It's a good thing Sew4Home doesn't feature any audio feeds or you'd have to put up with me singing Katy Perry's Hot N Cold while you read this article. Lucky for you ... and most of the planet, we'll skip the singing and instead concentrate on a few facts about the available thermal material options for home décor.
There are quite a few home décor projects that call for insulating fabrics to keep hot stuff hot and cold stuff cold, such as: pot holders and oven mitts, table pads, lunch carriers, shopping totes, ironing board pads, outdoor stadium cushions, tea cozies, and lots of other things that have slipped my mind I'm sure.
The most versatile material we found is Insul-Bright from The Warm Company, which describes its manufacture as: 'consisting of hollow, polyester fibers needle-punched through a nonwoven substrate and through a reflective metalized poly film. The needled material is breathable and won't break down with washing. The hollow fibers resist conduction while the reflective metalized poly film resists radiant energy. The energy, hot or cold, is reflected back to its source.'
Insul-Bright is machine washable, easy to cut to size, and apart from being just a bit slippery, is quite nice to work with. Most sources offer it by the yard in 22" and 45" widths, and a few outlets offer 36" x 45" pre-cuts. Because there is a metallic component, you can not use Insul-Bright in the microwave.
Even though we've listed this material in the 'batting' category, The Warm Company does suggest you layer Insul-Bright with a standard cotton batting if you are using it for a high-heat application.
Iron Quick is a specialty fabric made of 100% aluminum with 100% cotton backing. It's designed to protect from heat, but does not have any insulating properties. Sold by the yard, it's 45" wide and machine washable.
When you need insulating and well as heat protection, Iron Quick also comes as a quilted material. This is simply the regular Iron Quick fabric with polyester batting sandwiched in between. It is only 42" wide.
Neither Iron Quick products can be used in the microwave.
Nancy's Notions carries both types of Iron Quick products by the yard.
Therma Flec is a lightweight, heat resistant cloth similar to the Iron Quick. It is scorch-proof to 390˚, but like the Iron Quick cloth, does not provide insulation. You would need to use it in combination with a heavy cotton batting for items such as hot pads, oven mitts or ironing board pads. Two colors are available, silver and light gold, in 44" width. Again, don't put this product in the microwave.
We found Therma Flec several places online on huge bolts, which is a little ridiculous unless you're going into the oven mitt business. But Craft & Fabric Links, an online-only source, offers it by the yard.
Pellon makes a 100% polyester interfacing called Thermolam, which is a needle-punched, sew-in fleece with a protective scrim that can provide some warmth. It's available by the yard at a 45" width and is machine washable. It's considered a heavy-weight in the general world of interfacing, however, it doesn't have any loft, so it isn't a choice for projects that call for true insulating and/or padded properties.
There's no microwave warning for this fabric, but then again, I couldn't find anything that said it was okay to use either. Maybe you should just forget the microwave, huh?
Fabric.com offers a good price on Thermolam by the yard.