Home » Figuring out Fabrics » Toppers – Flannel, Woven & Jersey

Toppers – Flannel, Woven & Jersey

Flannelette/Flannel – A common choice because of the variety of prints available. A good all rounder, and probably the most popular choice in pad toppings. This is a 100% cotton fabric. Slightly fluffy at first, though it looses some of this with prolonged use, and after it is washed can take on a slightly “pilled” and messy appearance. It is softer than plain cottons because of the fluffiness. “Flannel” in the US is the same as “Flannelette” in Aus and UK. Has a small amount of absorbency itself.

Advantages of flannelette as a pad top:

  • Slightly thicker than printed cotton, so slightly more absorbent.
  • Fluffier fabric can feel softer and can absorb the flow a bit quicker than printed cotton.

Disadvantages of flannelette as a pad top:

  • Can get “pilled” (balls of fluff) and worn looking, even within a few washes.
  • May feel warmer than a printed cotton top, as fluffyness can trap heat

“Flat” Cotton/ “Quilting” cotton / “Woven” cotton – The “normal” cottons you can get for dress making or quilting. It is often used as a top fabric, however the softer fabrics are usually more popular.

Advantages of Woven Cotton as a pad top:

  • Huge variety of prints
  • Usually wear better than flannelette
  • Can feel cooler in warm weather

Disadvantages of Woven Cotton as a pad top:

  • Does not trap the flow as successfully as the fluffier pad toppings, so not as good for gushy flow
  • Can feel “wetter” than more textured toppers

Jersey – This is a thin T-Shirt type fabric. Available in several Options, may be 100% or a blend with something like spandex, Polyester or cotton. It is a common fabric – it can be printed or plain.  It wears better than a flannelette and may be more absorbent than a plain/flat cotton.

Advantages of Jersey as a pad top:

  • Can feel softer than woven cotton
  • Can wear better than flannelette

Disadvantages of Jersey as a pad top:

  • Does not trap the flow as successfully as the fluffier pad toppings, so not as good for gushy flow
  • Can feel “wetter” than more textured toppers

Hemp Jersey – A little more “coarse” than other jerseys. Usually 50% hemp, 45% cotton. Generally available unbleached or plain dyed.
Cotton Jersey – A little softer and flatter than Hemp jersey, but less absorbent. Often available commercially dyed or printed.
Organic Cotton Jersey – Like the cotton jersey, but this is grown organically. Usually left natural to further its standing as an eco-friendly fabric, but can come in low impact printed and even in colour-grown pastel colours, or knit into patterns using the different colour-grown cottons.
Bamboo Jersey – A Softer and smoother (almost silky) fabric than the Cotton jersey. Can come in different blends or be 100% bamboo. Generally natural, white or plain dyed.