flannel, large group of napped plain-weave or twill-weave fabrics made of cotton, wool, or man-made fibers. Flannel fabrics vary in closeness or firmness of weave and in degree of napping. A French flannel, for example, is a very fine twill-weave fabric, slightly napped on the right side only, whereas a suede flannel is napped on both sides and sheared, with the fibers pressed into the fabric.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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