Sometimes names or labels describe a product perfectly. Other times, they are very misleading. Everyone can agree that there is no better term for silk. Yet names like Minky can leave a person scratching their heads wondering what it is.
What is a minky? This fabric is made from top-quality polyester microfiber fibers that are supposed to be silky smooth and very soft. The reason it is so expensive is that it is made from the top of the line polyester fibers and you always pay more for great quality.
To learn all about Minky fabric just continue to read our article. It contains the information you want to know about so you can decide if you want to use it in your next quilt or other sewing projects.
This fabric comes from synthetic fibers that are either very plush or similar to microfibers or both. It is supposed to be the best quality polyester material you can get. On top of that, these fibers are supposed to be super soft and very comfortable next to your skin.
What that means is that Minky is made from petroleum products and other chemicals. Then the process to spin those ingredients will be similar to other polyester fibers except that care is given to make sure that top-quality softness is achieved.
Unfortunately, it is not a perfect fabric and it can give sewers nightmares when they work with this material. its tendency to curl when sewing or producing a lot of fuzz makes it hard to keep the fabric where you want it or even cut it properly.
No, and all animal lovers can breathe a sigh of relief as minks are not even close to being used to create this fabric. Minky is purely synthetic and is made from the best polyester fibers possible.
The name Minky, as the story goes, comes from the founder or inventor of this material. When he was young he had a child’s blanket he named minkey. So when he grew up he named his creation after his favorite childhood blanket.
It is hard to say if that story is true but one thing is for sure, the word minky must be trying to tell people that the fabric is as soft as a mink’s fur. Or at least something similar. The feel of this fabric is supposed to be more like silk than fleece which is what this fabric is also supposed to be similar to.
The simple explanation is minky is made from the best of the very best polyester fibers. it is supposed to be a step or two above the soft feel of fleece and has a more silky feel to it than other synthetic fibers.
When you use more expensive fibers and fabrics to make any material, the cost goes up. Even when making a dress, the cost of a cotton dress will be a lot cheaper than the cost of a silk dress even if they look the same, are made the same size, and have the same embellishments.
Minky is also supposed to have lots of other characteristics that make its cost justified. It is supposed to be a very soft fabric that rivals silk but without the care hassles that come with silk. This material’s softness is also said to last longer than silk while keeping you nice and warm when you get cold.
That will be a question that is up to you to decide. Given the many positive properties this fabric comes with, there will be those segments of society that will say it is worth the expense while other segments may not agree.
It will be up to your preference and experience with this material before it can be said to be worth the expense. The negative qualities that come with this top-quality fabric may have people saying that the expense is not worth what you are getting once you have paid for it.
It is a fabric that is hard to sew as it is slippery, curls when cut, and also produces a lot of fuzz. You may have to pin the fabric every 1 1/2 inches to make sure the fabric edges stay straight. That means you have to factor in the work involved when sewing with this fabric before deciding it is worth the price or not.
There are many reasons why this fabric has become very popular. First, it gives you silk-like qualities without the silk price tag or problems. You get a nice soft and comfortable material next to your skin that keeps you nice and cozy on those cold nights at home.
Then, the softness remains in the blankets for a long time. The thickness and the plush nature keep that built-in softness lasting longer than other blankets or so the ads claim.
This material is supposed to be low maintenance but you have to make sure that you use the right laundry soap, the right cycle, and the right temperatures in order not to harm the fibers when you launder them. The dryer is okay as long as you do not use anything other than cool temperatures.
Also, the fabric comes in a variety of colors and designs making it very attractive and easy to match any decor you have in your room. Different sizes mean that you can spread this comfort and warmth around to the whole family.
This material is supposed to feel silky smooth. It is an upgrade over fleece and some people think that it is designed more for older generations who prefer silk to fleece. Since polyester is synthetic, it can be manipulated in different ways to make it feel as good as everyone wants.
Then the thick plush nature of this material makes this fabric very comfortable to wrap around you on those cold evenings when the temperature drops and you do not want to raise the heat level in your home.
That warm and cozy feel you get once you do that may take your mind off its high cost and have you enjoying the benefits that come with these synthetic fibers. But in the end, it will be up to you to decide if the feel is worth the cost or not.
They say that minky fabric is perfect for a crib liner as it is a hypoallergenic material and can provide a very safe and protective environment for your newborn baby. The liners are soft, thick and if your baby hits the wall of the crib they should not get hurt.
As for the actual blanket, the hypoallergenic property should help keep your child safe from germs as well as any other negatives. Plus, its softness should give your child a nice crib and nap time experience helping them to sleep through the night.
The question that you need to answer is do you want synthetic polyester materials next to your child when they are so young? The blankets will be treated to protect your child from fires and other dangers but is the trade-off worth it?
It is a tough question to answer but in the long run, minky blankets should be safe for the crib and keep your child warm.
Yes, they are and they should remain warm for a long time as long as you take care of them and launder them properly. The thick plush nature of these blankets helps form a solid barrier against the cold air.
That means that on those cold nights at home or out on the porch swing, you can stay warm until you are ready to go to bed. These blankets should also work well when you use them as a comforter or regular blanket.
The drawback will be is if they are very breathable or not. Polyester fibers are not known to be very breathable so you will stay warm at night and you may even sweat a little as the heat stays under the covers with you.
Yes, they can but you have to be careful when washing them. While they are called low maintenance, there are several things you have to watch out for when you go to clean them on laundry day.
You will need to use cold water, a mild detergent, and the delicate cycle when it is their turn in the washing machine. Also, you should wash them by themselves. The friction from the other fabrics in the wash with them could damage the blankets.
Use bleach only if the care label says to use bleach but normally bleach and polyester do not get along with each other so be prepared to have an alternative cleanser and sterilizer on hand.
If the label says dry clean only, then it is best to dry clean the blankets instead of washing them. The care labels will provide you with more specific washing instructions.
This is also a positive situation as you can dry minky blankets in your dryer. However, there are a few key things you should know since this blanket material is made from polyester.
Because it is made from petroleum products, minky materials are still plastic. That means you cannot use heat when drying the blankets or other fabric items made from this material. When you use your dryer, you need to keep the heat off for the duration of the drying cycle.
The best way to dry this material is to hang dry it in a nice place that gets plenty of airflow. Whether you put it in the direct sunlight is up to you but read the care label first before you do. Sometimes fabrics fade in the sun or when exposed to UV rays so be careful where you hang these blankets.
Polyester is supposed to resist wrinkling. That means that the minky fabric blanket you own should skip the ironing portion of your laundry duties. Also, heat and plastic do not mix. If you iron this type of blanket or clothing item, you are merely asking for trouble as you could ruin the nap.
Also, if the heat of the iron is too high, you could melt the fabric or ruin it if you linger too long in one spot. If you do have to iron this material it is best to use an ironing cloth as the buffer between the material and the iron.
Then keep the heat of the iron on low to avoid any of those aforementioned issues. Being careful will be the key if you need to iron this blanket but chances are you won’t.
While it is tempting to use your microwave to dry smaller minky made items, it is best to resist temptation and just use traditional methods to get that material dry. Microwaves work from the inside out and use very high temperatures to dry or cook anything.
Those conditions make it very hard to dry minky material using your microwave. You may end up with a mess and a lot of clean-up inside the microwave. The microwave is made for cooking not drying though some fabrics can be put inside of this device.
We wrote about this specific situation already and you can read about putting different fabrics in microwaves at this link. Since polyester is plastic, it is best to avoid putting polyester anything, thread, coats, socks, etc., in the microwave.
If you think it is safe to do so, place a plastic item in your microwave and see what happens for yourself. If you don’t melt it, you will ruin the interior integrity of the fibers.
This is another character quality that makes minky so popular. It does not shrink when you wash it correctly. We cannot say for certain that it won’t shrink when you use warm or hot water but why take the chance?
Use cold water only and keep the heat off when you dry it. Plastic may not shrink when heat is applied but it will melt or deform fairly quickly when it is. Also, you may not see any damage but then you cannot see the fibers inside the material and see what the heat does to them.
What that means is that not all damage will be visible and easy to spot. It is always best to follow the care instructions found on the labels to avoid any issues if you have to return the item after it has been damaged.
This is hard to say as you may not pull loose threads out when you cut it but it does give off a lot of fluff. That character trait will make it hard to sew as you have to deal with this problem correctly.
One way to cut the fluff is to use a rotary cutter. Some people are very strong on this as they say you should never use a pair of scissors to cut this material. Not only do you cut the fluff down and protect against any possible fraying, but you also get cleaner lines.
Also, the more pile the material has the more fluff and other cutting issues you will have. On top of that, minky comes with a nap and that is the key aspect you really have to watch out for when cutting this material. Watch the nap so that you do not ruin it when you cut.
If you want to change the color of your minky material, you are going to have to put some work into the process. Any dyes made for natural fibers will not work on this material. It is made from polyester and polyester is extremely hard to dye.
You will need a dye that is made to color polyester fibers and they may be limited in color options. Keep in mind that even dyes for polyester require some heat so you may have trouble maintaining the shape of the material throughout the whole process.
The best thing to do is to read the instruction labels and see if the dye will work for your minky blanket, etc. The companies that make these dyes are the experts to turn to when in doubt.
Even though it is has a bad reputation for sewing with, minky materials can be used to make a quilt. Some people prefer to use this fabric as the backing because of all its positive qualities like softness, warmth, and being great next to your skin.
The key issue when quilting is when you go to cut the fabric to size. You will need to watch the nap and which type of cutter you will use. The rotary cutter is the best option.
Another good aspect of this material is that it is supposed to come in 54 and 60-inch widths. That should be ideal for those people who are making larger quilts and need large size materials to work with.
Then, it will work better if you do not use other thick fabrics with this material. It will sew easier if you avoid this situation.
This material has the same type of reputation that an actor or actress has when they are known to be difficult to work with. It is a hard fabric to sew with and because it curls, you will be spending a lot of time pinning it in place to keep it straight.
There is a problem with this fabric in that it is also known to stretch on you as you work with it. That is more time taken up trying to prevent stretching, fluffing, and other issues. You may have to leave an extra 1/2 inch around the edges to make sure your sewing time is not set back by these extra chores.
Also, you should take your time when sewing with this material. You are not in a race and patience is the best character trait to use as this material can be very frustrating to sew with.
As we said earlier, you will have to pin the fabric a lot. This is one key method to keep the material from slipping. Plus, it is a very time-consuming method as it will seem that all you are doing is pinning and pinning and pinning.
Using a walking foot is also supposed to help the material feed properly under the needle and prevent more slippage. This sewing foot option has feed dogs that grab both the top and the bottom of the fabrics and then feed them into the needle at the same rate.
Next, adjust the pressure on your presser foot. This adjustment will also keep the material from slipping on you as you work. After you do all those adjustments, slow your sewing machine down and sew at a slower speed. This will give you more control over the fabric and help[ prevent any slipping from taking place.
The name minky may not send a clear message as to the quality and type of fabric it is but it does set it apart from other materials. You won’t forget that name especially when you experience all of its good qualities. It is a great blanket material for those long cold winter nights as well.