All The Answers To How To Clean Moleskin Like A Pro

Moleskin is a soft, napped cotton fabric that is commonly used for warm apparel and upholstery. It is woven so tightly and is used for outdoor wear such as shirts and trousers.

A close up of vest made from moleskin

It is quite easy to care for because of its resilience, but you still should exercise caution to ensure that it maintains its shape and lasts as long as possible. As such, continue reading to find out more about how to clean and maintain such fabric properly. 

About moleskin 

It is a sturdy, thickly woven textile composed of 100% heavy cotton that is a versatile and functional alternative to jeans or chinos. This fabric is akin to velvet and corduroy, and it is made of a high-quality yarn that is tightly woven to make a tough cloth. 

It has a rough, smooth surface that resembles the skin of a soil-loving mole. It’s also a popular substitute for textiles like linen or wool. Due to its warmth and durability, this fabric initially appeared in medieval times and quickly became popular. 

Because of the protection they provided, the trousers and aprons were a must-have among steelworkers in the 1800s. When labourers and farmers started wearing such trousers and jackets in the 19th century, the material’s appeal grew even more. In addition, these trousers began to take the role of casual clothing and became particularly popular among sportsmen and estate owners.

What are the advantages of such fabric?

First and foremost, moleskin pants and trousers are ideal for use in the field for farmers. The dense material protects against snags from briars and brambles, and it performs admirably in a range of outdoor circumstances due to its high wind resistance. Additionally, because this hefty fabric is moisture-resistant, these trousers will keep you protected from the weather and will last for years. As a plus, they are appropriate for any occasion.

They can easily lend a touch of refinement to any outfit. Another advantage is that it is quite easy to spot-clean. In most cases, all you have to do is wash them inside out on a mild cycle and then hang them to dry.

When to wear it

This fabric is ideal for a sportsman’s lifestyle. The ultra-comfortable trousers are also ideal for fishing, trekking, and hunting. The apparel is typically worn in cooler weather because of the warmth it provides, but it is also breathable, making it a good choice for you in the summer.

A man wearing a uniform made from moleskin is sealing a cardboard box with masking tape

Moleskin trousers are also an excellent alternative for both business and casual outfits. They’re perfect for casual events because of their exquisite finish and soft texture. They can help you create a stylish and comfy appearance when paired with a knit sweater and jacket. Wear your trousers with heavier fabrics, such as woollen sweaters, on cooler days. Go for something light and breezy in the summer, such as a knit cardigan or a light-coloured jacket.

Moleskin vs corduroy vs velvet

Corduroy and moleskin are similar in appearance, but the latter has been sheared for a softer, flatter texture. To obtain the soft texture, both types of fabrics are sheared. However, moleskin is typically heavier due to its thickness. The former features a texture of thread starters and loops. It’s used to make waistcoats, shirts, and slacks, among other things.

It also has a similar sumptuous appearance to this heavy fabric but is made differently when it comes to velvet. Because of the difficulties in attaining velvet’s softness, it is more expensive. Velvet is also manufactured from two threads woven together on a velvet loom of varied thicknesses. 

The various uses

Now that you know what it is made of let’s look at some of its applications. It serves a variety of purposes in addition to its traditional fashion use. Here are a few examples of how it can be used:

1. Medical

When used for medicinal purposes, this fabric can be treated with an adhesive texture. It’s often used to treat or prevent friction and callous injuries, especially in the foot. When treating blisters, for example, the fabric is placed in the centre and cut to fit the size of the blister. The fabric’s thickness contributes to the cushion, which aids in the healing process.

When walking or jogging, it’s also a good idea to apply the fabric to areas that are prone to blisters. It is sometimes applied directly to the parts of the inside of shoes that may create skin friction. It is also available for other uses, such as bandages and rolls. 

2. Audiovisual productions

The fabric’s small strips are also used in audio and video projects where a lavalier microphone is used. These microphones are generally intimately worn by actors and vocalists. The microphone tends to pick up extra noise from friction and movement when worn beneath layers of clothing. The undesired noise caused by rubbing and motions can be reduced by wrapping a strip around the body of the lavalier microphone.

3. Military 

In the past, this fabric was used in the uniforms of the army. They were dyed to match the standard military colour scheme. The fabric was not sheared, which resulted in a flat outside edge. Nonetheless, it’s a long-lasting textile with excellent wind resistance.

Military uniform made from moleskin

4. Workwear

It is often used for clothes such as gloves and aprons. It is long-lasting and protects you against a wide range of biological, mechanical, and nuclear particles, making it an excellent choice for laboratory workers.

5. Casual wear

In milder climates, it is widely used in casual clothes. The tight structure of the weaves adds to the clothing’s warmth and comfort. However, if the fabric is breathable, it can be worn as summer apparel.

On a day with temperatures between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius, such a shirt is appropriate. Heavyweight clothing may be a better option for temperatures below 1 C. It takes on a weathered appearance over time, making it a wonderful choice for vintage-themed attire.

The trousers are popular in the winter because the fabric keeps you warm, and the material is less prone to tearing. It has a delicate finish and is also worn as a substitute for jeans. Coats are also very popular for outdoor and sporting activities. 

How to clean moleskin

Before cleaning your moleskin garments, you should always check the care label and follow the washing instructions to stay on the safe side and keep your clothes in good condition. It’s like cleaning your suede boots. Do you grab a damp cloth and start rubbing them? No! You follow the instructions of the manufacturer. The same applies to this fabric as well. Luckily, there are a couple of ways to clean them, like drying cleaning or machine washing. Now, are you ready to look at the cleaning ways and some tips for the best washing? 

  1. You know how dry cleaning works, right? Well, this type of fabric can also be dry cleaned. Sending your moleskin clothes to the dry cleaner will help them keep their form while also slowing colour fading and other signs of wear.
  2. When you can’t do dry cleaning, wash it inside out in cold water on a gentle cycle in the washing machine, as long as you don’t read on the care labelDry clean only”. It may be more convenient to wash moleskin items at home rather than at a dry cleaner, but always stick with a cold wash because hot water will damage the fabric. Above all, some people are tempted to add bleach to the washing cycle for stubborn stain removal. Avoid this at all costs as this can discolour your item. 
  3. The fading effect of a laundry cycle can be reduced by turning your item inside out before washing.
  4. Washing will also help maintain the fabric’s tightness, allowing your item to maintain its shape longer and wear out more slowly.
  5. Then, it is best to hang your item to line dry because it can shrink after the first wash. So hanging it to line dry will help it maintain its shape by weighing it down while it dries. That is why you should never use a tumble dry for this fabric.
  6. If your garments are wrinkled after drying, iron them inside out. Make sure to turn them on the wrong side and set your iron at a low temperature.

Can you tailor moleskin fabric?

Because of the thickness of the fabric, its seams aren’t flat and can’t be adjusted. To get a professional finish when tailoring it, you’ll need to use sophisticated procedures.

It’s best to use a sharp needle or needles specifically designed for sewing microfibres. Synthetic threads, particularly polyester-coated cotton threads, can be used. Another technique is to eliminate excessive creases on the fabric by using longer and zigzag threads.

A man wearing a blue apron made from moleskin in his kitchen

All in all, moleskin is a versatile fabric with numerous applications. It’s a long-lasting material with a sumptuous appearance that’s suitable for practically every occasion. Now that you know what it is made of and how to clean it and care for it properly, why not incorporate this densely woven fabric into your wardrobe? You are going to enjoy it!

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