What Is Moleskin Fabric and Why We Love Clothing Made from It?

A versatile and practical alternative to jeans or chinos, moleskin is a durable, densely woven material made of pure cotton. The fabric is similar to velvet and corduroy, which a high-quality yearn tightly woven to create the hardy textile. It has a smooth textured surface that feels like the skin of the soil-loving mole. Also, it’s a popular alternative to materials like linen or wool.

moleskin jeans

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This material first appeared during medieval times and was very popular due to its warmth and durability. During the 1800s, moleskin pants and aprons become a must-have among steelworkers because of the protection they offered. The popularity of this material continued in the 19th century when labourers and farmers started wearing moleskin pants and jackets. Also, moleskin trousers began to replace casual wear and become extremely popular among sportsmen and estate owners.

But what made moleskin pants so popular or, in other words, what are the benefits of these pieces of clothing?

First, moleskin jeans perform perfectly well in the field – the dense textile protects against snags from briars and brambles and does an amazing job in a variety of outdoor conditions as it provides great wind resistance. Also, this heavy fabric is moisture-resistant, which means moleskin jeans will protect you against the elements and you’ll be able to use them for years to come. Furthermore, they are the perfect choice for any occasion. They can add a dose of sophistication to any outfit with ease. Another good thing about moleskin pants and other pieces of clothing made from this material is that they are generally easy to clean. Usually, all you need to do is wash them inside-out on a gentle cycle. Line drying is also recommended.

When to Wear Moleskin Clothing?

Clothing made of moleskin, specifically jacket and jeans, are the perfect choice for sportsmen’s lifestyle. Also, the extremely comfortable trousers are great for fishing, hiking or hunting. Mostly worn in cooler weather due to the warmth it provides, this cotton fabric is also breathable, which makes moleskin clothing suitable choice for summer as well.

man wearing moleskin jeans with shirt

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Trousers made of moleskin are also a great choice for business casual and casual attires. Their elegant finish and subtle texture make them ideal for informal occasions. Paired with a knit sweater and jacket, they can help you create an elegant yet comfortable outfit. On cooler days, you can wear your moleskin pants with heavier materials – think woollen sweaters. While for summertime, you can choose something lightweight like a knit cardigan or a jacket in a suitable colour.

The Various Uses of Moleskin Fabric

The most common use of this fabric is for making stylish and sturdy pants. The material itself is rugged, thick and breathable. This makes moleskin clothing suitable for outdoor conditions but for indoor wear as well. When it comes to outdoors, most people find this type of jeans more comfortable across a slightly wider temperature span than regular denim jeans. Moreover, they keep the wearer warmer than denim. For indoor wear, moleskin jeans Australia made pieces hit a sweet spot that people don’t even realize exists. They are sturdier than khakis and dressier than jeans. Moleskin pants go perfectly well with a sports coat or a blazer, creating a dressier or a casual look if you pair them with a sweater.

man wearing moleskin jeans with sweater

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The versatility and benefits of this material date back from the early 1900s, when moleskin trousers were popular among labourers. Very soon landowners saw the amazing value of this warm, sturdy material and started using it for their shooting and hunting adventures. The production process of moleskin is quite expensive because the shearing, tight wave and brushing require special equipment.

And no, moleskin is not moleskin. It’s cotton fabric but there is a reason why it is named after this underground tunnel builder. A mole’s fur is short, it doesn’t grow in any specific orientation and it can be easily brushed in any direction. This what makes this animal different from others. So, if it’s not made from the skin of moles, how is it made?

As I’ve mentioned, it’s a cotton fabric and the process goes like this. Two layers of cotton are woven together with a tight wave. One is known as a “backer” and the other is a “top layer”. The “top layer” is “shorn” away. The closer the shearing is to the “backer”, the softer the final product will be. This process leaves a weave between the two layers, which helps create a soft texture. Next, this soft texture is linked to the skin of a mole which is where the name of this fabric comes from. The finished product is dictated by the thickness and quality of the yarn that is used to make the weave. High-quality yarns create a better fabric.