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Fleece fabric has been a staple for a while when it comes to creating cozy and comfortable clothing. Since the 1970s, fleece fabrics have been used to create jackets and other upper body clothing for outdoor enthusiasts like hikers, backpackers, and campers.

At face value, you may mistake fleece fabric as being just like any other type of fabric, and this will be until you get to learn just how much more fleece has to offer. Before we get into what fleece fabric has to offer, here’s a brief history of how the material came to be the fabric that we all appreciate.

A Brief History of Fleece Fabric

The story of fleece fabric dates back to the 1970s. Fleece fabrics were first created by Malden Mills using petroleum-based polyester to create the denser fleece fabric. To increase the volume of the newly created fabric, brushing was done on the fabric’s fibers.

Being a renowned fabric manufacturer, Malden Mills got the inspiration to create fleece fabric since they sought an alternative to cotton wool. Cotton wool provided valuable fabric back then, just as it is now, but its obvious drawbacks brought about a need for an alternative.

The creators of fleece decided to go the petroleum route to account for one of wool’s greatest drawbacks as a fabric, the fact that it soaked in so much fluid. This is not to say that fleece fabric is entirely water-resistant, but just that it outperforms wool and other materials whenever it’s exposed to moist conditions.

What Makes Fleece Fabric so good

Depending on the objective and material configuration, different variations of fleece fabric can be used to attain different measures of the benefits that the fabric offers. Fleece fabric sold by the yard can be a good start for you to have a go at exploring what makes fleece such a good material.

Here are some of the benefits that fleece fabric boasts of in whatever setting you put it.

Easy to Clean

Among adventure fanatics, fleece fabric is famed for being one of the easiest to clean fabrics. When cleaning your fleece material clothing, you rarely have to worry about the detergents to use in fear of the fabric losing its color.

The only variable when it comes to cleaning fleece fabric clothing would be the other fabrics used in piecing together the clothing item.

Easy to dry

Compared to wool, fleece fabric performs exemplary well when it comes to handling moisture. Whether in providing repulsion against moisture, or faster drying, fleece fabric is the go-to for many clothing manufacturers.

Synthetic, therefore cost-effective

Being a synthetic fabric, fleece is purely a manufactured product. Since the base products for the manufacture of fleece can be easily accessible by most manufacturers who produce bulk fleece fabric, the result is usually not that expensive to the end-user.


When it was first created, the idea behind fleece fabric was to create an alternative to wool, overcoming its shortcomings but maintaining as many benefits as possible. Just as wool, fleece fabric is comfortable with an added touch of being lightweight and smooth by default.


Depending on who you ask, fleece fabric can be just as warm as wool or even better. Unlike the naturally occurring wool, with synthetic materials like fleece, it’s easier to make the fabric fibers as minute as is desired. With smaller fabric fibers, it becomes possible to create even more air pockets in the fabric, making it warmer.


The breathability of fleece fabric depends greatly on the implementation of the fabric. If the objective of the fabric design is to make it breathable, fleece fabric can be made considerably more breathable than is possible with wool.


Compared to wool, fleece fabric can be considerably lighter and easier to carry around. The lightweight nature of fleece fabric is made from petroleum-based products, making it relatively lighter than wool.

Variations of Fleece Fabric

Depending on the objective, fleece can be made into several different structures that offer different benefits. For end-users who may want to have fleece fabric as the base materials for their projects, wholesale fleece fabric is available in several variations.

Here are some of the common formations that fleece fabric can be made into:

Tightly Woven

Tightly woven fleece fabric is considered the closest fleece can get when it comes to attaining the smooth feel of cotton. Tightly woven fleece fabric is compressed, making it ideal for situations that have to be packed into compressed spaces. On the other hand, tightly woven fleece fabric doesn’t quite offer the insulation and warmth benefits that you’d enjoy from other variations of fleece.

High Loft Fleece Fabric

The high loft fleece fabric makes the best option for situations where attaining the most amount of warmth is necessary. This fleece fabric variation consists of a rather voluminous fabric with tiny air pockets on both sides of the fabric. These air pockets come in handy when it comes to insulation of the body’s heat.

Heavyweight Fleece Fabric

Heavyweight fleece fabric offers just that, a heavier and denser fabric finish. Don’t be mistaken, though; heavyweight fleece fabric doesn’t necessarily mean warmer or more insulating. On the contrary, the heavyweight fleece fabric is relatively poor at offering insulation, but rather just a thick material that is considerably heavy.

Midweight Fleece Fabric

Midweight fleece fabric is in between heavyweight and lightweight fleece. In the middleweight section of fabric, you’d get to enjoy a less dense and relatively warmer fabric than you would in the heavyweight section.

Lightweight Fleece Fabric

Just like heavyweight fleece, lightweight fleece doesn’t quite offer that good insulation and warmth against the elements. The most you’d get from lightweight fleece fabric is a fabric that’s relatively easy to pack or carry around.

As a base material, fleece fabric makes for excellent jackets and other clothing. But as is the case with most functional clothing, there’s the need to include other materials to provide the best and most efficient result.

With fleece jackets, without any other materials added, the jackets are considerably affordable but are limited to what they can do for you. Aside from keeping you warm, you may need your fleece jacket to do more for you, especially when you’re an outdoor enthusiast.

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