Sewing with Fleece fabrics can be very rewarding but unlike a lot of fabrics, fleece is a relative newcomer to the world of fabrics and it is becoming softer, warmer and totally snuggly as the years move on.
What is fleece fabric?
- Fleece is a non-woven fabric made from 100% polyester.
- It is suitable for outdoor clothing as well as indoor clothing.
- Warm and soft to the touch, fleece is a good insulator.
- Washing in a washing machine is no problem as it doesn’t shrink or crease.
- One can sew it easily on a domestic machine.
Why should I use Fleece fabric?
- Fleece has lots of good properties which make it suitable for garments.
- It is breathable, insulating and lightweight.
- This fabric is easy to care for and it is durable.
- Although it is not waterproof or windproof.
Does fleece have a right and a wrong side?
- Yes, it does. When pulled gently along a cross-grain edge from selvedge to selvedge. The fabric will curl to the wrong side.
Should I pre-wash the fleece?
- Fleece does not shrink, fade or run so there is no need to prewash the fabric.
- It does not like to be ironed therefor if you need to press a seam flat, use a low setting with steam on and a pressing cloth.
- Don’t tumble dry fleece just hang it up to air dry, too much heat from the tumble drier can cause fibres to melt.
Does fleece fabric pill?
Most fleece fabrics can pill, you should check the fabric label if it has one. It takes a while before the pilling starts.
Sewing hints and tips.
Do all my pattern pieces need to lie in the same direction?
- Fleece has a nap and a direction.
- It is a non-woven fabric which means there is no real grain, however, its surface has a brushed appearance that moves in one direction.
- To determine the direction, try rubbing your hand over the fabric, if the pile or direction is going downward it will lay flatter and look smooth.
- The fabric will wear better and the colour will look more even if the nap goes downward.
- Be sure to layout patterns in one direction if you are unsure.
How best to cut Fleece?
- Fleece can be cut with a sharp pair of scissors.
- Use a rotary cutter if you have one as the cut is nice and clean.
- If the fleece is very thick, cut one layer at a time.
How to sew Fleece fabrics.
- Use a new needle as this fabric blunts needles as you sew. A standard needle size 80/12 but if the fleece is heavy use 90/14 in your sewing machine.
- Try a thread which has a bit of “give” in it as this fabric can stretch. I use Gutermann thread or a polyester thread for fleece.
- Seams and edges won’t fray or unravel, reduce seam bulk by cutting them smaller or sewing them open and flat. ( Falt fell seam).
- Serged or overlocked, zigzagged edges help flatten the edges of seams.
- Check your sewing machine settings before you sew your garment. Sew on a scrap to see that your tension and stitch length are correct.
- Fleece is bulky, one way to reduce bulk is to use a cotton contrast material to face collars or cuffs.
- Keep your machine clean as you sew. The fluff from the fleece can cause your machine to make a louder noise than usual, just clean around the bobbin.
When is The Great British Sewing Bee 2019 on TV?
We are all waiting for the Sewing Bee to be screened and NOW it is nearly time. It will be aired on the 12th February 2019 on BBC 2 most likely in the 08:00 pm slot. Croft Mill Fabrics will be following the show so check back to our website, blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feed for fabric news.
Joe Lycett and judges Esme and Patrick are the judges for the new series.
During the last few months, Croft Mill Fabric has sent out a lot of bags, packed with fabric for those sewing for charities.