Melton Fabric: History, Properties, Uses, Care, Where to Buy

Introduction to Melton Fabric

SectionSummary
Introduction to Melton FabricMelton fabric is a wool blend fabric known for its thickness, firmness, and rough surface. It is resistant to fraying due to its dense structure.
History of Melton FabricMelton Fabric originated in the town of Melton Mowbray in England, where it was used primarily in hunting coats. The name Melton wool has been retained since then.
Properties of Melton FabricThe fabric is thick, dense, soft and has good heat retention abilities. It can be easily cut using fabric scissors and has a smooth and brushy surface.
How is Melton Fabric Made?The fabric is heavily fulled, a process involving scouring (removing dirt) and milling (thickening).
Where is Melton Fabric Made?Melton fabric is made in countries like England, Italy, Asian countries, and China.
Common uses of Melton FabricMelton fabric is used in daily wear items like coats, jackets, and blankets. It’s also used in home décor items like bed sheets, cushion covers, car seats, etc.
Sewing with Melton fabricMelton fabric can be sewed easily using the right sewing essentials and notions. It’s advisable to steam the cloth before sewing to avoid shrinkage.
Dyeing with Melton fabricThough rare, Melton fabrics can be dyed depending on the composition of the fabric.
How to care for Melton Fabric?Melton fabrics should be dry cleaned or hand washed with gentle soap and cold water. They should be ironed on the wrong side using a medium, cool setting and a press cloth.
Where to buy Melton Fabric?Melton fabric can be purchased from online retailers like Amazon or Fabric.com. It can be sold by the yard or cut to order.
PriceDepending on the weight of the fabric, it can range from $15 to $40 per yard.
Best Melton FabricsTop picks include Fabric Merchants Wool Melton Coating, Telio Wool Blend Melton, Riley Blake Wool Blend Melton, Tuva Textiles Fancy Wool Cashmere Blend, and Spechler-Vogel Washable Wool.
Melton Fabric Buying GuideThe guide advises considering the cost, caring instructions, versatility, and durability of the fabric before purchasing.
ConclusionDespite decades of use, Melton fabric remains a popular choice for various applications from garments to home décor.

Melton wool is a fabric composed of blends of the best wool fabrics. The fabric is woven in a twill pattern. Melton wool is often thick and firm, with a bit rough surface, and it is frequently used to create more strong, significant textiles such as coats and blankets, among other things.

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Melton wool frays minimally or not at all due to its dense, quasi-felted structure, which is characteristic of the material. It provides exceptional warmth, has excellent moisture-wicking characteristics, and is tough and durable, making it the most resistant of all woolen fabrics.

What is the History of Melton Fabric?

The origin of Melton wool production may be traced back hundreds of years in Wales, Scotland, and England. Melton wool was first manufactured in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray, still produced today.

At that time, this modest town in the east midlands was the country’s hub for fox-hunting and other outdoor activities. Melton wool’s waterproof properties made it the optimal textile for making hunting coats, including the famous scarlet and black fox hunting jacket, which is still in production today.

Melton Mowbray and its nearby region developed into a center for wool production, and the technique for Melton wool spread throughout the British Isles due to its success. The name Melton wool persisted, and that quiet local village is still remembered as the source of one of the best fabrics available today.

Properties of Melton Fabric

  • It is a thick and dense fabric.
  • It has a soft fabric. It can be easily cut using a pair of fabric scissors.
  • It has a smooth and brushy surface.
  • Has good heat retention abilities
  • The fabric is pliable and can be used to drape

How is Melton Fabric Made?

Melton fabric is heavily ‘fulled,’ a wool-making process that removes oils, dirt, and other contaminants from the wool and thickens it. Fulling is accomplished through two procedures: scouring and milling. 

Scouring is a procedure that removes all wool contaminants such as dirt from the fabric, whereas milling (also known as thickening) is a process that increases the thickness and handling of the woven or knitted wool by exposing it to friction, moisture, and heat during the weaving or stitching process. 

Fulling was historically done by hammering the woolen material with a club or even with the fuller’s hands or feet.

Where is Melton Fabric Made?

The fabric is made in England, Italy, Asian countries, and China, the market leader in the textiles market. The raw materials are sometimes sent to China to make the finished product. There can be differences in the quality of the material depending on the country of origin.

Common uses of Melton Fabric

Melton fabric is commonly used for heavy outer garments and upholstery sometimes.

Daily wear

The fabric is used for heavy outer garments like coats, jackets, blankets, and other garments which can be used to protect one from the cold and rainy weather. In light-wearing garments, the fabric is used as a lining.

Home décor

The fabric can be used for bed sheets, cushion covers, mats, and even car seats.

Sewing with Melton fabric

Melton fabric can be sewed easily using the right sewing essentials and sewing notions and supplies. Since the fabric has a dense and thick structure, it does not fray, allowing the material to be easily sewed. 

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However, any fabric containing wool thread will shrink significantly when subjected to steam and high temperatures. So same is the case for Melton; consequently, before sewing with Melton, steam the cloth thoroughly to avoid further shrinkage.

You can stitch the fabric using the best sewing machines like the Brother SE600. Since Melton is so dense, stitches sink into the cloth and become almost unnoticeable. As a result, a small amount of uneven topstitching will likely go undetected.

Even though the fabric is relatively easy to sew than other wool fabrics, one should still use the correct sewing threads and needles to create patterns and designs on the fabric of one’s choice.

Dyeing with Melton fabric

Even though it may be unheard of, Melton fabrics can be dyed. The process is useful for designers and consumers with unique styles and preferred designs.

The fabric can be dyed depending on its composition of the fabric. If made using rayon, acrylic, and other synthetic threads, the Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye can be used as the best fabric dye available.

How to care for Melton Fabric?

Melton fabrics aren’t so hard to care for and can easily be washed and ironed without posing as a hindrance.

Washing

  • Melton fabrics should never be machine washed
  • You should dry clean or hand wash the fabric
  • Use cold water with a gentle soap when washing by hand
  • The fabric can be dried by air-drying it on a flat exterior

Ironing

  • Using a shark steam iron, press the fabric on the wrong side
  • Use a medium, cool setting and a press cloth
  • The fabric responds well to steam and easily shapes.

Where to buy Melton Fabric?

Melton fabric can be acquired from fabric and garment retailers. Clients may also get Melton fabric from online retailers and websites such as Fabric.com and Amazon, which have the best Melton fabric available, such as the gorgeous Fabric Merchants Wool Melton Coating.

It can be sold in several ways depending on the seller;

  • By yard
  • By Inches
  • Can be cut to order

Price

Wool Melton is one of the more expensive textiles available due to its rich wool composition. Depending on the weight of the fabric, you may anticipate paying between $15 and $40 per yard for it. You should be at ease knowing that you will be paying for a high-quality fabric.

Melton fabric was traditionally made from wool, but now it can be purchased in different weights and different blends. It is usually quite thick and heavyweight and because of its very tight weave, the fabric has many great benefits. Melton wool is usually very warm because it is water-wicking and is generally impervious to wind. Melton is often very smooth and soft. All these properties make it a popular choice for sewing apparel items like coats and jackets.

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Best Melton Fabrics

Here are our Melton fabric reviews.

1. Fabric Merchants Wool Melton Coating

This line of fabric is available in over ten different colors which are all Melton wool. This fabric, like many Melton wool fabrics, is tightly woven and has been felted. It is very soft and quite versatile. Melton wool is a great choice for coats and jackets, but it can also be used to sew vests, pillows, costumes, blankets, and more.

  • Dry clean only
  • This heavyweight fabric is a blend of 50% wool and 50% polyester
  • This Melton fabric costs just under fourteen dollars per yard

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2. Telio Wool Blend Melton

This heavyweight fabric is tightly woven and since it has been felted, it is very soft. This fabric can be used to sew many different apparel items. Vests, jackets, coats, blankets, costumes, and reproductions of historic clothing, can all be sewn using Melton wool.

  • Dry clean only
  • This line of fabric comes in ten different colors and prints
  • Fabric is a blend of 55% wool and 45% polyester

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3. Riley Blake Wool Blend Melton

This line of blended Melton wool comes in over ten vibrant, solid colors. The colors might be a little surprising for wool, but that’s what makes this line of fabric so exciting. This fabric is heavyweight and tightly woven. It is very soft, and can be used for a variety of apparel items, as well as for household items like blankets.

  • Fabric is 90% wool and 10% nylon
  • Available in 44” widths
  • Dry clean only

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4. Tuva Textiles Fancy Wool Cashmere Blend

Tuva Textiles Fancy Wool Cashmere Blend

This fabric is heavyweight and is very, very soft. The fabric is a blend of cashmere and wool and is very versatile. Apparel items like coats, jackets, skirts, vests, and pants, as well as accessories like pillows and blankets, can all be sewn using this fabric.

  • Dry clean only
  • This fabric is a blend of 70% wool, 20% nylon, and 10% cashmere
  • Available in 58” widths

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5. Spechler-Vogel Washable Wool

This line of woven wool fabrics features both solid colors and plaid prints. The fabric is very soft and drapes well. As the name implies, this fabric can actually be washed at home, making it unique amongst many Melton fabrics. This fabric is a great choice for making different apparel items, and can also be used for home décor accessories like pillows and blankets.

  • Machine wash gentle, tumble dry on low heat
  • Fabric is medium weight and is a blend of 40% acrylic, 30% polyester, 25% wool, and 5% other fibers
  • Available in 60” widths

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Melton Fabric Buying Guide

Melton wool has many great natural benefits. The fabric comes in different weights, can be made from many different blends, and is available in a ton of different colors and prints. If you thought that wool was a boring fabric and only came in colors like white, grey, and black, you’d be wrong! Melton fabric is usually heavyweight but is also available in medium weight and comes in a pretty amazing array of different, bright, bold colors, as well as many different prints.

Cost of Melton Fabric

When you think of wool, you might immediately think of an extremely high price tag, but that isn’t always the case with Melton fabric. Some lines of Melton can be purchased for under fifteen dollars per yard. Other lines might cost around twenty to twenty-five dollars per yard. Melton is very versatile, as well as durable, and can be used for far more than just making coats. The versatility and durability of Melton fabric really help offset the cost as well.

Caring for Melton Fabric

Most lines of Melton fabric are going to be dry clean only. Surprisingly, some lines of Melton wool can actually be laundered at home, in the washer and dryer. When cared for properly. Melton fabrics can last for a very long time. The durability of Melton, as well as the softness and thickness of the fabric, and the many natural properties,  add up to make Melton a great choice for many different projects.

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Conclusion

For a long time, Melton fabric has been used for everything from garments and accessories to home decor. Despite decades of use, the fabric remains a popular choice.

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