Fleece garments may be a mainstay for screen printers and garment decorators, but “fleece” can refer to a wide variety of fabrics. Here, we’re breaking down the different types of fleece fabric so you have a better idea of which fleeces are best suited to your projects.
So what constitutes a fleece fabric? Fleece fabrics are knit, and then at least one side is brushed to loosen fibers and create a nap (raised surface) for a soft, plush feel. For basic fleece sweatshirts and sweatpants, generally the inside of the garment is brushed to feel warm and soft against the skin. The two-sided plush garments generally referred to as fleece are brushed on both sides.
Fleece can be made of a variety of different materials. Sweatshirts and sweatpants most commonly are made of a cotton/polyester blend, while plush fleece jackets and pants are usually 100 percent polyester. There are eco-friendly fleeces and fleeces made from recycled materials. In the end, it’s the plush knit fabric that makes a fleece rather than the material it’s made from.
In addition to being made from different materials, “fleece” fabrics come in a range of thickness and plushness. As you shop for fleece garments, you will find several types of fleece. Here are some of the more popular types of fleece:
Beyond the different varieties of fleece, you also will find fleece with specific properties. There is water-resistant fleece, which is either made from a higher concentration of polyester or specially treated cotton, as well as low-pill polyester, which is made to better retain its texture over time.
The fleece garments you choose will depend on the purpose of the garment and your customers’ requests. Whatever fleece you choose, you will find that there are some challenges that come with screen printing on fleece. You can find our tips and tricks for successfully screen printing on fleece here.
For some helpful tips on screen printing with fleece, check out this blog post: