Despite its name, fleece is a comfortable cloth to wear and is not as chilly as a snowstorm. In reality, fleece fabric is used to construct a variety of plaid shirts for winter use, and it can be rather warm. When produced properly, fleece can also be incredibly soft to the touch.
Fleece can be manufactured from a number of different materials. Cotton, polyester, micro, sherpa, French Terra, and more fabrics are available. These alternatives can be further classified into blizzard, anti-pill, and other categories.
Continue reading our post to understand everything there is to know about fleece, including its origins, many fashions, and so forth. Exploring the world of fleece brings up new fabric possibilities and should inspire some wonderful sewing projects.
What is Fleece
Before we begin, a brief history of the cloth is required. Natural or organic fleece has existed since sheep were first domesticated. It’s the name given to sheep’s wool before it’s shorn and made into sewable materials.
Polyester fibers derived from plastics are used to make unnatural or non-organic fleece. The first step in manufacturing man-made fleece is to take plastic and transform it into thread.
The thread is then weaved and brushed till it has a beautiful fluffy appearance. The fleece is then made into fabric, sold as thread, and so forth. Fleece can be created from a variety of materials, including spandex, lycra, yarn, and other synthetic materials.
Its key feature is that it may be a very warm cloth to wear, which helps to keep the cold out during the winter.
What kind of Fabric is Fleece
Fleece is a fabric that comes in both organic and non-organic varieties and is commonly used for winter outerwear and blankets. Because it is a strong textile, it can be used to substitute plaid on plaid shirts.
It’s a simple fabric to work with because it’s soft and malleable. It’s not like leather, which may be stiff and difficult to work with. Fleece is also an environmentally friendly fabric that helps to recycle plastic before it enters the ocean.
Alternatively, the fabric might be created from recyclable plastics, which would aid in the global cleanup of the plastic crisis that has plagued the world for decades. This means that fleece is a very adaptable fabric that may be manufactured from a number of materials.
Organic fleece is a renewable fabric since sheep regrow their wool and can be shorn frequently throughout their lives.
Different Types of Fleece
There are around eight different types of fleece fabrics. Each has its own function and application. The following is a list of those types:
1. Cotton and cotton mix fleece – recognized for its smooth surface and velvety inside nap, this design is employed for gym clothing such as sweatpants.
2. Polyester fleece – this fabric has the same smooth and soft look and feel as cotton fleece, but it is somewhat more durable. Polyester fleece is more water resistant and has a shinier appearance.
3. Lycra spandex fleece – a cotton and lycra spandex blend. Its goal is to aid performers in stretching by allowing their costumes to stretch more. It is also utilized in apparel for ladies and children.
4. Micro Fleece is a thin, soft fabric that maintains its appearance and feel on both sides. It’s made of a light material that keeps moisture away from your skin.
5. Polar fleece is exactly what it sounds like. It is a textile designed for cold-weather clothing such as coats, blankets, and other items.
6. French terry fleece – because it is not brushed on both sides, it is not as good as polyester fleece. The cloth is smooth and devoid of fluff.
7. Slub fleece is created by weaving two different types of yarn together. After that, the slub fleece has a textured appearance.
8. Sherpa fleece, for example, is designed for cold temperatures. It is generally found within garments to help keep you warm. The fabric is constructed entirely of polyester and has the appearance of real wool fleece.
Blizzard Fleece vs Anti-Pill Fleece
Blizzard fleece is thought to be of higher quality than anti-pill fleece. It is said to be smoother than anti-pilll fleece, making it a comfortable fabric to wear near to the skin.
Both are brushed for fluffiness, but anti-pill is designed to achieve precisely what its name implies: it does not pill nearly as much as Blizzard fleece, if at all. The anti-pill variant is generally used for blankets and comes in sizes up to 85 inches wide.
The Blizzard fleece is known for being a less expensive alternative to polar fleece. You can save money by lining your clothing with such fabric rather than polar fleece.
However, if you value your washing and drying outcomes, anti-pill fleece is preferable than Blizzard fleece since it does not bunch up. You won’t lose anything because both fabrics are machine washable and sturdy.
Finally, the fleece fabric you choose will depend on your project and tastes.
Blizzard Fleece vs Polar Fleece
Polar fleece is more versatile because it may be used for a variety of purposes. Hats, sweaters, workout gear, blankets, and a variety of other apparel items can all benefit from it. This type of fleece is typically created from recycled materials and is designed to be soft and easy to clean.
Polar fleece was first introduced in 1979 and was created to look like real sheep’s fleece. It can be quite light, soft, and warm. Because Blizzard fleece is a less priced variant of Polar, it should and does have some of the same characteristics.
It’s great for no-sew projects, bathrobes, and sweaters, and it should come in pill and no-pill versions, much like Polar fleece. Because both varieties of fleece are soft and repel water, you can’t go wrong with either. It may come down to how much you want to spend at the time when deciding which one to employ.
Polar Fleece vs Plush Fleece
One of the thicker fleece fabric types available is plush fleece. It’s also known as coral fleece, and it’s noted for having a 3mm thick plush design on both sides.
One disadvantage is that it is not suitable for no-sew tasks. It is also not a cheap alternative, costing around $12 per yard in some retailers. Polar fleece is about a third of the price, and some places sell it for around $4.00 per yard.
Both are excellent in lining jackets, robes, and other garments. The plush is softer and cuddlier than the polar, which could be the difference between the two. When it comes to keeping the cold off your body, polar fleece may be superior to plush. Both are simple to clean.
Also, if you wish to stitch by hand, they shouldn’t be too difficult to sew through. Because they are flexible fabrics, stitching with a sewing machine should be simple.
Fleece vs Micro Fleece
If we’re comparing organic fleece to microfleece, we’re comparing natural wool to synthetic wool, and the natural version will win.
While some fleece is environmentally friendly, natural materials are generally healthier, warmer, and so on. Micro-fleece outperforms organic fleece in a variety of areas, including newborn care. Because of the ability of micro-fleeces to repel moisture, they are employed in diapers.
Micro fleece is also a popular fabric for use in women’s personal items, at least the washable version, due to its softness. Microfleece does not generally scratch the skin.
Microfleece’s thin construction is another advantage. It is frequently brushed on both sides, making it extremely soft regardless of how it is used. Furthermore, because it is lightweight, you will not feel burdened down when wearing apparel produced from this fleece alternative.
When the weather has merely become cool, not frigid, micro fleece is a suitable choice for insulation.
How to Choose Fleece
While each type of fleece has its own distinct properties, there are some general questions you may ask to assist you in selecting the best fleece fabric for your sewing project.
1. Do I really need it? Organic and non-organic fleece can be fairly pricey. You must explain the expense, and if it is excessive, you should probably pass.
2. What will I do with the fleece – the purpose of the fleece will influence whether or not you purchase it. Some fleeces are suitable for no-sew crafts, while others are not. To avoid purchasing the incorrect cloth, know what you want.
3. Fleece quality – be cautious because a manufacturer or retailer may try to pass off low-quality fleece fabric as high-grade fleece fabric on occasion. Check the fabric’s quality to ensure it will last for your needs.
4. Fleece color – is the fabric available in a design and color that you like and that will not embarrass your kids when their friends see it?
5. Is the fabric durable? You’ll want to be sure the fleece will last a long time for you or your family. Get the most powerful version that meets your needs.
Tips for Sewing Fleece
Not everyone knows how to stitch fleece. That’s why it’s always a good idea to pick up a few pointers to help you master the fabric and create fantastic fleece clothes or blankets:
1. A lengthy stitch is required; a small stitch will cause the fabric to stretch. Use approximately 8 to 10 stitches each inch.
2. Cut the nap correctly – no matter how many sections you cut and sew together, you want it to run in the same way. Keep the nap going in one direction.
3. Avoid using heavy ornamental elements – the weight of those buttons, for example, can cause the fleece to sag. Fleece is also unsuitable for rivets, snaps, or studs.
4. Decorative stitching is the ticket – if the foregoing fails, decorative thread can easily and without causing problems replace it.
5. Keep the fabric streamlined – grading seam allowances is an effective way to reduce bulk. Do not confuse being warm with being bulky.
6. Always use sharp knives, scissors, and other cutting instruments – for a clean, crisp cut, keep your cutting equipment sharp.
7. Do not iron; if you are not careful, strong heat will destroy your creation. Don’t iron your fleece things because your iron heats hotter than your washer or dryer.
8. Match your thread to your fabric – because fleece fabric is mostly made of plastic, you should use polyester thread rather than cotton thread.
When it comes to staying toasty this winter, you can’t go wrong with fleece fabric. This is a high-quality cloth that can easily endure cooler to cold temperatures. The key is to select the appropriate fleece fabric for your project.
Fleece isn’t difficult to work with, and if you follow the instructions, you should be fine. Just make sure you purchase the appropriate fleece for your project.