What is Flannelette? Not to be confused with flannel, flannelette is a fabric designed to imitate the texture of flannel and its softness and fuzziness. Like its original, the flannelette is a soft woven fabric made from pure cotton or blended with other polyester materials. To create said fabric, one will need to raise and brush the fibers in the weft to give it a softness like no other.
What is Flannelette – How to Make this Fabric?
Actually, in most cases, the materials used to create flannelette include flannel yarns. This type of material is pretty cost-efficient and has a price between $2 to around $5 per yard.
Although the original flannel is very sturdy, one cannot say the same with the flannelette regarding its strength. This, however, does not mean that flannelette won’t make a piece of good fabric.
There are also times when the flannelette is created by using cotton to make it softer than any other fabric. Even if flannelette is made by using cotton, one of the least expensive materials known for fabric-making, it won’t mean that your clothes will look cheap. On the contrary, it can actually look amazing.
The most important thing you have to remember when purchasing flannelette clothing or products is that they may sometimes be made using a combination of cotton and polyester. It is of the utmost importance that you first identify what type of flannelette you have purchased and read the tag on properly cleaning and washing the product.
What is Flannelette – What is it Used for?
Due to its soft and warm nature, flannelette is a widely used fabric for making bed sheets, sleepwear, blankets, and certain types of clothing. Most people would mistakenly identify flannelette shirts as plaid shirts because of the common design for this type of fabric, but in actuality, not all flannelette shirts are plaid. Flannelette just refers to the type of fabric.
Flannelette is perfect when it comes to making bedsheets and blankets because the final product will always come out soft and fluffy. Since flannelette sheets are typically made with cotton, which is known to insulate heat, they will undoubtedly be warmer than any other fabric, thus making them perfect beddings for winter.
Thanks to the rising popularity of flannelette over the years, you won’t really have to worry much about the variety of designs anymore because there are plenty of patterns, colors, and styles to choose from.
Lastly, flannelette fabrics are also used in making baby diapers because it is cheap, soft and overall, durable enough for babies.
What is Flannelette – Is it the same as Flannel?
Although they may look and feel the same, they are actually two different types of fabric. Flannelette was originally made for the sole purpose of imitating flannel but by using much cheaper materials. The flannelette product is considered to be a more versatile product than its counterpart because even though it is thinner, it still provides the necessary warmth during cold seasons.
Due to their similarities in design and look, there is a possibility that you may get flannel instead of flannelette and vice versa. It is important that you consult an expert when it comes to purchasing flannelette fabrics.
What is Flannelette vs Flannel
One of the differences between the two is the price. Flannelette fabrics are so much cheaper than flannel fabrics because of the materials used in the production. The price may vary from place to place, but the average price for flannelette would be around $7, and on the other hand, the average price of flannel would be around $8 to $15 - one of the main reasons why people would prefer using flannelette over its original.
Another difference between the two is the durability; Flannel has a lot more strength than its imitation because of the materials used for the production. Flannel is good for making sturdy clothes worn by laborers, while the flannelette is great for making clothes for fall and spring.
Which is Better, Flannel or Flannelette?
Technically, the two fabrics are both good in certain situations and for certain types of products. Flannel is good for making sturdy clothes for manual labor. On the other hand, flannelette is good for bed sheets and blankets, where you are looking for comfort rather than strength.
Suppose you are looking for an affordable but soft and fuzzy fabric. In that case, flannelette is the one, but if you are looking for a sturdier fabric for heavy-duty clothing, then flannel is a better fit.
What is Flannelette – Advantages?
Flannelette is a pretty popular fabric, mainly because of its advantages over the other types of fabric. Here are just some of the advantages when using this sort of fabric:
- Flannelette fabrics are generally easy to care for.
- Fabric is great for chilly nights because of the warmth it gives.
- Softer than the Flannel fabric.
- Comfy and Cozy.
- Flannelette is usually woven to be breathable.
- Cheaper than the original flannel fabric.
What is Flannelette – Disadvantages?
Just like anything in this world, there are bound to be some disadvantages, especially since this is a man-made product. Here are some of the cons to using flannelette:
- This fabric will shrink if not handled properly during cleaning.
- If you are not fond of fabric pilling, you may want to avoid this one.
- This fabric is not that sturdy and would properly last for a few years only.
What is Flannelette – Is it Eco-friendly?
Since Flannelette is usually made using cotton, it is biodegradable. In fact, it is considered as one of the most biodegradable types of fabric available, that is if it is entirely made of 100% cotton.
The problem, though, is that cotton isn’t that eco-friendly. Even though cotton is a natural material that can biodegrade in a few years, it still isn’t considered eco-friendly because the process of growing this type of crop is pretty demanding environmentally. Overall though, flannelette is still a better option than many other fabrics if you are looking for a sustainable and eco-friendly fabric.
What is Flannelette – Is it Vegan?
Since there were no animals hurt during the harvesting of the materials and the production of this fabric, the flannelette fabric is considered vegan.
What is Flannelette – Tips for Sewing
Sewing flannelette isn’t actually that hard and complicated, especially if you know some tips before you start working on it.
First of all, flannelette fabrics have a tendency to shrink when washed especially if they are 100% cotton. It is advisable to first wash the fabric to see how much it will shrink before starting anything else. To avoid ruining your project and getting puckered seams, it is really important that you do a prewash and check for colorfastness.
Cotton flannelette can be sewn with an all-purpose sewing foot and using universal needles in an appropriate weight. Flannelette can be prone to fraying, so finish edges with a serger or a wide zig-zag stitch.
What is Flannelette – Tips for Washing
When using a washing machine to wash this type of fabric, you should use a lingerie bag to help prevent excessive fraying. Heat will shrink flannelette so use a cold washing with a gentle detergent, air-drying in the shade. If you do want to shrink a flannelette item, then use a hot wash and dryer.
What is Flannelette – In Conclusion
Despite not being a very sturdy fabric for most clothes, flannelette is still a great fabric nonetheless. It is soft and breathable compared to many other fabrics. It is cheap but still has a high enough quality that will make it last for a few years. Working with flannelette is pretty easy because it is lightweight and soft.
Flannelette fabric is great all year round whilst flannel is only good for the coldest of nights and seasons. Flannelette is also great when you are looking for comfort and softness. However, if you are looking for strength and durability, flannel should be your first choice. In conclusion, what is flannelette? Well, it's a type of fabric that sounds similar to flannel but is completely different. However, that does not make it less charming.