What is Plush or Minky fabric?

A guide to define plush or minky fabric, highlighting its uses, benefits and unique qualities , including its softness, texture, and applications in various projects such as sewing, crafting, and home decor.

minky fabric

Minky fabric, also known as plush fabric, is one of the most attractive fabrics in this world – it is luxurious, soft, cuddly, and flexible, and all of this with a beautiful sheen.

Minky is a purely synthetic fabric. And it is available in all the colors imagined.

A not-so-common fact about Minky

“Minky” is a trademarked name owned by the Shannon Fabrics company. The trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and it covers a range of plush and fleece fabrics sold under the Minky brand name. You may not be allowed to sell plush fabrics under this name if you do not have the license.
If other companies want to sell similar types of fabric, they may need to use a different name or seek permission from Shannon Fabrics to use the Minky name under a licensing agreement. Using the Minky name without permission could potentially lead to legal issues.

The fabric has a right and wrong side. This fur-like fabric has a knit backing and the pile on top is made of polyester fibers.

The plush side of Minky fabrics is usually only visible on the top side. It has a directional pile. It is usually sewn in such a way that the cuddly side of the fabric is touching the skin

Do you know why minky is called the same ? It is comparable to the soft fur of a mammal called  mink. Mink fur is highly prized because of its super luxurious appearance and feel.

4 Types of Minky Fabric

Minky fabric is made in a variety of weights and pile heights. High nap Minky, as well as low-nap Minky, are equally popular for all your projects.

Different brands of minky

In shops, minky is usually referred by very interesting names like softie, bubble, dreamy, cuddle, etc. All of them are usually the same, with small differences specific to different brands. You can find the differences if you talk to the shop salesperson or read the fine print on the websites.

The general categories of minky fabrics are as follows. 

Ordinary Minky fabric

This is the normal plush fabric with varying lengths of the pile -all of them soft and cuddly. These fabrics usually have a consistent pile length and are very soft to the touch.

Minky Dots

minky fabric with tiny bumps on the surface is called minky dots

These Minky fabrics have small raised bumps on the surface, which project out, making it all the more luxurious.

Ribbon Minky

minky fabric with ridges across the surface is called ribbon minky

This is a Minky that has a texture with small ridges at regular intervals. It is made by removing the pile in regular intervals to imitate the look of wales of fabrics like corduroy.

Printed Minky

Minky is available in a lot of different prints and patterns.

Characteristics of Minky /plush fabric

The feel of the fabric is super soft – this is a given. Nothing extra to say other than that it is luxurious against your hands

It sheds when cut – there are many ways to reduce the effect of this shedding but there is no avoiding the fact that minky/plush fabric sheds a lot and makes a mess if you cut it without taking the necessary precautions

It is very insulating – because of this quality it is used to make things that keep you warm during cold weather.

What is Minky fabric used to make?

minky fabric

Minky is used to make, first and foremost, blankets, especially to make baby blankets. The cozy, cuddly feel of the fabric makes it ideal for making blankets. Minky fabric is often used to create weighted blankets. These blankets are believed to help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

Minky is a favorite to make kids’ clothes, especially as winter wear fabric. It is super warm and soft against the kids’ skin. It is also used to make capes, cloaks and ponchos and also as a lining for winter jackets.

Minky fabric is used for plushies. The name of the fabric, plush, is in itself indicative of its use in making plushies – the soft toys.

In home decor, Minky is increasingly used to make quilts, blankets, cushions, and pillow covers. It can also be used to make curtains.

Another use of the plush fabric is to make bags and accessories. It is used to make soft and fluffy purses and bags.

Disadvantages of minky fabric.

All the people who sew with minky fabric get frustrated to no end by the slippery nature of the fabric. It usually refuses to behave the way other fabrics would, especially if you have been sewing with woven fabrics. Wavy edges, skipped stitches, machine refusing to move are some of the most common frustrations people usually report when sewing with minky. 

Another problem is when the material sheds when cut and you have to deal with it afterward.

Another problem (I do not know if this is a problem) is the directional nap of the fabric – because of this you may need more yardage for similar sewing projects that fabrics without a nap.

And though it is easy to maintain the material, in some areas, you may find it a difficult fabric. For eg, you cannot iron on the surface of a minky. This will crush the pile of fabric and make it lose all the beautiful properties you like.  

But when you look past these problems and continue making projects with minky fabric, you will surely fall in love with it. 

Is minky fabric safe for babies?

Minky fabric is usually advertised as being hypoallergenic. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using hypoallergenic fabrics for baby bedding and clothing. So Minky fabric is generally considered safe for babies. As it is often made from polyester, it is considered safe for baby loungewear and bedding in most countries as opposed to cotton which catches very fast .

An alternative name for Minky

Cuddle fabric. Maybe because of the cuddly nature. “Cuddle” is often used by fabric manufacturers to describe their line of minky fabrics. Another very common name for minky is Plush. You will hear minky described as 100% polyester plush fabrics. Many fabric designers name their plush fabric lines, Dreaky, Cozy, Softie etc.

Is minky fabric suitable for dressmaking?

No. Unless you are making a costume and you need to make a long and thick cape or hoodie. Minky is a thick and bulky fabric and it doesnot drape very well.

Which fabrics are similar to minky?

Fur, fake-fur, fleece, velvet, velveteen, velour are different materials usually compared with minky. All of these fabrics have a soft raised pile similar to minky fabrics.
Duvetyne is a soft pile fabric that can be compared to minky.
Another fabric similar to minky is Velboa.
If you like fleece, you will like Minky better because it has a more luxurious pile. It is also somewhat similar to microfiber fabric, but with far more dense piles of soft fibers. 
You may also liken minky with wool because of its insulating properties. But it is far superior in its feel because minky is very soft. Some wool may irritate skin. In comparing prices, minky is a lot cheaper. But wool is a natural fabric and minky is a synthetic fabric.

What synthetic fiber is minky made of?

Minky fabric is a made of polyester fibers. The polyester fibers are knitted or woven into a soft, plush texture.

Which way does the minky fabric stretch?

It stretches in Crosswise grain.

Is there a right and wrong side to minky?

Yes. The right side of minky has a short, fluffy directional pile and the wrong side is a smooth knit.

Related posts : Types of velvet; Fake fur; Animal fiber; Recognise the Fabric names – Textile Names in English – dictionary.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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