Is there anything better than curling up in a fleece blanket in winter? It’s just the coziest thing ever. Fleece is perfectly warm and soft, and with just a bit of care, you can make sure it stays that way for years to come.
Fleece was created as a synthetic answer to natural wool fabric. It is lightweight, warm, and low maintenance, making it an excellent choice for everything from fleece blankets to women’s fleece jackets to hats, mittens, and gloves. Fleece is made from fine polyester fibers woven into a light fabric and then brushed out; as a result of this process, the thick fabric that we know as fleece is made. Fleece has the unique advantages of retaining heat while still being breathable, making it one of the most comfortable and practical fabrics around.
When fleece is new, it is delightfully soft. We all know that feeling of pulling on a brand-new fleece sweatshirt — it almost feels like a hug. With time, though, fleece can lose some of its softness. If you wash your fleece in a washing machine with other non-fleece garments or blankets, your fleece will rub up against the other items. This friction “scrapes” the fleece and makes it a little less soft each time. Added to this hazard is the heat of the dryer. Too much heat can melt the fibers and cause the fleece to pill and clump.
To keep your fleece as soft as possible, only wash it when necessary. If a fleece blanket has no stains and still smells fresh, instead of throwing it into the laundry (with all of those other non-fleece items like sheets), shake it out, fold it up, and pull it out again when you need it. When you need to wash your fleece blanket, it’s best to use a mild detergent, cold water and wash it by itself or only with other fleece items. Next, hang up the fleece blanket to dry it or tumble dry it on low to remove most of the moisture, then hang it for the final drying. This may take a bit more time and care, but it’s worth it to keep that wonderfully soft fleece looking and feeling like new.
If your fleece has pilled, you can’t completely reverse that process. You might, however, be able to partially soften the fleece by brushing it vigorously with a stiff brush. A plastic hairbrush or pet brush can work well for this job.
It’s best to brush your fleece when it’s wet so the fibers will loosen from their clumps as much as possible. Lay out the fleece blanket on a table and start brushing in one corner, working your way through to the rest of the blanket. With just a little elbow grease, you can improve the softness of your fleece blanket using this method.
The beauty of fleece blankets is their versatility. You can curl up in your fleece throw wearing your comfy PJs with a cup of tea and a good book. You can keep a fleece throw in your car in the winter in case you get stranded with car trouble. Fleece also makes the perfect stadium blanket to keep you warm during those fall and winter football games. Keep one near the front door to warm up kids or grandkids when they come in and take off snowy gear. And, of course, in warm weather, fleece blankets are perfect for picnics and camping.
Of course, you can also use fleece blankets on your bed. Is there anything softer than adding a fleece blanket on top of your flannel sheets? Whether you prefer a comforter over your fitted sheet or a full sheet set with blankets and a duvet, you can always add a fleece blanket for even more warmth and comfort. Keep one handy in your bedroom stored in a seagrass basket for both convenience and décor.
Fleece throws also make great gifts during the holidays. You can find them in such pretty patterns and colors, including seasonal designs. Add one to a care package that you send to a college student away from home or give one to an elderly friend or family member to help keep them feeling warm and loved. They also make lovely housewarming gifts.
Get ready to curl up and enjoy a fleece blanket (or two) of your own this season.