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Fleece blankets hug you close through frigid nights, but do you really know your fabrics? From plush minky to stretchy micro, fleece comes in all types. As a textile engineer sourcing fabrics, we’ll guide you through the key differences so you can find the fleece that matches your winter wardrobe vision and keeps you cozy.
Let’s start with the fleece that started it all: good ol’ polar fleece.
Table Of Contents
- Fleece comes in varieties like polar, micro, minky, and wool fleece, each with distinct properties.
- Fleece tends to be soft, insulating, water-resistant, and machine washable.
- Special care is needed when working with fleece due to pilling and shrinking potential.
- Following specific washing, drying, and ironing methods preserves fleece’s beneficial qualities.
What is Fleece Fabric?
As you know, fleece is a synthetic knit fabric valued for its soft, insulating properties. The fuzzy surface traps air pockets that provide warmth without compromising breathability.
How is Fleece Made?
When you’re wearing a cozy fleece jacket, you’ve got a brushed, fuzzy fabric keeping you warm.
- Fleece is a synthetic fabric made from polyester fibers.
- The process begins by weaving fine fibers into a light fabric.
- This fabric is then brushed to create the soft and fuzzy texture that makes fleece so warm and comfortable.
Fleece’s synthetic nature also makes it water-resistant and machine washable, making it an excellent choice for jackets and other garments.
Properties of Fleece
Through its dense weave and fuzzy texture, fleece keeps you warm by retaining heat in the air pockets that sit between the piles on its surface, while also remaining comfortable against the skin as it doesn’t absorb moisture like cotton.
Fleece is a breathable fabric that wicks away moisture, making it ideal for active wear.
It’s water-resistant and insulating, providing warmth without weighing you down.
Different types of fleece include polyester fleece, cotton fleece, wool fleece, and water-resistant microfleece.
Polar and Medium Weight Fleece
If you’re looking for a cozy and warm fabric, polar fleece and medium weight fleece are excellent choices.
Polar fleece is the most common type of fleece, made from polyester that mimics the feel of fine wool. It’s brushed to give it extra softness and fuzziness. You can find polar fleece in different weights, but medium weight is the most common option.
When it comes to anti-pill properties, there are two categories: anti-pill and non-anti pill. Anti-pill tends to be higher quality with less pilling after wearing and washing compared to non-anti pill options which may develop little pills over time.
Medium weight polar fleeces work well for a variety of projects such as blankets, jackets, hats, scarves – anything that requires both warmth and durability! So go ahead liberate yourself by choosing these versatile fabrics for your next project!
Micro and Baby Fleece
Finding micro fleece softer yet thinner than polar, you’re getting a super-soft, lighter fabric that breathes well and layers smoothly while lacking the insulation of other fleeces.
With less weight and stretchability than polar varieties, micro fleece won’t pill or shed as readily, offering durability, softness and breathability ideal for baby blankets and children’s projects.
Carefully check fabric content when sourcing micro fleece, as some varieties will stretch permanently or lack the warmth required for certain fleeces.
For adult garments, blend micro fleece with fabrics like wool to balance breathability with needed warmth.
Consider specialty micro fleece finishes like water resistance for outdoor fleeces.
Minky and Cuddle Fleece
When working with Minky and Cuddle fleece, you’ll find that it has a simulated feel of mink and is often clumped in with the fleece group.
- Heavenly Softness: Minky fabric truly lives up to its name by offering an incredibly soft texture reminiscent of mink fur.
- Tricky Sewing: Sewing on Minky can be challenging due to its slippery nature under the needle. To prevent ruffling or loss of shape along the edges, finishing techniques like serging or zigzag stitching are recommended.
- Care Instructions: When caring for your beloved minky creations, avoid using fabric softener as it may interfere with their luxurious texture. Wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle and tumble dry on low heat settings to maintain their softness over time.
Remember these tips when incorporating this delightful fabric into your projects for babies or toddlers seeking ultimate comfort!
Wool and Natural Fleece
Now that we’ve explored the cozy world of Minky and Cuddle fleece, it’s time to delve into a more natural side of warmth: Wool and Natural Fleece.
While synthetic fleeces may dominate the market, wool has a rich history rooted in tradition and functionality. When comparing wool to its synthetic counterparts, you’ll find that each has its own unique advantages.
Wool offers unparalleled insulation while remaining breathable—a perfect combination for combating chilly weather without feeling suffocated by your clothing choice.
When caring for your wool garments, keep in mind that they require special attention due to their delicate nature. Hand washing or dry cleaning is recommended over machine washes as excessive agitation can cause shrinkage or felting.
Different types of sheep produce different types of wool—each with distinct characteristics suited for various applications such as slub fleece, sherpa fleece,and flannel. Yet sometimes blending wools together creates an even better fabric option – creating new possibilities when it comes to comfort and performance.
So whether you’re seeking sustainable options or simply appreciate the timeless appeal of natural fibers like wool,natural fleece will always be there offering warmth,power,and liberation from cold temperatures
Working With Fleece Fabrics
When working with fleece, be mindful of its tendency to shrink and pill.
Use an automatic screen printing machine to apply designs, allowing proper ink drying time between steps.
Pre-treat fleece garments before wearing to reduce static cling.
Adhering to best practices for sewing, printing, and caring for fleece will result in professional end products.
You’ll want to use pins sparingly when sewing fleece since too many pin holes may compromise the integrity of the fabric.
- Use a sharp blade or scissors to cut your fabric. This will ensure clean and precise cuts without fraying.
- Consider using a low-tack adhesive or clips instead of pins to hold your pieces together while sewing. This will prevent unnecessary holes in the fabric.
- When applying heat transfers or screen printing on fleece garments, use a flash cure and heat press method to set the ink properly without damaging the fabric’s texture.
By following these tips, you can sew with ease and achieve professional-looking results when working with different types of fleece fabrics like sweatshirt fleece, French terry fleece, anti-pill fleece, low-pill fleece, and Lycra spandex fleeces.
By following some simple care instructions while washing fleece fabrics, you’ll help them retain their softness and shape over time.
- Use a front-loading washer and tumble dry on low when washing polar or microfleece to prevent pilling.
- For minky, air dry to maintain the plush texture.
- Wool and coral fleeces are delicate – hand wash in cool water and lay flat or hang to dry to prevent stretching.
With some basic guidelines, you can keep fleece cozy and vibrant.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the best way to clean fleece garments?
Wash on cold with mild detergent.
Tumble dry low heat only.
Avoid fabric softeners as they reduce fleece’s natural softness.
Steam iron inside out on wool setting if needed.
Gentleness preserves fleece’s comfort and durability.
How warm is fleece compared to other fabrics?
Compared to cotton, fleece insulates better and retains more body heat.
Unlike wool, fleece is lightweight yet warm.
Its brushed fibers trap air, creating insulation superior to most casual fabrics.
So fleece excels for cold weather, yet avoids wool’s itch and heft.
Is fleece fabric sustainable and eco-friendly?
Unfortunately, most fleece fabrics aren’t very eco-friendly or sustainable.
They’re made from petroleum-based synthetics like polyester and acrylic that don’t biodegrade.
Consider wool or organic cotton blends for greener options.
What’s the difference between anti-pill and regular fleece?
The key difference is durability.
Anti-pill fleece is woven more tightly with finer fibers to resist forming those annoying little balls on the surface over time. It costs a bit more yet withstands frequent wearing and washing far better than regular fleece, making it a sensible long term investment for you.
How much does fleece fabric typically cost?
Fleece fabric typically costs between $3-$12 per yard depending on the type and quality.
The softest varieties like micro and coral fleeces fall on the higher end while basic anti-pill polar fleece tends to be the most budget-friendly option.
Shop around to find the best fleece for your needs and budget.
In your quest to find the perfect fleece fabric for your winter wardrobe, you have delved into the world of polar, micro, minky, and more. Each type of fleece offers unique properties and benefits, from the cozy warmth of polar fleece to the softness of minky.
Understanding the differences between these fabrics will help you make an informed choice. Whether you’re a textile engineer, fabric buyer, or fashion designer, remember to consider the specific needs of your project and follow the appropriate sewing and washing tips.
Happy fabric sourcing!