Fleece is one of the most versatile kinds of fabric. It can be used to create things from undergarments to hats and even boots. You’ll first need to get your hands on a bolt of fleece. Speaking of which, how wide would that be?
The width of a bolt of fleece fabric ranges from 58 to 60 inches (147 to 152 centimeters).
So, that answers that question. However, if you want to learn more about bolts of fleece, I invite you to continue scrolling. In this short guide, I’ll go into detail regarding what fleece is, the dimensions of fleece fabric, telling fleece types apart, and how to choose the perfect fleece fabric type.
What is Fleece?
Fleece is a type of fabric that professional tailors and DIY sewers can use to create all sorts of wonderful-looking clothing.
Although the term “fleece” refers to a sheep’s coat, it’s actually a man-made material that is made out of polyester. However, like sheep fleece, synthetic fleece is furry, insulating, yet somewhat breathable, making it a great fabric alternative for both under and outerwear.
A sheet of fabric is deemed “fleece” if the fibers are knitted together and the final sheet has at least one brushed side to create a textured surface. For instance, fleece jackets will have smooth exteriors but fluffier inner linings.
While knowing how fleece is made is important, it’s far too extensive of a topic to discuss here. So, I highly recommend you check out Made How to see how polyester fleece is put together.
Fleece Fabric Dimensions
When shopping for fleece fabric, you can purchase it by the bolt (rectangular “roll”) or by the yard (length). So, fleece is readily available in a wide range of lengths, but what about its width?
On average, fleece is sold in 58- to 60-inch (147- to 152-centimeter) widths.
However, there are anomalies to this rule. If you search on the internet, some manufacturers sell their fleece fabric in rolls of 50-centimeter (19.7-inch) squares, as well as yard-wide or meter-wide bolts or individual sheets.
Fleece fabric is on the thicker side of the fabric-thickness spectrum. It can be as thin as 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) or as thick as 5 inches (12.7 centimeters). Ultimately, the thickness of a sheet of fleece will depend on what type of fleece it is.
Fleece Fabric Types
If you ask a fleece manufacturer for a bolt of fleece, the natural response will be, “What type do you want?”
There are 2 ways to look at fleece types—the weight per square yard or meter and the physical properties. I’ll describe both of them briefly in the following sections.
Weight per Square Yard/Meter
Fleece fabric typically falls into 4 weight categories: ultralight, lightweight, mid-weight, and heavy-weight. That said, there’s no physical difference between them since they are all still technically fleece in the end. Here’s what you need to know about fleece by weight per meter or yard.
|Fleece Weight Class||Weight||Uses|
||Spring and summertime apparel, gym clothes, bathrobes|
||Everyday under and outerwear|
||Mid-layer and outerwear, including sweaters, jackets, socks, undergarments|
||Autumn and wintertime apparel, winter sports apparel, undergarments|
Now, let’s take a look at the types of fleece fabrics based on their physical properties. Here’s a quick rundown of the various types and what makes them unique. Please note that fleece properties are not mutually exclusive from their weight classes—e.g., anti-pill fleece can be ultralight or heavy-weight.
|Anti-pill||Does not leave pilled-up fibers after washing|
|Cotton or Cotton Blend||Made from 100% cotton or a cotton blend, highly breathable but may shrink when washed|
|Microfleece||Thinnest, lightest fleece type available, weighs less than 200 grams per square meter (8.4 ounces per square yard), not insulating|
|Plush||Soft and luxurious to the touch, thick, insulating, but costlier than other types|
|Sherpa||Resembles natural sheep wool in looks and feel, highly insulating, ideal for use as inner-lining material|
|Polyester||Soft, double-sided fabric with deep pile and semi-fluffy surface|
|Bonded||Bonded or attached to another type of fabric, usually as an inner-lining|
|Blizzard/Polar||Smooth, round, dense, insulating, 100% polyester|
|Lycra Spandex||Elastic, gives a fitted look and texture, cotton and spandex/Lycra blend|
|Slub||Created by twisting different fiber sizes together, textured look, ideal for throw pillows and blankets|
|French Terry||Unbrushed, not as soft as other fleece types, but sits flatter|
|Hydrophobic||Does not absorb water, ideal for use in damp environments|
For the most part, knowing the weight and properties of a bolt of fleece is sufficient for determining whether or not you want to use it. However, if you want to be thorough about your purchase decision, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need it? Fleece can be quite costly by the sheet, let alone by the bolt. You might want to purchase a meter- or yard-long piece of fleece as a tester to see whether or not you’re comfortable with it.
- What will I do with it? Some fleece fabric types are good for bonding to other materials, whereas others are best as standalone materials for no-sew projects.
- High- or low-quality? Not all manufacturers produce the same quality fleece. Be mindful of which brand you choose. You might want to choose a yard or meter of fleece from a certain brand before investing in an entire bolt.
- Will it last for months or years? Fleece can be highly durable or break apart after months of use. In general, more expensive fleece fabric types are of higher quality and have longer lifespans. Also, when you ultimately get rid of the fleece-studded clothing, the microfibers may end up polluting the ocean and killing fish.
- What color do I want? Different fleece types come in all sorts of colors and patterns, so choose the one that fits what you want.
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