Flannel is making a big comeback! Well, it was never really gone, but this season the fabric is on everyone's lips and in abundance in clothing stores. But what is flannel? We enlighten you.
What Flannel is Made of
Flannel is mostly cotton fabric with a soft, fluffy surface due to its texture. Depending on the flannel fabric, one or both sides can have a roughened appearance but keeping a smooth feeling. How is this roughened finish created? There are various techniques for this; brushing is a typical process. The fabric's surface is rubbed with large brush rollers to loosen the fibers from the spun yarn. A loose weave also provides that fluffy feel.
This cozy, comfortable fabric is perfect for cold autumn or winter days because it keeps you nice and warm. The material is also absorbent and crease-resistant. So it's no wonder that flannel is very popular not only for clothing but also for bedding.
The Origin of Flannel
Flannel has been produced under this term since the 17th century and probably originated in Wales. One is not quite sure about that, but flannel-like fabrics from the 16th century can be traced back there. At that time, flannel was made from fine, short-fiber wool. Only gradually did blends of silk and cotton become common. Today, the softest flannel is made of 100% cotton, but it can also come in blended fabric.
Flannel in Fashion
The fabric became popular with workers when Hamilton Carhartt, with his company "Carhartt" founded in 1889, produced flannel garments for railroad and construction workers. Fashionably, flannel made its first big appearance in the movie "The man in the grey flannel suit" starring Gregory Peck. From then on, gray suits were very popular among businessmen. Flannel took over the sports world in the 70s with sports pants for cricket. However, plaid flannel shirts only became really trendy in the 90s with grunge music. The biggest bands of the time, such as Nirvana and Guns'n'Roses, shaped an entire generation with them. In the fall of 2022, flannel is making a huge comeback. Whether flannel shirts, jackets, or suits: Flannel clothing is super trendy right now.
Difference between Plaid and Flannel
Very simple: plaid is a pattern, and flannel is a fabric. They are often associated because many flannel shirts are plaid, but that's about it. Flannel fabrics can have different patterns, and plaid patterns can be on other fabrics. We have a selection of plain and patterned flannel fabrics such as check or houndstooth. But why is flannel often plaid ? This is probably due to the Welsh origin since checks are anchored in British culture.
How to take Care of Flannel
To enjoy the pleasant softness of the fabric for a long time, never wash your flannel clothes in hot water. Use the gentle cycle to protect the material from too much friction. To preserve color and texture, use a mild detergent, avoid fabric softener altogether, and use vinegar instead. Vinegar helps remove soap residue, promotes luminosity, and reduces linting. You can tumble dry flannel but on low heat. It's best to let your flannel clothes hang up to air dry. This helps preserve the fabric and prevents wrinkling, so you don't need to iron flannel. Whatever you choose, always read the care instructions on the garment label. That way, your flannel piece will stay cozy and attractive.
Are you now inspired to get yourself some flannel clothing? Then consider flannel tailored clothing because nothing looks as good as perfectly fitting clothes. We offer a wide selection of flannel fabrics for shirts, suits, and jackets. And at Hockerty, you can be sure: you won't see anyone else in the same flannel clothing as yours because your garment is designed by you and tailored for you.