January 8, 2015

Fabric Friday: Wool Flannel

I hope you didn't think that I had abandoned Fabric Fridays around here. I was down and out for two weeks during the Christmas/New Year hubbub and well, you know. Stuff. Now, we're returning to some regularly scheduled postings. Fabric Fridays are here to stay! They are fun for me to put together and they remind me that a) I have an overwhelming stash of pretty gorgeous fabric (bad Sunni!) and b) it's nice to pull out this stuff and remind myself what I was going to make and try to start making all the things! Today's fabric: Wool Flannel.

In point of fact, this is not a fabric I see very often. Sure, I see my share of cotton flannels, but wool flannel is a different story. You know the fiber type that we're looking at today is wool, but let's take a closer look at what flannel is.

Flannel is associated with a cloth that is soft, warm and a bit fuzzy. I've seen flannel in a semi-loose plain weave structure and also a twill weave - I usually see plaids in the twill weave. Flannel is typically brushed on one side or both. If you think of this on a larger scale, it's basically a fine tooth metal brush machine that rubs the fabric to create a fluffiness. The brushing of the cloth makes the staple fibers (the yarns the fabric is woven together with) puffy - the same idea as ratting your hair! The puffy fiber then fills in the loose weave of the cloth and makes it more dense and well, soft. How was that for an explanation?

I have to be honest and say that I don't know why we don't see more wool flannel about. Maybe you see more of it where you are in the world. I've made one thing out of a lovely fuchsia color - this pencil skirt. I wear it a good amount and it was a lovely sewing experience. Wool flannel is very easy to work with.

Wool flannel has a nice structured hand for the most part, but I've also seen a few that are bit more drapey and on the finer/thinner side. Wool flannel works nicely in lots of different projects - coats, jackets, slacks/trousers, skirts and even shirts. I know one lady in particular who still makes her man those classic Pendleton knock-off wool flannel button-up shirts.

What's your take on wool flannel? Have you ever sewn with it? Have some in your stash?

For more about Wools, visit the Working with Wool Section!

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