What is Moleskin? Fabric Guide, Uses & Comparisons

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What is moleskin? Moleskin is a versatile heavy woven cotton fabric that has a shorn softer side. The fabric texture of moleskin is similar to the skin of moles. However, it is not made from animal skin as its name may suggest. The short fur of a mole has no specific growth direction and can be easily brushed which is similar to moleskin’s texture. Because of its quality, it is commonly considered to be one of the softest fabrics. It is widely functional because it doesn’t shrink or wrinkle, making it usable in the long run. Contrary to its name, moleskin does not use a mole’s skin.

What is MoleskinPinWhat is Moleskin

Contents

What is Moleskin and Its History?What is Moleskin Structure?What is Moleskin vs. Corduroy?What is Moleskin vs. Velvet?What is Moleskin vs. Flannel?What is Moleskin Uses?MedicalAudiovisual productionsMilitaryWorkwearCasual WearCan You Tailor Moleskin?What is Moleskin Care and Wash InstructionsWhat is Moleskin – In Conclusion

What is Moleskin and Its History?

Moleskin has a vague history regarding how it came to be. The fabric was initially used by European farmers and hunters during their work because of its quality. It was also used for farming and hunting because it was comfortable and durable. Furthermore, it provided warmth for the users during colder days.

In the 19th century, moleskin was used as a workwear fabric. It was worn as protection from molten metal. Steelworkers wore the fabric as their pants and aprons. Since then, the fabric was used for other types of clothing like jackets.

Moleskin, along with other fabrics, was also color modified based on the trade that it was used for. French mechanics used colored their moleskin indigo, carpenters chose black while the military used gray/olive colors.

What is Moleskin Structure?

Generally, moleskin fabric is heavy cotton composed of two layers woven together. One side is sheared and brushed, and this leaves a soft texture. It is then tightly woven with another layer. The quality of the fabric can vary depending on the material of the yarn and how it is brushed. Additionally, the density of the weave affects how resistant the fabric is to the wind.

The production of the materials makes the fabric offer good protection from microparticles like biological and mechanical particles. It is also used as thermal protection because of the condensed woven fiber filters.

When it comes to the cost of manufacturing this fabric, it can be very high compared to other types of fabrics. This is because special equipment is required to achieve the tightness of the material structure.

What is Moleskin vs. Corduroy?

Wondering what is moleskin compared to corduroy? There are similarities between corduroy and moleskin, but the latter is shorn for a softer texture that is a little flatter.

Both corduroy and moleskin are shorn to achieve that soft fabric texture; however, moleskin is commonly heavier because of the thickness. Corduroy has a texture of small loops of thread on one side. It is used for waistcoats, shirts, pants, and the like.

What is Moleskin vs. Velvet?

What is moleskin compared to velvet? Moleskin and velvet have the same luxurious appearance but differ in their production. Velvet is more expensive because of the difficulty of achieving its softness. Also, velvet is made from a velvet loom of varying thickness woven together in two threads. Synthetic and natural fabrics can be used.

What is Moleskin vs. Flannel?

Flannel has a similar weave and texture with moleskin. Although the two have a soft texture, moleskin is stronger and denser. The flannel is woven loosely, and this gives it a fuzzy texture. Flannel can also be used for outdoor and heavy-duty activities.

What is Moleskin Uses?

Now that you know what is moleskin, let us get to its uses. Moleskin has varying functions more than its conventional use for fashion. It can be fabricated diversely for varying uses. Its unbreakable dense weave makes it great to use for light to heavy-duty activities. Here are some of the uses of moleskin.

Medical

Moleskin fabric can be covered in an adhesive texture when used for medical purposes. It is commonly used to heal or avoid friction or callous injuries, particularly in the feet. When treating blisters, a part of the moleskin is placed at the center and is cut a little bigger than the blister size.

The thickness of the fabric helps with the cushion that aids with the healing process. It is also advisable to use moleskin around areas that tend to develop blisters when walking or running. Sometimes, it is applied directly to the areas inside of shoes that may cause friction in the skin. There are different manufactured moleskin fabrics for various uses such as bandages and rolls. Moleskin kits are very handy for people with a very active lifestyle.

Audiovisual productions

The small strips of the fabric are also used for audio or video productions that use a lavalier microphone. Actors and singers usually wear these microphones in a concealed manner. When worn underneath layers of clothing, the microphone tends to pick up unnecessary noise from the rubbing and movement. This is where moleskin comes in handy. Attaching a moleskin strip around the body of the lavalier microphone can reduce the unwanted noise produced from the rubbing and movements.

Military

In the past years, moleskin was used in West German Army uniforms. They were color modified into gray/olive to achieve the usual military color. However, the fabric was not sheared resulting in a flat outer side. Nonetheless, it’s still a durable material and offers great resistance to wind.

Workwear

Moleskin is commonly used for hazardous occupations for garments like gloves and aprons. It is durable and provides a wide range of protection from harmful biological, mechanical, and nuclear particles. It is also very comfortable to wear and easy to clean. It was historically used by laborers because of the practicality and comfort of the fabric.

Casual Wear

The use for moleskin in casual wear is commonly in cooler places. The tight structure of the weaves increases the warmth and comfort of the clothing. However, it can be appropriate as summer clothing if the fabric is permeable.

You can be comfortable wearing a Moleskin shirt on a 30-40 F day. Heavyweight garments may be more suitable for temperatures lower than 30 F. Moleskin also develops a rugged look from multiple uses, which may be a good piece for vintage-themed wear.

Moleskin trousers are commonly worn during winter because the fabric can maintain the heat. It also has versatile uses, from outdoor sports to office, and the material makes it less susceptible to tearing. It has a subtle finish and elegant look that makes it a good fit for various formal and informal situations. They are also used as an alternative to jeans.

Additionally, moleskin jackets are heavily used for outdoor and sports activities. It can even be used when fishing or hiking because of the warmth and protection it provides. Some fashion companies have also produced shirts and vests made of moleskins. Overall, the soft and durable texture makes it ideal clothing for many.

Can You Tailor Moleskin?

Moleskin’s seams aren’t flat because of the cloth’s thickness, so they cannot be altered. If you want to tailor moleskin clothing, you will need to do special and intricate techniques in order to achieve a professional finish.

It is advisable to use a micro text sharp needle, or needles made for sewing microfibers. You can use a synthetic thread, particularly polyester-coated cotton thread. Another tip is to use longer and zigzag stitches to avoid unnecessary creases on the fabric.

Options for hems:

Fuse the hem using fusible seam tapeTopstitch with same threads

A seam finish is necessary to reduce raveling:

Fell seamMock fell seamZigzag stitch at raw edges

When making the seams, you can also use an iron lightly over the wrong sides of the garment to reduce the shiny spots on the outside. Aim for a lightweight finish; otherwise, the sewing construction will be seen from the front. You can also resort to professional services if you want a custom fit with your moleskin clothes.

What is Moleskin Care and Wash Instructions

Wondering what is moleskin care instructions? There are several methods that can be used when it comes to washing moleskin. Because of the strength of its material, it can be washed through a washing machine, preferably in a gentle cycle, while inside out. However, doing several washes can wear down the fabric because of the force from the machine.

Spot cleaning is preferred in order to retain the weaves and texture. Washing the fabric is advisable to keep the tightness, but it will inevitably fade from all the wear and wash. Do not forget that it is important to check if there are specific instructions for washing from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers specifically recommend dry cleaning for moleskin.

What is Moleskin – In Conclusion

Overall, moleskin is a very flexible fabric with different uses. It is a durable material with a luxurious appearance, which makes it appropriate for almost any occasion. It is not just used for fashion but also in the medical, military, and other industries. With its elegant finish, it can be a good alternative to similar expensive fabrics like velvet. Now that you know what is moleskin fabric and its various uses, it is about time that you added this densely woven fabric to your wardrobe.

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