Traditionally fleece is the name given to sheep's wool before it is processed into a material to create garments. In today's world, fleece is a type of fabric constructed from polyester thread. Once woven, the fabric is brushed to create the fluffy softness associated with fleece.
Garments made from fleece provide a soft, warm, cozy feeling that is perfect for keeping the wearer warm and protected from the cold. Using the guide below, you'll be able to choose a fleece fabric to suit your needs and keep you at the perfect temperature throughout the seasons.
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Benefits Of Fleece
Apart from the cozy look and feel of fleece clothing, there are several benefits in choosing fleece material:
- Versatility: Fleece is a year-round fabric. Suppose you feel a little chilly; reach for your fleece and pull it on to provide instant warmth. Lightweight options make wearing fleece an option even in warmer months.
- Breathability: Even though fleece is meant to keep you warm, it allows for air exchange. Warm air can escape from your skin, and cooler air can get through to keep you feeling comfortable in varying temperatures.
- Layering: With all the fleece options below, you can easily layer clothing for optimum temperature control and comfort.
Read on as we discuss several types of fleece and what makes each option unique.
1. Cotton Or Cotton-Blended Fleece
Cotton or cotton-blended fleece is most commonly used for sweatshirts and sweatpants. This material gives a smooth outer surface with a soft, cozy inside feeling. This fleece may not be quite as warm as other types. Cotton fleece may also be used for baby diapers due to its gentleness against the skin. Bedding made from cotton fleece provides a comfortable, soft, warm material perfect for cooler months of the year.
This cotton blended sweatshirt is the classic cozy fleece sweatshirt.
2. Polyester Fleece
Polyester fleece has a similar feeling to cotton or cotton-blended fleece. It also has a smooth outer surface with a plush inner surface. The polyester's outer surface has a shiny appearance and can repel moisture making it a great outerwear option. However, the smooth surface of the polyester fleece does have the potential to snag easily.
This polyester fleece jacket shows the shiny outer appearance associated with this type of fleece.
3. Lycra Spandex Fleece
Lycra spandex creates a material that is not only soft but also stretchy. This material works well for fitted garments and performance fleece. Costumes that need to stretch are often made from lycra spandex fleece.
These fleece-lined leggings contain soft, warm fleece inside that is perfect for cooler months.
Microfleece is a double-sided, thin, and soft material. This fleece is lightweight and good at wicking moisture away from the skin. Microfleece is a good choice in performance clothing. Because of how soft it is, microfleece also works well in baby garments and sleepwear. This fleece is a great weight for when the weather is cooler but not yet frigid.
5. Polar Fleece
Polar fleece is a thick, warm fabric. It is a great choice for outerwear, jackets, hats, scarves, and mittens. This fleece is very soft and lightweight while providing warmth. It comes in pill and no pill options. The lightweight material makes it easy to pack without taking up too much space. Polar fleece also makes a great material for blankets. In very cold climates, polar fleece layers fair well under other jackets or coats to keep you warm without added fabric bulk.
6. French Terry Fleece
French terry is a thinner style of fleece. This fleece is not brushed, so it lacks the fluff and loft of other fleece fabric styles. As a lighter fleece, french terry works well in tunic style shirts because it has a lot of flexibility to the fabric. Since it's not super warm, French terry fleece works well as clothing that will be worn indoors.
7. Slub Fleece
Slub fleece is created by two different sizes of twisted yarn together. The result is a textured fabric. The texture created by slub fleece gives extra interest to the garment. Slub fleece makes pretty sweatshirts and jackets.
8. Sherpa Fleece
Sherpa is a very fluffy fleece made to resemble the look of wool. This fleece is commonly used as a lining in garments that require extra warmth. Sherpa has recently become very popular in garments and cuddly blankets. Sherpa is a bulkier fleece but is very soft to the touch.
9. Plush Fleece
Plush fleece is the thickest option for fleece. This material works well as linings in coats or robes. This fleece is a more expensive option but is softer and more luxurious than other fabrics.
Cozy Up With Fleece
With so many fleece choices, you can create the perfect cozy outfits to wear both indoors and out. Fleece garments provide the perfect amount of warmth in many settings. Because fleece is lightweight, it makes the perfect choice when layering clothing to adjust to changing temperatures. Sportwear, casual wear, and outdoor clothing are all fleece options.
If you are going to be wearing your fleece outdoors in the winter, you may need to match a pair of shoes. In our post, "What Shoes To Wear In Snow," we'll help guide you in the right direction.
Or for more choices of coats, read "31 Types Of Coats And Jackets You Should Know."
Even your bedding and blankets can be outfitted with fleece. You'll love climbing into a soft nest for cuddling and sleeping. And you'll stay warm on even the chilliest of nights snuggled in a cozy fleece bedding set.