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The Story Behind the New Era of Flannel

When you think of “flannel”, a few things probably come to mind: winter cabins, bold plaid patterns, brisk weather…the list goes on. For most people, flannel is the opposite of luxurious. It keeps you warm, sure, but the fabric is almost always too heavy and quickly starts to pill, making it far less soft and durable. 

We knew that if we started from scratch, combining the highest level of craft with the highest quality 100% organic cotton, flannel could be something incredible. And that’s how, after countless weave trials, we created the New Era of Flannel—with a velvety softness like no other, and the rare balance of warmth and breathability.

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Time-Honored Techniques

Just like every fabric we make, the first thing we did was learn about flannel’s origin. Why was it created in the first place? What did people love so much about it? How did it change over time? Before we even started the design process, we dove head-first into the world of flannel and traced its roots back to 17th century Wales—a region known for its cold, wet, and windy winters. 

Originally made from thick wool yarns, this new type of fabric offered outdoor workers the warmth they needed to make it through the harsh, blustery elements. Flannel became wildly popular, and quickly spread to regions in Europe with similar climates. The fabric was beloved, yes, but it was far from perfect. Wool is a notoriously scratchy fabric, which often feels too heavy and hot. It also pills quickly, which gradually wears down the fabric and makes it less durable. 

Workers lived with this warm—yet less than ideal—fabric until clothing makers in Portugal started weaving flannel. They made it remarkably softer by swapping wool with their native cotton, the most common material used for modern flannel fabrics. The flannel industry took hold in Portugal, and today, the country is home to the most skilled flannel weavers in the world. With centuries of expertise, we knew there were no better weavers to partner with.

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The Finest Organic Materials

We had found the world’s leading flannel makers, and gave them something new—the highest quality 100% organic cotton on earth. It’s grown without harsh chemicals, pesticides, or GMOs, and has a natural softness that conventionally grown cotton simply can’t compete with. 

To enhance its softness even more, our Flannel is woven with open-ended organic cotton threads. This means that the threads themselves are spun in a way that allows the cotton fibers to have ”hairy” ends, creating the velvety hand-feel it’s known and loved for. While many flannel fabrics have this soft, velvety feeling to start, they quickly begin to pill—with tiny but dense balls of cotton that cluster on the surface and make it feel rough on the skin. But through a time-intensive finishing process, we created a flannel that’s resistant to pilling and stays exceptionally soft over time. 

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Finished With Precision

After our Flannel fabric is woven and sewn, it goes through a meticulous brushing process to exaggerate these “hairy” threads and amplify its rich, velvety hand-feel. To make ours pill resistant, we triple shear each piece of fabric. This technique cuts the threads so they’re all uniform in length, ensuring that the longer threads can’t ball up on the surface.  Not all flannel is sheared, let alone triple-sheared, because it takes much more time to complete. But the finished product is significantly better, so the extra time is more than worth it to us.

In the end, our Flannel Collection has a velvety, softer-than-soft feeling that’s never been created before. It’s made with finer (less thick) organic cotton threads, so it feels remarkably breathable to sleep under, and is triple sheared to naturally reduce the appearance of pills. These details are why our Flannel stands the test of time—feeling incredible on day one, and just as soft years and years later.

Now’s the time to discover the New Era of Flannel, and start getting your best night’s sleep. 

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