I wanted to do a write up on a fabric that is used fairly commonly for cosplay as well as plush making. This is something that a lot of people had probably used but anyone new to it might find it to be an interesting read.
Fleece fabric is a synthetic material that’s mostly used to make cold weather clothing. It comes in a large variety of colors that you could buy anywhere. I get most of mine from Joanns, and they’re usually on sale for $4-5 a yard, but other craft/fabric stores should sell it as well.
There are a few types of fleece that you can get. There’s Blizzard Fleece, which is generally the cheapest. It’s soft but pills really easily. For anyone not aware of what pilling is, it’s when your fabric gets those little balls of fuzz all over it. That can happen when you run your fabric through the washer/dryer. There’s Anti Pill Fleece, which does exactly what its name says it won’t pill on you. It’s a little bit more expensive by $1-2 but I think the extra money you spend is worth it. There’s also Minky Fleece, which looks similar to really short fur. This kind is the most expensive and the hardest to work with. The material gets everywhere where and its difficult to sew. Unless you’re experienced, I wouldn’t recommend working with this. You’re better off starting with Anti Pill Fleece and getting used to that material.
Blizzard Fleece, Anti Pill Fleece and Minky Fleece.
I generally use anti pill fleece to make plushy’s or stuffed animals, though I have used it to make a kigu. One of the advantages of using fleece is that it’s really easy to come by, safe for anyone who might have allergies and a lot cheaper then fake fur. So I can keep my prices a lot lower for people who may want to commission me for plushes. Fleece is also super easy to sew with; unlike most materials you don’t have to worry about finishing or doing an overlock stitch with fleece. Fleece isn’t going to fall apart on you when you cut it like a knit might. It’s also great for hand stitching on top of. A lot of the details on my plushies are hand stitched on, because of how thick the material is, it hides almost all of the stitching detail that might show on normal fabric. As long as your stitches are small and careful, the material will look like it is sitting on top of one another. It’s a rather nice effect!
If you are using it for clothing, then you really wouldn’t have to worry about doing any kind of finishing on it, like an overlock stitch. You could if you wanted something really nice and uniform, but it’s not necessary. The material is thick enough on its own so you wouldn’t need to line it if you didn’t want to, but if you want it to look nice then it would be fine to. For my Monomi kigu I lined the hood because I liked how it looked. When it comes to washing you’ll want to hand wash then air dry rather then throw it in the washer/dryer. You can if you want to, but the materials will keep nicer longer if you hand wash them. Only wash them if they get stained in someway, its similar to denim to where you really don’t need to frequently wash it. Sometimes animal hair can stick to it, because of how fibrous the material is. You can run a lint roller over it, or carefully pick the hair out; depending on how much is there.
This is just a basic overview of the material, hopefully this offered some insight in fleece fabric! Maybe in the future I’ll write up a small guide on making plushies!