Christmas time is the perfect time to snuggle down and enjoy some crafting, this can be something small like a snow globe or something bigger such as a Christmas stocking.
You really can use anything you want to make a Christmas stocking but there are a number of fabrics that are perfect, work well and help create a nice tough structure in order to hold those treats above the fireplace such as felt, wool and tartan.
Can I Use Any Fabric For Christmas Stockings?
No, you cannot just use any fabric for Christmas stockings. Not all fabrics are suitable especially if you plan to store stocking fillers in your stockings and create the right hang within the fabric and finished product.
There are specific characteristics any fabric you choose for Christmas stockings should have. Some of these characteristics include:
- Ability to stretch without bulging
- It has a comfortable and soft feel
- Durable and easy to clean/wash
- Ability to knit quickly and available in several colors
You can decide the fabric by examining the different types of fabrics and their characteristics.
Fabric is tangling fibre together, and fabrics usually get their name from this. It is not uncommon that fabric is obtained from a blend of different fibres also.
Check out the following considerations when choosing fabric for Christmas stockings:
Source of Fiber
You can categorize fabrics into three different categories based on the fibres you used to produce the fabric.
Natural fibres: These are grown from nature and cellulose fibres like cotton or protein fibres from animals like silk. Many of these are gotten from plants and then processed to form fabric that is wearable and usable.
Manufactured/Synthetic fibres: These are artificial fabrics that could also be cellulose like rayon or gotten from other means like polyester, which is from petroleum. Some fabrics that fall in this category are a combination of some synthetic and natural fibres.
Animal skin: This is the third classification under the type of fabric. After obtaining the skin from the animals, you need to treat it before you can use it as fabric. Examples of this are wool (shearling), leather (outside skin grain), furs (rabbit), suede (skin inside grain).
The fabric structure refers to how producers make the fabric and the processes used to give the finished product.
Woven Fabrics: Producers typically weave these fabrics on looms which give them a warp and a weft. They usually have hem, which are tightly woven edges on the fabric. You can weave the fabrics in many different ways to form different effects. Some of these are denim weave, brocade weave, plain weave, twill weave, and satin weave.
Stretch Fabrics: These have a unique structure because they weave them with many stretch materials that form part of their fibre content. This stretch material is what gives the fabric its ability to stretch, which differs.
Examples of these are spandex and elastane. The difference between this and other fabrics that stretch is they recover better than knitted fabrics.
Knitted Fabrics: They produce knit fabrics from connected interlocking loops typically created from either one continuous yarn (weft knit) or many yarns with one stitch (warp knit).
Many knitted fabrics can stretch, and the fabric often molds to the wearer’s body or drapes in loose folds. When you make patterns for knitted fabrics, they should be smaller than the intended size to accommodate for stretch.
7 Best Fabrics For Christmas Stockings
Velvet is a soft and luxurious fabric typically characterized by a dense pile of uniformly cut fibers with a smooth nap. This fabric is most closely associated with riches and luxury because of its complicated production press and rich, opulent finishes.
A heavy and shiny woven warp pile fabric has a smooth pile effect on one side of its surface.
You determine the quality of velvet by the density of the pile tuft and the way it anchors to the base fabric. Interestingly, you can make velvet from various materials, including cotton, polyester, nylon, linen, and silk.
The material you make with velvet typically determines its attributes which can make it stretchy or inelastic. Also, it is not uncommon that you produce velvet fabric from a mix of some of these materials.
Velvet is an excellent choice for making Christmas stockings as long as you make sure the one you’re purchasing stretches. The versatility means you can use velvet for shirts, outerwear, skirts, blouses, coats, evening wear, and many others, depending on the type of velvet.
This should be a common name to everyone as it is one of the most popular materials in the world. It is a light, soft, and natural fabric extracted from the seeds of a cotton plant from a process called grinning. Producers spin this fiber into cloth where they knit or weave depending on what they’re trying to obtain.
Cotton is easily one of the most comfortable, versatile, and durable clothes readily available for purchase almost anywhere in the world. It breathes well on a body and is hypoallergenic, which means it is suitable for body wear.
The ease of use and comfortability of cotton has become popular in almost all types of clothing, including dresses, shirts, and underwear.
You can get other fabric types from cotton, including chintz, muslin, chino, and gingham. The main downside to cotton is that it doesn’t dry fast and is also prone to shrinking & wrinkling. All of these fantastic features make cotton one of the most ideal for making Christmas stockings.
Crepe is a versatile fabric made from wool, silk, cotton, or other synthetic fibers. It is a lightweight, twisted plain-woven fabric that does not wrinkle in any situation. Crepe obtains its name from the production fiber and the material. So, it is not uncommon to see names like crepe silk, crepe chiffon, and crepe cotton.
It is a soft, comfortable, and easy-to-use fabric used in many dressmaking and suit applications. A popular example of crepe fabric used in designer clothes is georgette. You will also find many pants, shirts, skirts, blouses, and scarves made from crepe.
Crepe is an excellent choice for Christmas stockings because of its comfortable feel. It is also easy to work with and will not stress you in the production process.
Wool is an animal skin fiber, and you can obtain it from goat, alpaca fleece, sheep, and Ilama. You can weave or knit this fabric to produce the cloth you need to fit different needs.
One major recurring characteristic of wool is that many have noted that it could sometimes be itchy and hairy. Other than that, it is a popular fabric for keeping the body warm alongside being long-lasting and durable.
It is a wrinkle-free material that is resistant to any dust, wear, and tear. You need to know that this fabric is a bit on the expensive side, at least compared to others on this list.
Regarding taking care of the fabric after use, your options are dry-cleaning or handwashing as its material isn’t favourable to machine-washing. You will typically find wool used in socks, gloves, and sweaters.
Wool and, in particular, Merino wool is an excellent option for Christmas socks as its soft and durable material will keep you warm, and it also stretches to an extent. When choosing wool, the various options you have when choosing wool include Cashmere, Tweed, Merino wool, and Cheviot fabric.
Linen is one of the oldest materials known to men for making fabrics. Natural fabrics make up linen with its source as the flax plant. These flax strands are typically spun into yarn during the production process before blending it into other fibers.
Linen is a solid and lightweight fabric that is stronger than cotton, often used in applications where you need more performance than cotton.
Linen is an excellent, durable, absorbent, and smooth fabric functional in many applications and makes excellent clothes. It is machine-washable, but you need to iron it regularly as it creases easily, which could spoil its appearance.
You can see it used in several clothing items such as jackets, blouses, trousers, suits, and dresses. More commonly, you will find linen used in tablecloths, napkins, towels, drapes, and bedsheets.
Linen is an excellent alternative to cotton for Christmas stockings if you desire something stronger but still shares many of the characteristics of cotton.
There are many different types of felt fabric based on their creation process. Wool felt is produced from layering carded and combed wool fabric at 90 degrees. In the production process, soap and friction helps the scales of fibers interlock and entangle.
A soft and absorbent felt fabric is thicker than the other types of the felt because of the layered fibers.
We would recommend either fur or needled felt for making Christmas stockings. Fur felt is an excellent choice because of its malleable and durable properties. You can easily make it into hats, stockings, and many other accessories. If you’re against the source (fur-bearing animals), you can go for needled felt.
Needled felt is made from a blend of wool fibres and synthetic materials to give it properties of both. You can use hand needling to produce this fabric for many decorations and toys.
Other types of felt worth exploring for Christmas stockings include pressed, rayon, and acrylic felt. They might be what you’re looking for, depending on the type of Christmas stockings you wish to make.
7. Brushed Cotton
Brushed cotton is perfect for use on soft furnishings, clothing and making something feel snuggly and warm. So there is no surprise it is great for using as a base fabric for Christmas stockings.
You may find you need to use two layers to create more strength or use interfacing especially if you plan to use these for holding small goodies and stocking fillers. If they are going to sit empty you can use the fabric as it is.
Cotton is an extremely durable fabric and will last a number of years with the right care.
Making a Christmas Stocking
If you’re making a Christmas stocking, you will need two different fabrics. You will use the two fabrics for forming the outer fabric and lining fabric. You shouldn’t use the same fabric for both, and it is necessary to mix it up for the best results.
Outer Fabric: This is used as a binder around the stocking and acts as the hanging loop at the top. You should use the same fabric for the back of the stocking. The fabric you use here should be soft and able to absorb moisture. Velvet or cotton fabrics are excellent choices for the outer fabric.
Lining Fabric: This fabric lines the cotton fabric, and it could have a polka dot or be plain. You could also include a layer of wadding between the front and back of each Christmas stocking.