Which fleece is which? Your quick start guide to fleece.

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Given the fact that this is fleece fun and I have over 60 free patterns on this site (most which are fleece) I’ve received several emails asking me to clarify the difference between the types of fleece… I didn't know there were so many different types of fleece! And she has links to a ton of FREE fleece patterns. Love this sewing site!or asking me if there is a difference between them.  Yes there is a difference between the various “fleeces” and here’s your guide.  Be sure to check out my other tutorials and posts ( links in the post below) for more detailed information on each of these fabrics.

Polar/Blizzard/ Anti Pill/ Medium Weight Fleece

I love these free fleece hat patterns that are easy to sew. This is s perfect DIY idea for witner.The majority of the sewing patterns on Fleece Fun are designed to work with polar fleece*. Polar fleece is also good for no-sew projects (like a flower – get the free tute here) or tie blankets (check out my ultimate tie blanket guide here) . Polar Fleece can be divided in to two categories, anti-pill and non anti-pill.  Anti-pill tends to be a more high quality fabric, and doesn’t “ball up” or “pill” after several washes.  Non anti-pill is cheaper, but will get little pills after wearing and washing.  I personally recommend spending a little bit more money for the anti-pill as it will look nicer longer.  Polar fleece can come in different weights, a medium weight tends to be the most common one that you will find in your local fabric store. You can find out more facts about fleece here.

Sewing on fleece can be easy because it doesn’t slip under the needle or fray. However the more stretch the fleece has, you will want to sew with a ballpoint needle.  Stretch can vary greatly between brands and grades.  Typically the cheaper the fleece, the lest stretch it has (and you can get away with sewing with a standard needle).  If you experience trouble with sewing your fleece, try changing needles and lengthening your stitch and/ or using a zig zag stitch instead of a running stitch.

*Please note that the term “polar fleece” is a copyrighted term that is often misused for medium weight fleece.

Micro Fleece

Softer than polar fleece, micro fleece is wonderful to touch and is mostly geared for baby and children projects.  There is a very clear right and wrong side to most micro-fleece.  One side has the heavenly feel with its tiny (almost furry) fibers.  It is thinner than the medium weight fleece. And while it doesn’t fray the ends don’t fray they can be stretched out of shape, so it recommended not to leave exposed edges raw.

Minky or Cuddle

cuddle cape swirlWhile debatable if this is truly a fleece fabric it is often clumped in with the fleece group.  Named Minky (also known as cuddle) for its simulated feel of mink, this fabric is truly heavenly.  However it does require special care.  Sewing on Minky can be difficult as it will slide under the needle.  This means lots of pins, a jersey ball point needle or a walking foot to sew on this fabric.  The edges can ruffle and lose shape so finishing is recommended (with exception of some projects – check out the candy stripe scrunch scarf here). You should also never wash Minky in warm water or dry it on a high heat as it will lose its signature softness.  You can buy double sided Minky (uber expensive) but most often it is a single sided fabric.  Minky is most often used in baby projects, but I love the feel of this fabric so much that I designed a couple of patterns using it for and adult!  You can check out the free Infinity bow wrap video and tutorial here. I have a post with 7 tips to working with this fabric that you can check out here.  And you can check out my fun selection of Cuddle kits and fabric here.

Coral Fleece

Coral fleece is more closely related to Minky or cuddle fleece. It had a more fur like texture. Because of it’s construction and texture it’s not recommended for no sew projects as it will shed and stretch more that polar fleece. The edges need to be finished so it won’t get stretched out in the washer. If you wash it cold, do not use fabric softener and dry it low, it will help to maintain it’s soft fury texture. Hope that answers your questions! (You can learn more about Coral Fleece here).

So there’s a quick guide to fleece please comment or write me if you have a question!

Are you ready to start sewing with fleece?  Here are some great free patterns and tutorials to get you started (a lot of them have a video to go with it too!).

You can see All of my Fleece Sewing Projects here.

Fleece Hat Patterns

Fleece Cape Patterns

Fleece Pants Pattern

Fleece Scarf Patterns

Fleece Pillow Patterns

No Sew fleece Purse

Fleece Mitten Pattern

Working With Different Fabrics:

More How to Sew Lessons:


    1. Jersey fleece is made from cotton (or a cotton blend) and can have more stretch to it than polar fleece (which is 100% polyester).

  1. Can you use coral fleece (and what exactly is it) instead of polar fleece for no-sew blankets or will the ends ‘shed’? The one bolt I found in the store seemed to shed when I rubbed the cut end. I wasn’t sure if this was normal because it was a new cut or if it would continue until there was nothing left. And how does coral fleece hold up after washing?

    1. Hi Stacy,
      Coral fleece is more closely related to Minky or cuddle fleece. It had a more fur like texture. Because of it’s construction and texture it’s not recommended for no sew projects as it will shed and stretch more that polar fleece. the edges need to be finished so it won’t get stretched out in the washer. If you wash it cold, do not use fabric softener and dry it low, it will help to maintain it’s soft fury texture. Hope that answers your questions!

  2. I crocheted some mittens and was wondering what would be the best fleece to line them with so they are super warm and cozy.

  3. Which would you say is the warmest? I love the feel of minky and it is my go-to for most projects, but i don’t want to compromise warmth for the softness. What would you recommend for the most warmth?

  4. Hi Angel,

    I bought some fleece a very long time ago and it was labeled at the store as bonded fleece. One side has one color and the other has another. What kind of fleece is this and how can I use it? Thank you so much 🙂

    1. Hi Martha,
      Without looking or touching the fabric here’s my best guess. Bonded fleece typically means a fabric 9 could be fleece or another type of synthetic) attached to polar/blizzard fleece (typically). A good example is the sherpa fleece that looks like leather On one side and sheep wool on the other, but the entire fabric is synthetic. Basically what you have is really nice fleece (bonded typically tends to be more upscale). It should work great for hats, and scarves, but mostly people make jackets and outwear out of them, as it is nicer fleece. Hope that helps!

  5. Hi Angel,
    I’m looking forward to sew a few plushies/stuffed animals by hand (I’m still saving up for a sewing machine).
    But I’m not sure if I should use fleece.
    Is it good for the job?
    Is the polar fleece the one I should use?

    Thank you :]

  6. Hi Angel.
    I have 2 baby coral fleece blankets that I would love to put an edging on. I am a bit worried about crocheting around them in case I stretch them out of shape. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can “pretty” them up in another way?
    Thanking you, Rose

    1. Hi Rose! I would recommend edging them with the satin blanket binding you can buy in the store. It will finish the blankets nicely and help the coral fleece maintain its shape.

  7. Hi Angel,

    Maybe you can help me. I’ve been making teddy bears for bereaved parents, using the minky swirl fabric because it’s so super soft. I’m having a real issue with the shedding though. I’ve done all the tricks and nothing helps. I have super sensitive eyes, so if I get just one tiny fiber in my eye, I won’t be able to sew for awhile. So, I’ve been looking for something that is equally soft, but doesn’t shed so much. I saw some pajama pants in the store that were closer to a fleece, but were labelled as a “megaminky.” These are even softer than what I’ve been using and the fabric doesn’t look like it would shed very much. I’ve looked all over online trying to figure out where I can buy it, but am not having much luck. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about by chance? And if so, what would you call it?
    Thanks so much!

    1. I confess this is a new fabric to me. I know minky (while it’s wonderful) can be a pain. I do have a trick for you. After cutting the piece roll a lint roller along the cut edges to minimize shed. Hope that helps!

  8. HI Angel! I have a pattern to make a Fleecy Sheep purse in white body with pink ears and handle. It calls for Cuddle fleece. I see JoAnn’s has a fluffy fleece. Is that the same

  9. Hello! I purchased fleece binding and am wondering if I cut slits in it for buttons will it fray? Or do I have to finish the holes with stitching like regular buttonholes? Thanks a bunch!

  10. Hello

    I am wondering if you can advise me. I bought some “Super soft” fleece which was a ready made blanket, it is very soft and quite thick. I wanted to use a cutter to insert holes around the edge so I could crochet in to it but it ripped as soon as I handled it (the cuts just ripped towards each other). I am thinking, perhaps I am using the wrong kind of fleece? I thought fleece was firmer and wouldn’t give way like that…any ideas? 🙂 thank you

  11. Hello! Do you know if there is any difference between 100% Spunpoly Lambskin Anti-Pil Fleece and just Anti-Pil Fleece? Or is it the same thing?
    How to understand what fleece is better quality?

  12. Thank you for answering so many questions I’ve had about fleece. I’m not what most would consider “experienced” at sewing, although I’ve been teaching myself, for the last couple if years, thanks to helpful people like yourself. Fleece has so many possibilities in the world of sewing and with the great “Black Friday” sales, rather inexpensive to use. I always use anti-pil fleece, just because it made sense. As a retired US Navy veteran, I’ve been working on trying to make at least a dozen large throws/smaller blankets for the homeless veterans in our area and fleece is my go to. Granted I live just outside Savannah, Georgia and we don’t really get the crazy cold weather and our winter us fairly short so these will help.

  13. Please tell me where I can purchase good quality fleece. I am disabled and cannot get out to check quality–I must order on line and could use any advice you can give me. Thank you. Patricia Hay

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