What is Brushed Cotton?
Whether you are in the fabric world or not, you’ve undoubtedly heard about cotton. Cotton is the number one fabric around the world and is used to produce both affordable and eco-friendly cotton bags.
Now, cotton is derived from the cellulose fibres of cotton plants. These fibres are spun into threads to make fabric. It’s also worth mentioning that there are different species of cotton plants grown in Africa, Australia, the US, Asia and Mexico.
With all that said, in this piece, we shall focus on learning about brushed cotton – what it is, how it is made, and what it’s used for.
This is a woven cotton fabric that has been ‘brushed’ to come up with a napped, soft texture. Brushing is refining regular cotton to improve its functionality and aesthetics.
How is it made?
Brushing refers to the process of raising fibres on the surface of cotton fabric. Manufacturers take the cotton fabric through mechanized machines with metal brushes, which rub on the fabric to pick up on soft fibres from the yarns. This process yields extra soft fabric. Usually, cotton is brushed on both sides to achieve premium softness on both sides.
Why not also read: Cotton vs Plastic Bags
For other cotton fabric, instead of the mechanical brushing, the fibres on the surface of the fabric are burnt to achieve a smooth finish.
What is it used for?
The brushing process forms fluffy fibres that trap air. The trapped air, in turn, helps to improve insulation. From high school science, you know that anything that will reduce contact with your skin will help to reduce heat lost by the body. And because of this property, brushed cotton s used to make betting items, including pillowcases and sheets.
Also, because of this property, clothing made from brushed cotton protects you from chilly breezes. But also, they don’t cause overheating. With other clothing, you have to wear a V-neck under the shirt. But with brushed cotton fabric, you don’t have to layer up. Its insulation properties allow you to wear light but remain comfortably warm.
Difference between flannel and brushed cotton
Most people tend to use these terms interchangeably – but they don’t refer to the same thing. Brushed cotton is ‘elevated’ on one side to give the soft texture and make the fabric warm and breathable. But on the other hand, flannel fabric is ‘elevated’ on both sides. This results in warmer, thicker, and fuzzier fabric.
Note: Flannel was first made from wool. It wasn’t until a few years ago that it was made from cotton and other synthetic material.
Can you sew with brushed cotton?
Generally, cotton is simple to sew with. Expert seamstresses recommend cotton for beginners because it doesn’t slip, it can be washed to pre-shrink before the project starts and it’s easy to iron. And even better, cotton is machine washable between 30 and 40 degrees (usually at cod settings).
Can you print on brushed fabric?
Printing on brushed fabric is simple. You can print photos or any elaborate artwork you fancy. The designs can be big or small, depending on what you fancy. And for most printing businesses, you can complete placing an order for a printing project in a few clicks.
Now that you know what brushed cotton is and can differentiate it from flannel cotton, proceed to make an order of your favourite garment with a design of your choice.