Printer Friendly Version

BellaOnline's Sewing Editor

How to Sew Fleece

Fleece fabric is a very popular type of fabric that dominates the shelves in fabric stores, and with good reason. It is soft, cuddly and warm, perfect for making blankets, hats and outerwear. It is easy to sew and is easy to take care of. There are numerous free fleece patterns that can be found, especially fleece blanket patterns and fleece hat patterns. When making sewing projects with fleece, there are some important tips on how to sew fleece that I will share with you below.

Fleece fabric is a synthetic type of fabric, made from polyester. It was first manufactured by Malden Mills in 1979 under the brand name Polarfleece. Polarfleece is still a trademarked product of Malden Mills, but the term has now become somewhat universal, similar to how people frequently refer to tissue as Kleenex even when they are not using Kleenex brand tissues. The more generic name for this type of fabric is simply "fleece" (which is a completely different type of fabric than sweatshirt fleece).

Fleece is currently available in seemingly infinite colors and prints. There are also several different types of surface finishes. The most commonly available type of fleece has a brushed, soft surface and is made in several weights (which affects the thickness of the fleece). The quality of fleece can vary widely. Some stretches out of shape quickly, others are very thin, or are fuzzy on only one side. One of the disadvantages of fleece is that the surface tends to pill with use, especially in areas where the surfaces rub together (i.e., underarms). So, the manufacturers have created higher quality no-pill fleece fabric that resists this tendency. While the no-pill fleece is more expensive, I think it is worth the extra expense. Other popular types of fleece are Berber and Sherpa (also called Shearling). Berber and Sherpa differ slightly, but both resemble lambswool, having a thicker pile that bunches up slightly into little clumps on the surface. Sherpa is often used as a lining and many fabric stores sell faux suede that is backed with Sherpa that works great for making outerwear or slippers.

Another type of fleece is really a thickness of fleece rather than a different type. Microfiber fleece or micro fleece (as it is sometimes called) is the thinnest type of fleece. Microfiber fleece has a lower pile and is softer and finer feeling than standard fleece. The popular Minky type fabrics are actually a version of micro fleece. Sherpa fleece is also made in microfiber varieties as well (think of the very soft, fuzzy blankets that are in all the home goods stores).

Fleece fabrics have several advantages:
And, on the other side of the coin - the disadvantages:

Tips on How to Sew Fleece

Ready to start sewing with fleece? Take a look at these links to free fleece patterns, free fleece baby patterns, free fleece blanket patterns, and free fleece hat patterns!

I hope this information is helpful to you when you are sewing with fleece.

Happy Sewing!

Ready to get started?
The books below explain more about how to sew fleece and show you all kinds of fun projects you can make with fleece!

Sewing Site @ BellaOnline
View This Article in Regular Layout

Content copyright © 2013 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2015 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor