January 23, 2015

Fabric Friday: Wool Melton

Whoosh! And my life is off to a running start this week. I just need to take a moment, stop down and say, Thanks. The Sewing Room is officially open and we are running our workshops now - February workshops are now available, working on March too. As January has progressed, the Sewing Room has been steadily getting more and more busy. This is so wonderful to watch. SO WONDERFUL! I love seeing others taking part in sewing and having it happen here in my studio is marvelous. Thanks to all of you who have signed up for a workshop! I look forward to seeing more of you this year! Yay! (Please note: the Sewing Room is now closed).

Now, for Fabric Friday! Today's fabric is Wool Melton. I see this fabric a lot and I find that it's fairly common. What is Wool Melton? Well.....

It's a coating fabric, meaning very specifically that you would usually use this fabric to make a coat with. That means it's a nice, substantial, beefy and thick fabric. The better to keep you warm! It's very dense and very tightly woven. This makes a great candidate for coats because nothing gets through melton cloth. That cold winter wind is kept at bay! Additionally melton goes through a fulling process and then it's brushed. To be honest, it's akin to wool flannel (though flannel is a looser weave), but quite a bit beefier.


When I see wool melton, it's usually mixed with another fiber. I daresay I've never seen one that is 100% wool, which definitely doesn't mean it doesn't exist, I just haven't ever seen one. Wool melton is usually a mix of wool, polyester, acrylic, nylon or a combination of all of these. The higher the wool content though, the better your shaping/sculpting/pressing experience will be when you make a garment out of it.

Wool melton is wonderfully thick so, it goes without saying that you would probably make a coat with it. You could also do winterized accessories like hats too. It might be possible to do a heavyweight woven cardigan as well. A wintry blanket with a bias binding would be uber warm. This cloth will fray a bit, but not as much as others. It's fairly easy to work with, until the layers start building up - keep those seam allowances trimmed and graded and pick designs that don't have a lot of intersecting seams.

Got some wool melton in your stash? Have you made anything out of one?

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

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7 comments

  1. I just want to say thanks for your fabric fridays. I haven't been sewing for that long and as much as I am expending my repertoire of fabric knowledge (often through trial and error), I am rather guilty of having that "deer in headlights" look sometimes while looking at tags and names. Your little bite size full of straight-to-the-point info articles are just perfect for me and help me know what I'm aiming for when I go in the store. Until I get distracted by all the other fabric in the store, but that's just another problem entirely.

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  2. Thank you for such a great post. I have some what I will call "wool coating" in my stash, but can't tell you whether it is wool melton as such (but know it's not boiled wool)....Having also recently made my first wool coat - I love working with, err, "wool coating"!

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  3. Melton is "fulled" not felted.

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  4. I love the way you explain everything so well Sunni! I've mostly avoided wool up to now, and now I know what I've been missing!

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  5. I do have some in my stash and it's 100% wool if I remember correctly. I'm looking for the perfect pattern for it. Mine has definitely been fulled; it's gorgeous.

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  6. LOVE Melton! I made my first Melton coat in 1976. It was dove grey, and the pattern was princess line with a two piece sleeve and a self belt. It fit like heaven, and the lady who sold it to me from her little fabric store in Rhode Island recommended a lovely grey sun back for the lining. I wore it to death -- it was warm and stylish from the top of its turned up collar to its nearly ankle grazing skirts! I'll never forget the joy of watching the curve of the sleeve cap steam into place as I played with the iron. It was terrific training for the coats to follow. Dive in ladies, and enjoy the fun!

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  7. I am a first time reader and I am so pleased to read your Melton blog. I bought a 100% Melton wool a few years back which I haven't used because of fear! It is gorgeous and I am insecure about cutting into it I have a 1940's coat pattern that I dream of sewing. The coat is boxy (straight up and down) which I'd love to make. I appreciate your insight and I will continue to read your blog. Thank you!

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