A Newbie’s Guide to Fleece Fabric

Using fleece for sewing is easier than other kinds of fabric because it doesn’t fray or slip under the needle. But the problem with fleece fabric is that it does tend to stretch and you’ll need a ballpoint needle to deal with this. The cheaper the fleece, the least stretch it has.

Many beginners feel intimidated by the idea of using fleece for sewing. The common misconception is that this kind of fabric is only for the pros. But it really isn’t. So if you’re feeling more adventurous and would like to try using this fabric for your next project, here’s an easy guide to the different kinds of fleece you can use.

What is Fleece?

Fleece clothing is made from synthetic fiber and most fabrics of this kind are made from 100% polyester. A lot of people love wearing fleece clothing such as fleece jackets and pants because it can trap air and keep the wearer warm.

The following are the most common fabrics used in fleece clothing:

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Polar Fleece

This particular kind of fabric is great for no-sew projects or even for tie blankets. There are 2 kinds of polar fleece – anti-pill and the non anti-pill. The former is more expensive and of better quality. It lasts longer and looks nice for much longer too. The non anti-pill costs less but it can have little pills after several washes.

Midweight Fleece

This is the most common type of fleece fabric and is great for everyday wear projects. They have good insulation and higher level of breathability compared to other types. They’re also great as an outer layer so you can feel warm during colder months while remaining comfortable.

Coral Fleece

Coral fleece has a more fur-like texture. Because of it’s texture and construction, it’s not something we would recommend for sew projects as it will shed and stretch significantly. Edges must be finished so it doesn’t stretch further when you wash it. If you prefer to wash it in cold water, do not use a fabric softener to maintain its soft texture.

Micro Fleece

This one is much softer than polar fleece and it is best for baby and kids projects. One side has furry fibers, which are wonderful to touch, while the other side is thinner. This fabric tends to stretch out so don’t leave the edges exposed.

Minky or Cuddle

Some purists say the Minky is not really fleece but regardless of what your opinion is of this fabric, you certainly can’t deny that the feel of this fabric is absolutely heavenly. Before you buy it however, keep in mind that it needs some special care. It’s hard to sew because it tends to slide under the needle. It’s recommended that you use a jersey ball-point needle when sewing it. It’s also best to finish the edges so they don’t ruffle and lose shape. Finally, do not wash this fabric in warm water or else it will lose its softness.

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