Discover the Best Fleece Fabric Types for Every Project

Looking for the right fleece fabric types for your project? This article cuts straight to the chase, outlining the most common fleece fabric types, from luxurious plush fleece for your winter gear to breathable bamboo fleece for those seeking sustainable options. Get ready to discover how to match fleece fabric types to your creative endeavors.

Key Takeaways

  • Fleece fabric, introduced in 1981 and made predominantly from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is celebrated for its warmth, lightness, and plush texture, making it ideal for cold weather clothing and home decor.

  • Various types and blends of fleece, including microfleece, slub fleece, and bamboo fleece, cater to specific needs such as sustainability, texture, and performance, with some designed to repel moisture, resist pilling, or provide additional insulation.

  • Proper care for fleece includes using mild detergents, avoiding fabric softeners and bleach, and air drying when possible to retain the fabric’s quality. For sewing, using a ballpoint needle and appropriate stitches is recommended to prevent damage.

Search For Fabric is your premier destination for wholesale fleece fabrics. We offer a diverse range of high-quality materials at competitive prices, perfect for the colder months.

👉Also Read: Warmth and Style Combined: Wholesale Fleece Fabrics for Winter Wear

Fleece Fabric Fundamentals

Illustration of various fleece fabric types

Polyester fleece fabric, predominantly made from a type of polyester known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is renowned for its:

  • Warmth

  • Lightness

  • Durability

  • Plush, fluffy texture

These qualities make it an ideal material for creating polyester fleece garments.

Introduced in 1981 by Malden Mills in collaboration with Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, fleece quickly gained popularity, especially in cold weather clothing due to its excellent insulation properties.

At Search for Fabric, we offer an extensive stock of different types of fleece, ranging from solid colors to captivating patterns. Our fleece textile fabrics are perfect for creating warm hoodies, sweaters, jackets, and pullovers.

Composition of Fleece Fabric

Fleece fabric is typically woven from polyester fibers, which not only offer a shiny appearance but also repel moisture effectively. The polyester is woven into a lightweight fabric and then brushed to achieve its signature soft, fuzzy texture.

In some cases, cotton fibers are combined with polyester to produce cotton blend fleece fabric. This combination results in a fabric with a smooth outer surface and a plush inner nap, commonly used for the creation of comfortable sweatpants and sweatshirts.

Properties of Fleece Fabric

Designed to retain body heat, fleece fabric provides substantial insulation, ideal for producing winter gear. But that’s not all. The fabric’s structure allows moisture to evaporate rapidly, making it an excellent choice for sportswear that requires fast-drying properties.

Advanced fleece varieties, such as performance fleece, are engineered to enhance wicking moisture management and quick drying, which are crucial for active wear. While fleece fabric does not absorb moisture as effectively as wool, creating a potential for a clammy feeling, it is still valued for its ability to wick away moisture in cold conditions.

Benefits of Using Fleece Fabric

Fleece fabric is widely used for a myriad of winter clothing items such as hoodies, jackets, and scarves, thanks to its dense construction and plush texture. Its desirable characteristics make it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Fleece fabric offers warmth, allows ease of movement, dries quickly, and performs well when wet, making it favorably suitable for active wear.

Interestingly, the sought-after double-sided fleece material, including sherpa fleece, also finds use in:

  • Plush fleece jackets

  • Hats

  • Scarves

  • Gloves

  • Socks

  • Slippers

Yes, due to its inherent softness, warmth, and ability to wick moisture away, fleece adds to passenger comfort, making those long drives a lot more enjoyable.

Popular Fleece Fabric Types

Illustration of microfleece fabric

Characterized by a thick napped raised pile, fleece materials can run the gamut from stretchy knits to stable wovens. There are several types of fleece fabrics to suit various needs. For instance, microfleece is noted for being thin, soft, lightweight, and flexible, distinguishing it from thicker fleece varieties like polar fleece, which is especially thick, providing great warmth, and is made entirely of polyester.

Other popular types of fleece include:

  • Slub fleece, which is made from a blend of cotton and polyester, resulting in unique textures

  • Plush fleece, with its deep pile similar to velvet, making it ultra soft and especially warm for winter clothing

  • Polar fleece fabric, with its substantial warmth, commonly used in winter garments and blankets.

👉Also Read: Why Quality Fabric Is Important For Your Store

Specialized Fleece Fabric Varieties

The varieties of fleece continue to evolve with our expanding understanding of fabrics and technology. Today, there are specialized fleece fabrics designed with unique properties to serve specific functions, often enhancing comfort, durability, or performance. Examples of these include:

  • Cotton-blended fleece, known for its plush inner nap

  • Polyester fleece that repels moisture

  • Lycra spandex fleece recognized for its elasticity and quick-drying properties

Also on the list is coral fleece, distinguished by its dense fibers and commonly utilized in winter wear, children’s clothing, and slub fleece, knit from two different sizes of yarn twisted together, creating a textured fabric. The world of fleece is a fascinating one, indeed!

Anti-Pill Fleece


Anti-pill fleece is the perfect solution for those who dislike the small balls of fabric forming on most fleece materials. Anti-pill fleece is specifically crafted to prevent the formation of these little balls, enhancing both its aesthetic appeal and longevity.

The manufacturing process of anti-pill fleece involves using tightly twisted fibers or packing them closely to significantly minimize the occurrence of pilling. While it may come with a higher price tag, anti-pill fleece offers a longer lifespan compared to regular fleece, making it a worthwhile investment.

Bamboo Fleece

Those prioritizing sustainability might find bamboo fleece to be an intriguing alternative. Derived from bamboo pulp, bamboo fleece underlines its natural and renewable origins.

In addition to its benefits to the environment, bamboo fleece offers practical advantages as well. Some of these include:

  • Softness and breathability

  • Highly absorbent material suitable for various uses

  • Great for sensitive skin

  • Natural odor-resisting properties

Performance Fleece

french terry fleece, wool fabric

Another specialized variant, heavyweight fleece performance fleece, certainly warrants attention. Designed for active wear, sweatshirt fleece provides superior moisture management, keeping the body dry during exercise.

The stretch in performance fleece is crucial for athletic activities, offering flexibility and a comfortable fit that moves with the body. In addition, it features improved insulation, which efficiently traps heat to maintain body warmth in colder conditions.

Fleece Fabric Alternatives

Despite the merits of fleece fabric, considering other materials for your project is crucial. Depending on the intended use, other materials like wool or cotton may be more suitable. For example, on colder days, fleece proves to be a warmer option than cotton, acting like a blanket.

Compared to wool, fleece is lighter and typically causes less discomfort due to itching. However, from a sustainability standpoint, fleece fabric may not be the best choice due to its non-renewable nature and durability concerns.

Fleece vs. Wool

Considering the differing origins of fleece and wool is important when comparing the two. Wool is a natural, biodegradable fabric sourced from animals, whereas fleece is a synthetic fabric produced from man-made polyester.

In terms of durability, wool is renowned for its long-lasting properties, often outlasting many years when properly cared for. However, when it comes to lightness and comfort, fleece is the clear winner.

Fleece vs. Cotton

Fleece and cotton are also commonly compared. Cotton fleece is regarded as more environmentally friendly compared to other fleece types, particularly those made with synthetic fibers such as polyester.

Beyond providing warmth, fleece made from cotton is also breathable, contributing to its comfort in use. In contrast, cotton is inherently more versatile and can adapt to various weather conditions due to its ability to be woven or knitted into different textiles.

Caring for Fleece Fabric

Proper storage of fleece items

Correct care for your fleece fabric is key to maintain its quality and prolong its lifespan. Fleece garments should be properly cleaned before storage to prevent attracting pests or locking in odors.

When washing fleece, it’s recommended to:

  • Use mild detergents

  • Wash with similar soft items

  • Use extra rinse cycles during washing to remove any remaining detergent residue, helping to protect and maintain the fabric.

Washing and Drying Fleece

A few best practices should be followed when washing and drying fleece. Turning the fleece items inside out and ensuring hooks or zippers are fastened can prevent pilling and protect the fabric during washing.

Avoid using fabric softener or bleach on fleece as these substances can compromise the fabric’s integrity and decrease its quality. Air drying fleece by hanging or laying it flat can help maintain the fabric’s softness, avoiding potential damage from drying machines.

Storing Fleece Items

Just as important as proper washing and drying is the correct storage of fleece items. It’s crucial to address minor pilling on fleece by using a fabric shaver or a disposable razor carefully to remove fuzz balls before storage.

Store fleece items in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight to maintain the fabric’s softness and avoid fading. For long-term storage, place fleece items in a breathable container such as a cotton garment bag to prevent moisture buildup.

Sewing with Fleece Fabric

When planning to sew with fleece fabric, keeping certain tips and techniques in mind is helpful. A ballpoint needle is recommended as it avoids damaging the knit structure of the fabric. A straight stitch or a narrow zigzag stitch with an almost basting length is optimal for sewing fleece, accommodating the fabric’s stretchiness without distortion.

Furthermore, when adding embellishments to fleece, choose lightweight options to avoid stretching or pulling down the fleece fabric.

👉Also Read: Cozy Fleece Fabric: The Essential Fabric for Winter

Explore Premium Fleece Fabrics for Your Next Project at Search For Fabric

Step into the world of Search For Fabric and uncover our exceptional array of fleece materials, meticulously showcased on our website. Whether you're fashioning cozy essentials like hoodies, sweaters, jackets, or pullovers, our online fleece fabric store caters to every need. Benefit from our competitive pricing on premium fabrics and swift shipping, meticulously designed to optimize both your time and budget. Delve into our curated selection now to elevate your creations!

If you encounter any challenges finding the precise fleece fabric you require or need assistance, our devoted customer support team is here to help. Feel free to contact us via email at or by calling us at (213) 623-2522. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we are dedicated to delivering outstanding service to fulfill your fleece fabric sourcing requirements.