Fleece vs Felt: 9 Differences Between Fleece and Felt Fabric

The F words. No, you are not cursing or insulting someone when you use them. All you are trying to do is find the right fabric for your next sewing or craft project. To do that sometimes you have to use those F words—felt or fleece. And if they do not have the right type of either, you may use the real F word.

The main difference between these two fabrics is how they are made. Felt can be made from either natural wool fibers or synthetic ones. Fleece, on the other hand, is made from plastic and nothing else. Then felt is neither woven nor knitted while fleece is a woven fabric.

To read more about the differences between these two fabrics, just continue to read our article. It has the information on these two fabrics so you know their characteristics and what is the best way to use them. It only takes a couple of minutes to read our article.

Difference Between Fleece and Felt Fabric

For those who do not have that couple of minutes, here is a quick comparison chart giving you the main characteristics of each fabric. You should be able to see those differences at a glance.

Category Fleece Felt
OriginPlasticWool and synthetic fibers
Weave styleWovenNeither woven nor knitted
TextureSoftEither soft or tough
BreathableYesNot that well
Cleaning careNot to difficultCan be very difficult to clean
SewingDoes not frayDoes not fray
Shape retentionVery goodNot so good, may bag on you
UseA variety of clothingFun fabric, for one of a kind clothing, pool tables
WeightLight, medium and heavyHeavy

The biggest difference you will find between these two fabrics that is noticeable right away is their feel. Fleece is very soft to the touch while the felt fabric can be quite rough especially when it is made of wool. The cost of each fabric will depend on its quality and weight.

Some of the materials will be cheap while other versions will be a little bit more expensive.

Fleece vs Felt Saddle Pad


Synthetic fleece material may not be as soft or as comfortable as any fleece pad made out of natural fibers but it lasts a long time. Also, this pad probably will be one of the cheaper ones you can buy. It is also easy to get but the chemicals found in a horse’s back will break this fabric down quite easily if it is not given proper care.

The felt pad’s biggest asset is its ability to wick away moisture from the horse and keep them dryer. Also, it takes the heat away and absorbs it into its fibers making sure the horse does not overheat when out for a lengthy ride.

You will want to use between a 3/4 to a 1-inch thick felt pad for the best results. Plus, felt is probably the best material to use for a saddle pad. One word of warning though. If there is a problem it may not be the saddle pad that is causing it.

You need to make sure the saddle fits. 9 times out of 10 the problem is with the saddle and not the saddle pad. Make sure it is the right fit for the horse.

Polar Fleece vs Felt


The key thing to remember about fleece, any version, is that it was created to mimic wool, much like rayon was made to mimic silk and viscose to mimic cotton. Wool is not left out of this trend to create synthetic fabrics to provide natural fabric qualities and characteristics at a lower price.

There are a variety of styles of fleece and polar is just one of the many. Its design is to help you stay very warm when the temperatures drop. That makes it ideal for winter clothing. Felt can be used for cloaks, coats, hats, ponchos, and more but it is not as popular as fleece and not always used on such a wide basis.

It is more of a fun fabric although its matted construction should keep the colder air away from you. The drawbacks of felt undermine the advantages of using that material as it is hard to repair, can bag at the wrong spots as well as being ruined by steam.

Other drawbacks include being hard to care for and the material can attract moths when made from real wool. Let your preference dictate how you will use felt for clothing.

Felt vs Fleece Blanket


A felt blanket would keep you warm. That is one advantage of having a pressed and matter fabric over your body. It does not breathe that well so your body should stay warm all night long. That is if you don't overheat.

This material is better used for molded clothing items like hats, shoes, and boots. Also, felt doesn't resist scratches and can tear quite easily. Felt is also quite heavy and that may be a feeling you like especially if you move a lot in your sleep.

If you are looking for a good survival blanket, you may want to choose felt made from wool over fleece. Fleece is good for your bed at night as it can be very soft, comfortable and it is usually listed in some of the top 10 lists as one of the best blankets to buy. Again, go with your preference and purpose in selecting a blanket from these two fabrics.

Some Final Words

When it comes right down to it, choosing between these two fabrics will depend a lot on their strengths and their weaknesses. They are not interchangeable materials and each has its own purpose. You would not want to put a fleece fabric on a pool table no matter how cheap it is.

Then you can always go by feel and take fleece over felt as it is usually softer than felt and smoother.

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