What is Flannel Fabric? Things that You Hardly Heard 

Md Mahedi Hasan

Last Updated:


Flannel is more than just a fabric. It is a gentle embrace and a snug retreat. Aside from its typical application in garments, it weaves warmth into bedding. It provides comfort during colder evenings. 

However, its applications extend further, with curtains, upholstery, and decorative accents adorning homes, infusing interiors with comfort and beauty.  Discover flannel’s lesser-known sides in this article, where comfort intriguingly meets quality.

Image: What is Flannel Fabric
Image: Flannel Fabric

What is Flannel Fabric?

Flannel can be considered cotton or synthetic fabric made of soft fabric. The napping provides a fuzzy texture. Being brushed or unbrushed in texture, flannel fabrics are iconic. It feels soft and comfortable, making it ideal for staying warm and snug in the winter. People frequently use cool designs such as squares and lines, notably plaid and tartan. 

Image: Flannel production in 1600s
Image: Flannel production in the 1600s

Flannel production may have begun in Wales in the 1600s. It was once wool, but by the 1900s, cotton, occasionally blended with silk, had taken its place. The most comfortable flannel is now made entirely of cotton. It evolved from wool to primarily cotton, which is quite soft. 

Types of Flannel Fabric

Different uncommon types of flannel fabric are:

  1. Diaper Flannel: A flannel with a special texture with enough absorbency.
  2. Baby Flannel: This flannel type is napped and finer on both sides.
  3. Vegetable Flannel: A cellulose-based flannel sourced from scotch pine.
  4. Snuggle Flannel: A nursery fabric that is soft compared to regular flannel.
Image: Types of Flannel Fabric
Image: Types of Flannel Fabric

What is Flannel Fabric suitable for?

Flannel fabric, known for its softness and warmth, has many applications. It’s typically fashioned into warm clothes such as shirts, pajamas, and robes, providing warmth in colder climates. Its popularity extends to beds, which can be found as sheets and blankets for cozy comfort on cold nights. 

Image: What is Flannel Fabric suitable for
Image: Flannel Fabric

Flannel’s flexibility extends to home décor, which may be found in curtains, upholstery, and cushions, bringing softness and style. Its simplicity makes it excellent for crafting products such as scarves, hats, and comforters, as well as light cleaning and polishing.

What is Flannel Fabric made of?

Flannel fabric is mainly made of cotton and wool. Since it is quite comfortable, cotton flannel is famous for everyday clothing such as shirts, pajamas, and children’s outfits. It’s perfect for casual looks and feels terrific. You may also purchase cotton flannel duvet covers and sheets to make your bed comfortable.

Image: What is Flannel Fabric made of
Image: Flannel Fabric

Flannel, made of wool, is a popular fabric for elegant pantsuits and men’s suits. The lines that run up and down the striped flannel suits are often dark, almost gray. In sports, flannel made of wool and cotton is also relatively popular. They are worn inside clothing worn by professionals and novices alike.

Manufacturing of Flannel Fabric

Here are the few stages of Flannel Fabric Manufacturing. They are:

  • Stage 1: The Production of Base Material

The base material can be acquired first. Materials are cotton, wool, and synthetic textiles.

  • Stage 2: The Spinning of Yarn

The textile yarn is spun the same way the other fabric is constructed.

  • Stage 3: Fabric Weaving

A twill or plain weave makes flannel. Then, the woven fabric may get napped to create a soft-like texture.

  • Stage 4: Final Treatments

The final treatments may differ based on synthetic flannel, wool, or cotton. 

Properties of Flannel Fabric

High: During SewingFlannel Fabric
Fabric MaterialsCotton, Wool
Moisture Wicking AbilitiesMedium
Water-Absorption AbilityGood
Fraying downHigh; During Sewing
ApplicationsClothing, Homeware, Accessories

Characteristics of Flannel Fabric

There must be some features that make flannel fabric worth purchasing. For instance:

Unique Fabric Design

Flannel Fabric comes as a twill weave with both straight and reverse styles in a uniform and hairy surface to provide warmth and softness.

Special FInishing Treatment

Flannel fabric is well-created from unique finishing treatments in the process of combining (making the fibers parallel to transform into a ribbon), gauging, and fulfilling.

Various Colored Pattern

Flannel fabric is available in several colors and patterns, achieved through printing processes and dyes. Hence, Flannel fabric can have different white, blue, black, and brown proportions.

Heat Retention Ability

Flannel Fabric retains heat that does not irritate the skin. Also, flannel is easy to wear in the cold season.

Highly Durable

Flannel fabric is durable and worn-resistant.

Environmentally Sustainable

Only the cotton-made flannel fabric is ecologically sustainable.


The Flannel fabric does not wrinkle much and is odor-resistant.

Easy to Maintain

Flannel fabric is easily maintainable and machine-washed. It takes time to get dry.

Shrinking Ability

Flannel fabric shrinks a lot.

What is Flannel Fabric used for?

Flannel fabric is used for different purposes. For instance:

  1. Clothing: Shirts, Sweaters, Cardigans, Vests, and other cold-weather layered garments.
  2. Accessories: Bags, Purses, Belts.
  3. Homeware: Shorts, Bedsheets, Decor items, Cycling Wear, and any kind of Sportswear.
Image: What is Flannel Fabric used for
Image: Flannel Fabric used


What is Flannel Fabric called in the UK?

In British English, Flannel fabric has more than one meaning. It is Flanelette. It is a lightweight cotton fabric. Whether flannel refers to the napped fabric made of wool or cotton. Most people call flannel and flannelette fabrics. 

What is Flannelette Fabric?

Flannelette fabric is well-designed to create flannel texture, softness, and fuzziness. It is a soft, woven fabric. It is made of pure cotton or blended polyester materials. Flannel yarns are materials that create flannelette.


Now you know the overall details of flannel fabric. Since flannel fabric is made of cotton and wool, cotton pollutes less than wool (the synthetic textile). No matter which type of material helps manufacture the flannel fabric, flannel is always a better option for making sturdy clothes for any physical or manual labor. 

You may experience flannel being frayed during the sewing process. To avoid that, it is wise to cut the fabric in a zigzag stitches line with the edges of the seam. If you are all up for strength and durability, flannel has to be your ideal choice to serve you in the coldest of nights and seasons. 

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