Flannelette is a cotton fabric that on one side has a napped, or brushed, finish, giving it a soft feel. It is cosy and warm yet light and breathable and lends itself extremely well for the making of nightwear, shirts, and sheets or pillowcases for colder times of the year.

Here at Spotlight, choose from a huge selection of flannelette or brushed cotton fabrics in a wide range of colours, styles and designs.

All are available by the metre and you will find plain fabrics and a wide selection of patterned kids fabrics in the collection, suitable for all ages from babies right up to teens.

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Can I purchase flannelette at Spotlight?

Yes, you can! Flannelette is a cotton fabric that has a napped, or brushed, finish on one side (or sometimes on both sides) which gives it a soft feel. It is cosy and warm but still light and breathable and it lends itself extremely well to the making of nightwear, shirts, and sheets or pillowcases for colder times of the year, as well as for other craft items and objects for use around the home.

What are the different types of flannelette?

Originally, flannel was made from either carded wool or worsted yarn, but modern flannels can be made from either wool, cotton, or synthetic fibres. Woven with either a twill or a plain weave, it is then napped or brushed to give it that extra softness. Otherwise, its softness is derived from the loosely spun yarn it is woven from. The softness and warmth make it an excellent fabric choice for any project made for babies, perfectly cuddling their soft skin. There is even a fabric called baby flannel, which is lightweight and breathable for night-time sleeping. Older kids will also appreciate the cuddliness of a warm set of flannel pyjamas for the winter! Many modern flannels are produced from cotton, as opposed to wool, to take advantage of the softness while avoiding its intense heat-saving properties.

Why is flannelette so popular?

What makes flannelette such a great choice, aside from its low cost, is the wide variety of plain and prints designs that are available. They appeal to just about anyone at any age, from babies to adults. While probably most associated with items for babies and children, flannelette is extremely versatile and a great choice for making all types of crafts and projects from quilts, to toys, home items, casual clothing, sleeping bags, sleepwear, slippers, scarves and hats, and even pet wear. In addition, it can be used as a lining or interlining material for adding warmth properties to a project.

Are there any tips on sewing with flannel and flannelette?

  • Flannel can be a loose weave. The looser the weave, the more it tends to stretch when sewing.
  • It is very important to pre-wash the fabric, because it is prone to shrinking. Increase your stitch length to help control stretching.
  • Flannel also frays easily, so it is best to avoid intricate, complicated designs and to increase the seam allowance.
  • Do not iron. Moving the iron back and forth over the fabric will create more stretching. Instead, press the fabric by holding the iron in place for a few seconds, then lifting, and do not use the steam setting.
  • Use a walking foot when possible and always start with a new needle. Working with flannel may dull your needle, and working with a dull needle can result in skipped or uneven stitches.
  • Flannel will also leave a lot of lint behind, so be sure to clean your machine often during your project.

Can I purchase woven apparel fabrics at Spotlight?

Yes, you can. Woven fabrics account for a large percentage of all dressmaking and apparel fabrics and we are pleased to be able to offer you a wide choice of these fabrics here at Spotlight. Woven apparel fabrics are available in many weights, fibres, colours and designs, making it easy to find the right fabric for your next sewing project here.

What are the features of woven apparel fabrics?

Woven fabrics are made up of a weft - the yarn going across the width of the fabric - and a warp - the yarn going down the length of the loom. The side of the fabric where the wefts are double-backed to form a non-fraying edge is called the selvedge. There are at least three distinct types of woven fabric, which are:

Plain weave: In plain-weave fabric, the warp and weft are aligned so that they form a simple criss-cross pattern. Plain-weave is strong and hardwearing, so it's used for fashion and furnishing fabrics.

Twill weave: In twill-weave fabric, the crossings of weft and warp are offset to give a diagonal pattern on the fabric surface. This means the fabric is strong, drapes well and is used for jeans, jackets and curtains.

Satin weave: Satin-weave fabrics consist of a complex arrangement of warp and weft threads, which allows longer float threads either across the warp or the weft. The long floats mean the light falling on the yarn doesn't scatter and break up, like on a plain-weave. The reflected light creates a smooth, lustrous (shiny) surface commonly called satin.

What are the advantages of woven apparel fabrics?

Here are some of the main advantages of woven fabrics:

Cost: As in all industries, time and labour have an effect on the cost of items. Woven fabrics are formed on looms and are made to be sturdy. The fabric cannot be stretched and does not shrink. While this does produce high-quality material, it does increase production costs.

Washing: Most woven fabrics are simple to launder and typically will not shrink or wrinkle. The main exceptions to this are linen and silk, which it may be better to dry-clean.

Durability: Woven fabrics by far outlast most other fabrics such as knits, and this is why so many heavy-duty fabrics are weaves. Examples of woven fabrics include denim, linen, corduroy and tweed.

Does Spotlight also sell other types of fabric?

Yes, as well as woven fabrics, Spotlight also stocks a large collection of knitted fabrics. Knitted fabrics are generally more stretchy than woven fabrics and the stretch means they are less prone to wrinkling too. Woven and knitted fabrics cannot usually be interchanged, so if you are unsure as to which fabric you need, check your pattern for information or ask advice from our sales staff.

Of course, there are special fabrics for sale here at Spotlight too, that are neither woven nor knitted, such as bonded fabrics, imitation leather and vinyl, and other specialty fabrics such as lace, nylon tulle and nets.

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