotton on their website by going to http://cottonaustralia.com.au/cotton-library/fact-sheets/cotton-fact-file-cotton-properties-and-products

The Tontine brand was established in Australia in the 1960’s and since that time has become synonymous with quality and comfort. All Tontine branded craft products are sold by United Bonded Fabrics, an Australian family owned company, and are made locally in Australia. Click here for more on the Australian history.

Pre-cut waddings are a convenient alternative to wadding cut from the roll and come in three convenient sizes to suit most Australian project applications.

  • 100gsm; multi-purpose 1.5x 5m roll
  • 150gsm; 1.5m x 2m roll
  • 200gsm; 1.5m x 1.22m roll

Alternative weights and roll lengths are also available.

Wadding is the traditional term for the filling inside a quit, or for the comfort layers used in mattress manufacture and upholstery in Australia and the United Kingdom. Batting is the American term for the identical goods.  Tontine has maintained the traditional Australian name to differentiate its products from imported alternatives.

Commercial quilters use the same materials as craft quilters, although they generally use a higher loft and heavier weight of wadding which can be more easily processed through multi-needle or singe needle high speed quilting machines. Tontine branded products use the same technology in their craft waddings as in their commercial Regal and Loftex ranges.

Loft is the measure of the thickness of the wadding. The loft will change once the quilt is covered and stitched and after repeated compression (by laying on or wrapping the quilt around you).  Depending on the material and the process used for manufacture, the wadding will want to recover or rebound to its original shape or initial loft.  The ability for the wadding to recover is called its resilience. Heat bonded waddings are always more resilient that needle-punched or resin bonded waddings.

The loft is important for two main reasons; a loftier quilt looks and feels better, and accentuates the quilt pattern, and a loftier quilt is warmer than a quilt with a “dead” filling.

Tontine waddings have a higher initial loft than other waddings, and the quality of materials and manufacturing technology ensures excellent resilience.

Resilience is important for a quilt to look its best by accentuating the quilt pattern. It is also important to allow the quilt to maximize its loft to improve its warmth and softness.

There is no real restriction to the size for your quilt and to a large extent will be governed by the design and proposed end use of the quilt.

Australian commercial standard quilt sizes are as follows as a guide:

  • Single - 140cm x 210cm
  • Double - 180cm x 210cm
  • Queen - 210cm x 210cm
  • King - 240cm x 210cm

  • Cot - 120cm x 100cm, but can vary depending on manufacturer's cot mattress size.

 

Fibre migration refers to the propensity for fibres from the wadding to work their way to the outside face of the quilt and is different to fibres being pulled to the surface through the quilting process, that is, from the snagging of fill fibres by the quilting needle.

The factors that affect migration are:

  1. Whether fill fibres are loose or well secured
  2. The stiffness of the fibres
  3. The “openness” of the quit fabric weave

Wool fibres have the greatest propensity to migrate as they are relatively stiff and fine. To limit wool fibre migration, a down proof or Japara quality fabric weave is required. A Japara fabric weave has a minimum thread count of 230, and generally the tighter the weave (or the higher the “cover”) the lower the risk of fibre migration.

If your quilt has a relatively open weave, cotton or polyester is probably a better choice, however, if you really want to use a wool wadding, and you don’t mind a slight loss of drape, you can consider using a downproof nonwoven scrim between the fill and the face fabric to reduce potential migration.

All Tontine wadding is made using state of the art production techniques to create a wadding made with fibres that are securely anchored without the use of scrims or resin bonding. All wadding will shed some fibre from the edges when being cut, but shedding or “bearding” of fibre should not be noticeable once the quilt is finished.

All wadding will shrink between 1 to 3% (polyester will shrinking the least and pre-shrunk cotton and wool will shrink the most) and allowance should be made for this. However, it is unlikely that the wadding will shrink more that the quilt fabric, and as such the fabric shrinkage should be taken into consideration when choosing a wadding. Note that in some cases the shrinkage can add to the appearance and aesthetic look of the quilt

Quilts made with Tontine wadding can be aired or plumped from time to time, however aggressive “beating” or washing will have an impact both on the surface fabric as well as on the wadding.  The method of cleaning adopted will be governed as much by the face fabrics as the wadding.  Subject to the suitability for the face fabric, dry cleaning or gentle washing in cold water is recommended for cleaning of your quilt which is made with Tontine wadding.  After washing, and subject to suitability for the face fabric, quilts should be laid flat in a sunny position and must be fully dried before use to avoid the possibility of mould on the face fabric or in the wadding.

All Tontine products are fully warranted for quality and workmanship. 

Oekotex 100 is the global benchmark standard for safety in textile materials. It was introduced in Europe in the early 1990’s in response to concerns about harmful chemicals used in textile production which caused irritation and ill health, and in some cases leading to the formation of cancers.  Tontine waddings had been consistently certified as Class 1 to Oekotex 100 (highest level; safe enough for use against the skin of new born babies) by Testex in Switzerland based on annual testing between 2010 and 2015. Given this consistent performance and retention of manufacturing standards, annual testing was no longer deemed necessary after this time.

ISO9001 is the globally accepted quality accreditation standard for organizations which design and manufacture goods in accordance with best practice principles, and which are subject to independent third party audit on a regular basis.

Tontine wadding continues to be manufactured in accordance with the highest principles of quality assurance, and was independently certified to ISO9001 until 2015 when the company was restructured.

GreenTag has been created to simplify this process and make it easy to identify, compare and source products for their environmental credentials. It is a third party, green building and other product rating and Assessment (LCA) processes. Its advanced, robust ‘beyond LCA’ certification methodology is a world first.

GreenTag rated products receive a Product Eco-Scorecard which displays at a glance the LCA and eco-point rating so you can easily compare products, or assess a product based on what is most important to you whether that is greenhouse gasses (GHG) or health.

Tontine fibres goods have been previously been accredited to Global Green Tag standards at the GOLD PLUS level of excellence, and maintain the stringent standards which allowed the products to be judged to these standards in the past.

The Tog is a measure of thermal resistance of a unit area, also known as thermal insulance, and is a measure commonly used in Europe and the UK to rate the warmth of quilts.

Quilts are sold in steps of 1.5 tog from 4.5 tog (summer) to 15 tog (extra-warm). Australian made quilts generally do not use tog ratings as this is not a well known measure here.

Tontine craft products are designed in accordance United Bonded Fabrics’ (see “About Us”) commitment to Fibre Technology for Better Living.

This commitment extends to its production processes, selection of materials, distribution network, and the Company’s entire approach to doing business.

  • All the Company’s products are designed to improve the physical environment of the user.
  • The greater majority of fibres used in products are organic or recycled
  • Virgin fibres are only sourced from suppliers with the highest environmental standards of production.
  • All United Bonded Fabrics’ products are designed to be reusable or recyclable
  • United Bonded Fabrics does not use any chemicals or process water in the production of its products.
  • United Bonded Fabrics employs state of the art energy efficient production processes.
  • United Bonded Fabrics’ nationwide distribution network strives to minimize the cost and impact of transport for supply of goods to its customers.
  • United Bonded Fabrics has active waste management programs in place to minimize the generation and disposal of production waste to landfill.
  • All product packaging used is biodegradable.

The Oeko-Tex 100 standard for textile safety was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s as a response to the needs of the general public for textiles which posed no risk to health. "Poison in textiles" and other negative headlines were widespread at this time and indiscriminately branded all chemicals across the board used in textile manufacturing as negative and dangerous to health.

Textile products bearing the Oeko-Tex 100 certification mark:

  • Do not contain allergenic dye-stuffs and dye-stuffs that form carcinogenic arylamines or risks.
  • Have been texted for pesticides and chlorinated phenols.
  • Have been tested for the release of heavy metals under artificial perspiration conditions.
  • Are free from formaldehyde or containing trace amounts
  • Have a skin friendly PH.
  • Are free from chloro-organic carriers.
  • Are free from biologically active finishes.

The certification process includes thorough testing in independent Swiss based laboratories for a lengthy list of chemicals, including lead, antimony, arsenic, phthalates, pesticides, and chlorinated phenols.

All Tontine wadding products were certified as Class 1 to Oekotex 100, as safe enough for use against the skin of new born babies from 2010 to 2015. Given this consistent performance and retention of manufacturing standards, annual testing was no longer deemed necessary after this time.

Established in 2001, the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious business awards in Victoria that recognises excellence in manufacturing. The Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame recognises outstanding businesses and individuals in the manufacturing industry.

United Bonded Fabrics was inducted to the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of fame in 2012.