If your winter wardrobe does not yet include flannel, you may not realize just how warm and cozy clothing items made from this material can keep you during the winter. Lightweight flannel clothing can be worn around the house or layered under quality outerwear, while heavyweight flannel can keep you warm when you spend time outdoors on the most frigid winter days.
Read on to learn more about flannel and why it should be a staple fabric of everyone's winter wardrobe.
If you are like many people, you may suffer from the misconception that all flannel is alike. However, flannel clothing items can be made from cotton, synthetic fibers, wool, or a combination of materials.
Flannel fabrics also come in brushed and unbrushed versions. Unbrushed flannel is less soft to the touch than brushed flannel. Brushed flannels are brushed into single- or double-nap fabrics. While single-nap flannel is soft, double-nap flannel is even softer to the touch.
Flannel fabrics also come in many weights. Cotton flannel fabric can weigh from under 5 ounces a square yard to over 6.5 ounces a square yard. Lightweight cotton flannel can keep you warm without overheating you on warmer winter days, while heavyweight flannel can keep you warm on those extra-frigid days and on cold winter nights.
Unlike flannel of the past that was typically plaid, today's flannel fabrics come in many patterns. Flannel clothing items are now available in solid colors, checker patterns, flower patterns, and even fun animal patterns that children love. However, plaid flannel is still the most popular option due to its classic appeal.
You may wonder how flannel keeps you so warm. Instead of being tightly woven, like many other fabrics, flannel material is loosely woven. This loose weave creates air pockets between fabric fibers. Air is a great insulator, and the many air pockets in flannel fabric are what helps it retain so much body heat in cold winter temperatures.
In addition, when you choose cotton flannel, you can look forward to staying warmer than if you choose synthetic or even wool flannel. Cotton is considered one of the warmest clothing materials, trumping even wool in warmth. Natural fibers like cotton are also absorbent - if you end up sweating under your cotton flannel shirt, you can look forward to still feeling comfortable all day long because the flannel wicks the moisture away from your body.
Flannel Clothing Options
Many winter clothing items are made from or lined with flannel due to the superior warmth of the fabric. Everyone needs a few good-quality flannel shirts in their winter wardrobe. A combination of lightweight and heavyweight flannels will provide you with multiple options to choose from based on the day's temperature.
Flannel pajamas and a pair of flannel-lined slippers can keep you warm on cold winter evenings.
Flannel is also used to line winter outerwear to increase its warmth and aid in wicking moisture away from your body. Many quality winter coats are lined with flannel, and flannel-lined boots are also popular.
While most flannel clothing is machine washable and not difficult to care for, the right care can prevent fabric fading and pilling.
Follow these tips to keep your flannel clothing in great shape:
- Wash in warm or cool water. Washing your flannel clothing in hot water can cause the fabric colors to fade and the fabric to pill.
- Wash on the gentle cycle and don't overload the washing machine. Following both of these steps will also discourage fabric pilling.
- Air dry or tumble dry on low heat. Drying your flannel in a hot dryer can also make the fabric fade and weaken the fibers over time.
When you choose quality flannel clothing and care for it properly, you can look forward to it staying in great shape for many years. Flannel should be a staple fabric of everyone's winter wardrobe. Look for quality flannel shirts and other attire at Over Under Clothing.