What is flannel?
A plush, warm fabric of various weights and fineness, flannel is a plain-weave cloth that has been heavily brushed or carded for a soft napped finish. The brushing process creates insulating air pockets in the interlocking fibres that enhance its luxurious warmth. Cotton flannel is a favorite choice for pyjamas and robes, cold-weather apparel, and bedding. A medium-weight fabric, wool flannel is a soft twilled fabric with a loose texture and napped surface to conceal the weave. Wool flannel is used mainly for suits and business attire.
History of flannel
Derived from the Welsh word for wool, gwlanen, flannel was being woven in Wales as early as the 16th century. The French were using flanelle by the late 17th century, and a German word for the fabric, flannell, can be traced back to the early 1800s, indicating the use of this soft, warm material for clothing and bed linens during harsh German winters.
Nothing says cosy like a classic pair of soft flannel pyjamas. Typically the cotton flannel used in pyjamas is brushed on both sides for the most comfort, and flannel pajamas are a winter sleepwear staple for men, women, and children. Flannel has long been thought of as the fabric of woodsmen, lumberjacks, and farmers as it is exceptionally good at insulating, particularly for outdoor work in cold environments. In the early 1990s, the Seattle alternative music scene introduced flannel shirts as a fashion statement among young people.
It's also has traditionally been used for athletic team wear—baseball road uniforms were historically made of wool flannel and known as “road grays”. Cricket uniforms were originally made of white flannel, and known simply as “flannels”. Wool flannel is a wonderful choice for more tailored business and dress clothing. Its tight weave helps pieces retain their shape, adds a sophisticated look and luxurious drape to clothing made of this classic fabric.