I can sympathize with people who say they can’t wear wool. I feel I am sensitive to it, but realized early on that there is a wide range of wool grades and fabric constructions, to which my skin has a wide range of reactions. Worsted flannel is a wool that I feel immune to, soft and smooth as it is. It is a sheep in sheep’s clothing!
A warm fabric with a soft, close nap, flannel may be in a plain or twill weave. It is brushed to create the nap, and this may be on one or both sides. If woolen, it can be in a plain or twill weave, while worsted flannels are right-hand twills, finer and appreciably more substantial.
Flannel was originally always wool (the name is derived from the Welsh word for flannel, gwlânen, which is derived from gwlân, “wool”). It is now found in wool blends, often with cotton.
Uses: Jackets, suits (men’s particularly of worsted flannel), dresses, shirts, skirts
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain, photos by Hoyt Carter