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Home†>†Sewing Guides & Inspiration†>†How to Sew Fleece Fabric

How to Sew Fleece Fabric

How to Sew with Fleece FabricRevered for its light weight and soft texture, Fleece fabric has been the darling of the fashion industry since its début in the late 1970s by Malden Mills. Fleece is an 100% man made material that is characterized by a deep pile which has been woven into a knit fabric structure. Cuddly, warm and breathable, fleece is perfect for making blankets, hats and outerwear.

 When purchasing fleece, look for a denser weave since this indicates a higher quality fabric. Check the fabricís recovery time by stretching it and letting it relax. A higher quality fleece will have a quicker recovery time. Finally check the fabricís durability, by rubbing the fleece roughly against itself in a circular pattern to check for piling. Higher quality fleeces go through multiple shearing processes and will resist piling when subjected to this type of abrasion.

 When sewing with fleece, there are couple important tips to keep in mind:

 Determine which side is the right side of the fabric Believe it or not, fleece does have a right side and a wrong side. The general rule to follow is that fleece tends to curl toward the wrong side. To determine which side is the right side, simply pull a small section of your fabric taunt and the side that the fabric curls towards is the wrong side. Do this prior to laying out and cutting your fabric to ensure that you are using the right side. Fleece does not shrink, fade or run so there is no need to prewash the fabric.

 Laying out your fabric for cutting pattern weights are the best way to control the bulk of fleece when laying out fabric for cutting. Cut all pieces with the nap running in the same direction.

 Before you sew it is best to determine the most effective tension and stitch length for your specific machine. Do this by taking a couple of fleece scrapes and sewing a small test swatch.

 Stitch Length Youíll need to increase your stitch length to account for the additional bulk, set your machine to a longer stitch length between 3 and 4mm.

Sewing Machine Needle size use a universal, 80/12 stretch or ballpoint sewing machine needle when sewing mid-weight fleece, changing to a 90/14 or higher for areas with more than 2 layers. Always start each new sewing project with a new sewing machine needle. Use long quilting pins to temporarily join fabric pieces prior to sewing.


 Sewing Thread always use polyester thread rather than cotton when sewing with fleece fabric. The polyester fiber is stronger and more compatible with synthetic fibers.

 Clean while you Sew Fleece tends to shed quite a bit during sewing so keep a can of canned air or a brush handy so you can easily remove the debris while sewing.

 Zippers or Button closures Use a tear away or wash away stabilizer when inserting a zipper or doing decorative stitching to prevent stretching.

 Ironing Fleece has a very low melting point so it is best not to iron it.

 Finishing the seams and edges Conventional type hems are generally too bulky and since fleece does not ravel there isnít a need for a  traditional seam finish or edge finish. Instead use a mock flat-fell seam or consider finishing edges with a two-way stretch binding. Overcast, pinking or zigzag stitched edges are also great options. Do not use a standard double-fold hem. Use a single-fold hem or finish the edge with ribbing or a two-way stretch binding. You can also use a machine or hand-sewn blanket stitch to finish the edge. Also a  serger stitch in contrasting thread makes a nice touch near the hem line/front.