Ever heard of flannel? Particularly during Christmas time, you will see items made of flannel make an appearance in the colder months more than at any other time of the year. The reason is that flannel keeps the body warm while looking stylish at the same time. Flannel is a woven, soft fabric in various thickness. Originally, flannel was created out of worsted yarn or carded wool. Currently, it is made from either synthetic fiber, cotton or wool. Vegetable flannel is created from pine fiber.
This type of fabric can wither be unbrushed or brushed to create extra softness. The mechanical process of brushing involves a fine metal brush rubbing the fabric for the fibers to be raised from the yarns, which are spun loosely to form a nap. For the most part, flannel has napping on either both or one side. If there is no nap on the flannel, it gets its softness through the yarn loosely spun in its woven version.
Commonly, flannel is used for making sleepwear, bed sheets, blankets and tartan clothes. People usually use the term for flannel shirt incorrectly, as they mean any shirt with a tartan or a plaid pattern.
There is no certainty where the word flannel originally came from. However, some suggest an origin which is Welsh, as there are fabrics not unlike flannel that can be traced back to sixteenth century Wales. The term “flanelle” from France was utilized in the late seventeenth century and in the eighteenth century, the term “Flanell,” which is German, was utilized.
Since the seventeenth century, flannel was created and gradually became the replacement of the older plains of Welsh fabric, some of which were finished as “friezes” or “cottons,” the local fabric product. In the nineteenth century, flannel was manufactured in towns such as Llanidloes, Hay on Wye, Montogmeryshire and Newtown. The production expansion is associated closely with carding mills spreading out, which prepared spinning wool.
Preparing the wool for getting spun is the first production aspect of woolen cloth to be made mechanical, aside from fulling. These Welsh woolen clothes were marketed by the Drapers Company of Shrewsbury.
There was a point in which Lancashire, Yorkshire, Welsh and Irish flannels slightly differed in character largely due to the raw wool grade utilized in many different locales. Some were finer and others were softer than the others. These days, flannel colors are determined by dyeing. This was originally achieved through mixing black, brown, blue and white wool in varied measurements. Sulphur dioxide bleach was used for achieving lighter shades in varying proportions.
The first batch of flannels was created out of staple, short and fine wool. However, by the time that the twentieth century came around the corner, mixes of cotton and silk had become commonplace. It was during this period in which trousers made of flannel gained in popularity as a sporting outfit, particularly cricket, in which it was extensively used ‘til the late seventies.
Using plaid shirts made of flannel made its peak in the nineties when grunge made an appearance through bands such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana using this fabric as their trademark, along with an unkempt look. On the other hand, few plaid shirts mass produced were actually made of real flannel, at the time. The relationship between plaid and flannel led to the wrong use of flannel as synonymous to plaid.
Not Just For Lumberjacks
Flannel shirts have undoubtedly gained in popularity through the years. Even if these tops are related often with the apparel for lumberjacks, these have now become more popular with more people. There are more than a few reasons why flannel shirts are popular with the mainstream.
Flannel shirts last long as this fabric is quite durable. For this reason, you can be assured that flannel is a great investment, particularly since these are not that expensive. No matter where or when you decide to buy flannel, you will find that the price range remains somewhat stable and very affordable. This makes it a practical purchase. Plus the fact that plaid is simply never out of style, you can be assured that this is one purchase you can enjoy for years to come.
Flannel is the most practical item of clothing to wear during the harsh winter months due to the warmth it gives your skin. Staying warm is a matter of survival and if flannel can give you an added touch of style, than that is another perk. More than anything else, it gives you insulation and will help you feel comfortable as you tackle each day in the winter time.
Flannel shirts have the ability to be wearable by every member of the population, both by those who don’t want to get out of bed in the morning to the most up and coming fashionista. It is quite forgiving to wear flannel shirts, as well, as these cover most of your upper body. Thus, it cannot just protect your skin through its coverage but feel comfortable and loose throughout the day. In other words, you can simply throw on a flannel shirt and get yourself through the day, or you could wear it on purpose and look great. Either way, you will look somewhat stylish.
Thus you can enjoy both style and comfort with flannel fabric. Whether you are talking about flannel sheets, trousers, shorts, shirts or even mini-skirts, you can be assured that you will exude style while feeling comfortable all day long. As a matter of fact, if your closet does not have one item of clothing made of flannel, you are missing out! Go ahead and buy yourself a shirt or two made of flannel and you will be delightfully surprised at how many ways you can mix and match this with the rest of your wardrobe.