Flannel is a woven fabric that has various degrees of fineness and feel. Flannel was originally derived from wool or worsted yarn. Now it is made from synthetic fiber, cotton or wool. Flannel can be also brushed to create finer soft material. This process is mechanical and done primarily with a metal brush. Flannel has either a single or double nap (raised fiber) on 1 or both sides of the fabric. Usually, Flannel is used in bedding and clothing.
The true origin of Flannel is unknown, but it is suspected to have come from Wales. Subsequently the French and Germans used the fabric in the 17th and 16th century. Cotton was used in many smaller areas of Wales for face washing mostly, but it found a home in the bathroom as time moved on in many European communities.
In the 19th Century, flannel moved evolved to clothing manufacturing. During the early part of the 20th Century, wealthy socialites were purchasing Flannel for beach outfits and towels. As time moved on that job went to cotton.
Finally, the clothing industry still makes shirts for casual use made from napped Flannel. This end product is warm yet cool and many consumers have noticed its reliability in the washing machine. The best setting for washing is on warm water.