What is Flannel ?


There are very few fabric materials that are loved by everyone. Flannel is one of this kind. Warming, comfortable, soft, rugged, and timeless, flannel is all about this. This cloth has made its space in the market not only because of its desired benefits but also with the matching trends. The garments using flannel fabric are stylish. It is a must-have for winter layering and creating new styles for different occasions. The more flannel is praised, the less it is. Moreover, thanks to the present flannel variety, which makes it highly versatile, enabling it to blend into a wide range of looks easily. 

However, if you are looking for an all-in-one guide to grab the information about how to style flannels, you are at the right place! This article has pulled together all the necessary knowledge that you need to know. After giving this post a read, you will be aware of the real meaning of flannel, its characteristics, and its types. As a reward, a few breathtaking benefits of flannel that will help you adopt this functional fabric into your day-to-day wardrobe are also mentioned in this blog. All in all, it is a great descriptive guide about flannel.  

What exactly is flannel?

Essentially, flannel refers to any cotton, wool, or synthetic fabric that is incredibly soft, warm, and medium-weight material. It has either a brushed or unbrushed texture that comes from a brushing process called napping after it undergoes woven. It appears as something napped, or fuzzy, finish. Being cozy and warm makes it an ideal choice for winters. It is all way comfortable. 

There is a brief consideration that the word “flannel” arrived from wales. There is no doubt that this term was commonly used in France during the 17th century. Though it is originated in the wool fabric, improvements have been made with time, and flannel was more commonly made with cotton, sometimes mixed with silk in the 20th century. In present times, the most liked and softest-coziest flannel is 100% cotton. 

Different types of flannel fabric

Let’s look at the few distinctive sub-types of flannel fabric:

1. Wool flannel:

It is one of the traditional yet historical flannel types made from wool. Surprisingly, most European flannel types are also woolen. As cotton was not generally used in Europe at that time because India was the one and primary producer of it. 

2. Cotton flannel: 

During the colonial expansionist period, cotton flannel became extremely popular. Talking about its characteristics, this flannel type comes with napping on both sides. Everyone pricelessly loves the rich cotton flannel garments or bedsheets. 

3. Synthetic or mixed flannel: 

With the innovation and development, many types of flannel are readily available in the market made from materials like polyester or natural. These types do not use natural fibers in their production. 

4. Baby flannel: 

baby in flannel shirt and jean

The finest and softest flannel that has been ever made is baby flannel. This type of fabric is napped on both sides. It can be made from any material, but specifically, cotton and wool are primarily used as they are rich in providing the softest textures against sensitive baby skin.

5. Ceylon flannel: 

These types of flannel are developed initially in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Typically, it is one such type that consists of a 50 ratio 50 blend of cotton and wool. 

6. Diaper flannel: 

So can you imagine that the diaper that your babies wear and the clothes you mostly wear in winters contain the same fabric? Not just clothes, but bedsheets and other textiles too are fabricated from the same material. As this fabric is napped on both sides, flannel can aid absorbency and enhance comfort. Consequently,  there is no better textile that can be used to make diapers.

Major attributes of flannel

Flannel fabric is specifically well-known for: 

1. Softness: 

There is hardly any material that is as soft as flannel. It fills all the boxes of comfortableness and coziness due to its soft fibers, i.e., usually cotton or wool. It is a common choice of everything from flannel shirts to dresses to sheets. 

2. Moisture-wicking: 

Thanks to the napping process and the loose weave of flannel which makes it way too breathable. Understanding deeply, flannel resists moisture from getting it to trap inside it and instead wick it away. Furthermore, wool flannel comes first in this moisture-wicking ability.

3. Snuggy: 

Flannel is perfect clothing wear for winters as it retains heat well. Flannel works amazingly in everything, whether outdoor clothing, winter pajamas, bedsheets, or blankets! 

Why should you put your hands on flannel? 

Flanner is an all-rounder not just in fashion but bed decor too. People consider it as a trustworthy fabric. Other than this, it has several benefits too. Let’s discuss bout each one in detail:

1. Maintenance: 

One of the fantastic things about flannel is that they are a low-maintenance fabric and do not require as much care as others. Surprisingly, this fabric gets softer and softer after each use, meaning you do not have to spend extra time ironing or dry-cleaning it. The clothes of this fabric are often least replaceable. If you own a pure 100% cotton flannel cloth, one notable thing is that they will be easily washed and will not hold odors. Additionally, all the flannel types are easy to clean and care for. You should generally make use of cold water and tumble dry on low these fabrics. 

2. Chill-weather clothing: 

Flannel is an excellent choice that you can put your hand on. Its softness, comfortableness, snuggies, and warmth make it a go-to choice for winter apparel. Flannel is the utmost functional fabric for outdoor and camping purposes. Besides shirts and dresses, this fabric is also used to make sweaters, cardigans, and other cold-weather layering garments. The wide range and styles available in the flannel garments are considered iconic of the outdoors lifestyle. In addition, the wide range has made the styling of flannel so much more uncomplicated. 

3. Extensive variety: 

You will be fascinated to know that other than clothes, flannel is doing a great job in launching accessories and homewares. Due to the unique plaid color pattern, flannel is rocking in the world of bags, purses, and belts. Moreover, many decor items and other homeware are getting people’s attention due to the same feature. Flannel sheets are making the space in most homes during the winter due to their increased softness, moisture-wicking, and perceived coziness.


There is hardly any reason that can make you step back from buying flannel fabric. Its wide variety in products, home decor, and clothing make it the most popular choice of people. In the fashion sense, you can easily create loads of new-look weather, bright or classic, by buying suitable flannel garments. Moreover, flannel will never betray you in terms of quality and comfort. On the whole, flannel is the jack of actual trades. Hope you find this article interesting!