First, Deedaloos has a commitment to quality and your satisfaction. I do my best to choose fabrics that are both appealing and durable, standing up to multiple washings. Many of these I have used to make things for my own children and I know that they will last. I choose quality threads and manufacture my items using the best technique for the item at hand, so if it can be serged without bulk, I do so using four threads. I frequently use wooly nylon in my pj production as it's very soft against your skin.
When it comes to fleece, I primarly use fleece from Malden Mills. I do not advertise it as polarfleece or polartec as there are trademark issues with use of such, although that may well be what I'm using, just like other high end manufacturers such as LL Bean or Lands End. Sometimes I may use a less expensive fleece from Joann Fabrics, but it's been chosen due to the popularity of the print. I have had great experience specifically with their microfleeces that are quite pricey, but are very soft and yes, VERY durable.
Malden Mills fleece comes in a variety of weights and finishes. I mostly will use 100 and 200 weights or a combination of both in my hat and mitten productions. The higher the number, the warmer it is, but sometimes using a 300 weight is simply too bulky and doesn't make a nice hat for a child. Different finishes means that some of them may look different on the right side than the wrong side and some look exactly the same, as they have a double-velour finish. You may find some with a chunkier or berber finish and others may be treated to deflect water. There's also a curly fleece which is lots of fun when you really want to turn your sewing room into a big mess! In my experience, the way they are manufactured does seem to impact the stretch that they have, so I look for that as I shop. Malden Mills fleece washes and wears so very nicely and even better . . . it's made in the USA!
Now . . . direct from horses mouth is as follows:
Q. What's the difference between Polartec fleeces and copycat fleeces?
A. Be careful of the imitations! Other manufacturers are producing fleeces that may appear to be similar to Polartec fleeces, but they aren't. They will cut costs by:
- producing a thinner fleece (less oz per linear yard)
- producing a fleece that pills. Polyester is a strong fiber that doesn't break away from itself when it meets abrasion. The longer thread of other fleeces will pull into itself and pill.
- producing a fleece that matts. It is the ability of the fibers to stand upright that provides Polartec fleeces with it's thermal qualities.
producing prints whose colors and lines are fuzzy instead of vivid and clear
You should still use certain care when washing your fleece items. Recommend care is as follows: machine wash warm, tumble dry low or line dry. It's always best to wash with like fabrics, but I tend to just wash darks with darks and lights with lights. Do not use bleach or fabric softeners as this can remove some of the finishes on your fleece. Last, do not dry clean which is glorious because who wants to pay for that anyways!
Thanks for visiting and I look forward to your special requests for hats and mittens!