How Flannel Sheets are Made

How Flannel Sheets are Made

Have you ever wondered about how flannel sheets are made? We sure have! Come with us on our learning journey (or "learn-ey," as we like to call it), and discover the secrets of flannel for yourself:

Fields of Flannel

The cotton that’s used to produce Lands’ End flannel is grown in the Portuguese countryside. Why Portugal, you ask? One reason is the favorable climate and abundance of long-staple-fiber cotton. When it comes to cotton, the longer the fiber, the better. Long-staple-fiber cotton fibers resist stretching, color-fade, and wear—so your flannel sheets stay in like-new condition even after plenty of wear and many trips through the washing machine.

How Flannel is Produced

Portuguese cotton is harvested by hand, usually in late summer. After the meticulous picking process, the cotton travels to the processing plant, where only the very best fibers are selected to be made into Lands' End flannel sheets. Midweight fibers are chosen for our five-ounce flannel sheets, while the heavier fibers become six-ounce flannel sheets.

As you might expect, more ounces means a heavier sheet. Use five-ounce flannel bed sheets in spring and summer with a light coverlet, then switch to six-ounce flannel sheets in the fall and winter. Add a down comforter or synthetic down comforter on top for plenty of toasty warmth. You can even pull flannel duvet covers over your comforter for a coordinated look.

But we digress…back to the production process. Once the long-staple-cotton fibers arrive at the processing plant, they’re woven on massive machines into the plush, super-soft fabric you know as flannel. Generations of expertise go into the weaving of Portuguese flannel, which we think should be classified as an art form.

Off to the "Aviario!"

After it’s expertly woven, the flannel fiber must be brushed on both sides for extra warmth and softness. This process creates what we call the "nap," which is pretty funny considering that you'll be taking a "nap" in this stuff once it becomes a set of sheets! To maximize your napping experience, make sure you top off your comfy flannel sheets with an extra-plush comforter.

The flannel-brushing process is commonly done by machine using large metal “teeth” on spinning rollers, but that’s not how we do it. Our crafters hang our flannel fabric on long, large clotheslines in a gigantic "aviario," as it's called. Native birds fly freely here, the beating of their wings creating soft pulses of air that brush our flannel gently and naturally—as it's been done for ages.

Once the flannel is brushed, it’s sewn into sheets and pillowcases in many colors and prints. These bedding essentials come in sizes to fit most mattresses and mattress pads. They’re sold as separates and in sets, and you can have them personalized with a monogram for an upscale touch. Monogrammed bedding also makes a great gift for almost any occasion.

Coordinating Your Flannel Sheets

There are multiple ways to put together a stylish look with flannel sheets and other bedding. If you love the crisp, elegant look of hotel bedding, choose a set of white flannel sheets and top them with a white comforter and duvet cover. There are white duvet covers with colored borders and trim if you want to add a touch of color to the bed.

Maybe the monochromatic look isn’t your style. Good news—there are plenty of options when it comes to sheet set colors and prints. Outfit your bed in soft blue sheets and top with a coordinating quilt, or opt for a flannel sheet set with a bold print. There are so many colors and patterns available that you can change things up whenever you feel like it.

Floral motifs have a soft, traditional look that pairs well with solid-color comforters and quilts. If you want something for the winter season, consider a buffalo-check sheet set. Buffalo check is one of those versatile patterns that work before, during, and after the holidays—so you can keep it out all season. For a more festive look, choose flannel sheets with a Christmas-y print.

Once you’ve chosen your sheets, comforter, and duvet cover, you can finish the look with a grouping of throw pillows. Arrange them below your bed pillows, and add a throw blanket in a coordinating color or print for a layered look that’s right on-trend.

Other Flannel Essentials

Bedding isn’t the only must-have item you’ll find made from flannel. Luxuriate in flannel pajamas, which come in just as many colors and prints as the sheets do. You could even go matchy-matchy and choose the same print of sheets and PJs. For that matter, there are matching family pajamas for your Christmas card that can only be described as “too cute.”

Wrap up in a hooded flannel robe, or gift one to that special person on your list who needs some relaxation. There are flannel-lined slippers to slip your feet into, so you can enjoy warmth and comfort from head to toe. When it comes to flannel bedding and apparel, you really can’t go wrong.

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