Fleece Comparisons

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Post   » Wed Dec 21, 2005 2:18 pm

All fleece is different. Some work better for some purposes and not as well for others. Thanks to WindeSpirit, we have some pics to look at. She will doubtless comment on these and how successful she feels various types are when used with guinea pigs. The only one of the types pictured below that I have experience with is the berber fleece. Pee flows through it pretty well. It may still hold some moisture but the towels and absorbant things I put beneath get wet. Snowflake stays pretty dry (what I have is the gray type):


These are cropped/resized pics sent me by WindeSpirit. Hopefully this discussion and these pics will help you choose wisely from among the many types of fleece on the market:

Last edited by Lynx on Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Wed Dec 21, 2005 10:08 pm

I just use regular fleece I stocked up a few years ago.
I am going to look into the better one though.
I made cozies ( I call them cozies but actually they are just fluffy pillows) with four different leftover fleece. My girls favorite is the same type of fleece in the middle, the gray one. Someone is always laying on this particular one no matter where I place it in the cage.
Now I know why, not becuase of the color preference, I guess.

Supporter in '06

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:48 am

Yesterday I came home with four 50"x60" fleece blankets that I bought on sale for only $2.50 each. Not bad. It's cozy and soft, just the "regular" fleece, as far as "regular" goes. The piggies don't really care as long as they are clean, warm, and dry..... and well-fed.

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:29 am

Oh what a great topic!!

I bed mostly on towels. Ginger hasn't discovered yet, that she should go down to her lower level where there is wood pellets, and she should be peeing there. NOPE, she pees on her towels, and I have to change them at LEAST daily! Which poses a problem to me because I have two sets of matching towels to cover both cages with.. so when I have to change hers daily, her cage doesn't match the other girls cage, and that just drives me nuts.

Yesterday I bought some pretty heavy fleece. I almost bought the fluffy stuff, but my daughters and I all agreed the pigs would probably eat it. (they eat the strands on the towels!) but I also bought some cotton felt. My plan was to layer towel (on the bottom), cotton felt and then the fleece. If I had a sewing machine, I would make little "pads" just to place where they lay/pee, but I don't have one anymore. :( I might try to borrow one, or beg someone around here to sew it for me.

Winde, I was going to email you yesterday, I was reading a topic about cage pads. I would love cage pads for my girls, I know you make them specifically for each person so the size is right, and that would be perfect, but I have a whole cut out of my rectangle, it's the entrance to the bottom of their cage. Would it be a problem to cut that notch out?? Maybe a picture would be helpful? Anyway, I have got to think of something, because I do not want Ginger laying in her pee all day!

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:46 am

whittibo, if you can, I would arrange the cage so you didn't have a cut-out -- then it will be of more use if/when you move and do a CC cage (I think you were planning this).

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:19 am

There's no way to avoid the cut out, and it's already in the grid thingy, so what's there is there. I can always get more later, but just have to get Ginger off her pee. I don't think it's at all good for her!

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 12:20 pm

I have two sets of matching towels to cover both cages with.. so when I have to change hers daily, her cage doesn't match the other girls cage, and that just drives me nuts
Not anal are we, whittibo? (I can laugh because I'd feel the same way!)

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 3:31 pm

Nope, not at all anal, just "coordinated". :)

My husband was very upset when I made him paint our carport that had cedar siding on it, but I wanted it to match the house. He said, "it's CEDAR, you don't paint CEDAR".. well, I do! And he did, and it now matches the house. :D

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Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 5:17 pm

I suppose I should chime in here now that I think I have woke up some.
While the fleeces are all different as Lynx stated, all are also Poly, so don’t let a couple to follow fool you. Watch your store bolt tags!

First picture left to right – Shepra – Berber – MicroPlush

Shepra – is a good material for wetness factors and more readily found in fabric stores. It’s also more widely used in manufactured animal bedding.
The shepra does allow pee to pass if somewhat in a timely fashion. This is a moderately dense material and will still hold liquid in it’s mid and bottom fibers. (DON’T SHAKE VIGOURSLY; you’ll get a shower). Down falls are minimal to the pros. Price is moderately high.

Berber – so far is the best material I’ve found. Two major cons’, is becoming harder to find and is a bit pricey. Downfalls totally outweigh the pros. This fabric is much like the Shepra and can be mistaken for it, do not be fooled! Berber is less dense in the upper fibers and looser in the lower fibers and will stretch slightly.

MicroPlush – this is not a good solid cage material. Rather this is more beneficial where pigs how have tender soar feet or need VREY soft places for other reasons. Small things are good with this material such as pads and pillow type pads. This material has a "ooh lala" feeling to it.
Two major downfalls – can need cleaned often depending on your pig(s) and does not allow pee to pass as readily, and is expensive. I'm only recommending it's use for particular health needs in animals or a 'special' cuddle time pads.

To compare the upper fibers of Shepra and Berber (these can be tricky until you get to know them well) – Shepra’s will look like Ç where as Berber will look like È. To explain a bit better, if you take a small fiber and knit it into the shepra you will have a loop for the top. Berber it would look more like a shag rug where the ends are cut and middle is knitted down. (there is one exception and that is the white berber, the bleaching process does something to the fibers and there for will look like shepra.)

I'll work on getting the others.

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:10 pm

So Winde, what about cotton felt? Will the pigs eat it and if they do, will it hurt them?? (I imagine every pig is different and will eat different things, so that might be a really stupid question?) But I bought some fleece and cotton felt to layer in the areas my pigs pee and lay. :s

Also, about those fuzzy ones you posted, how do you get hay out of them. That sounds like a horrid job.

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Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:28 pm

#2 pic - Anti pill, heavy polar, medium polar, heavy polar (these are top to bottom).
Anti-pill – overall it is reasonable in both price and quality (quality can depend on brand, “Fire Side” is a good brand). In the picture the material is actually upside down, so if you are one who looks at the pile from the actual knit/weave, this can help. Fabric is found normally about ¼” of inch thick.
Heavy Polar – reasonable in price, but what you pay is what you get. Watch your weights and if you are learning these materials, do a little reading up on fleece fabric weights. Many good brands, just pay attention to the fabric itself. Heavy Polar is roughly ¼”, do not mistake it with outdoor heavy polar which is 3/8 inch thick and water resistant treated.
Medium Polar – cheap. Not recommended use without a purpose and goal. Summer accessories are good for this material, and/or warm climates.

#3 pic – medium polar fleece. I wanted to get a better solid picture will this alone since many tend to want to buy the cheaper fleece. This can also tend to be chewed through easily for the chewer out there. 1/8” inch thick roughly.

#4 pic – MicroShag (black), MicroPlush (white, tan in used as background.)
Looking closely to compare these, you will see the black has another black layer on the bottom. The one shown here, the back feels about like soft suede.
Both have a very soft plushy feel to them, with the MicroPlush being the silky feeling between the two, MicroShag having the run hands through really soft carpet feel.
MicroShag is roughly ¾” thick with fiber shafts that look like small strands of yarn. Price was reasonable, but not personally recommended for full cage use, accessory items only.
MicroPlush is roughly ½” thick (see above posting on this).

#5 pic – MicroShag. Trying to get a better picture of its features.
The backing of this material so far absorbs wetness, so can be used ‘as is’ without other materials. The fabric can shed at the cut edges so some edge stitching should be placed here.

#6 – MicroPlush (both top) and MicroShag (bottom). Another comparison picture. Left topside is a light blue, just so you don’t think your eyes are fooling J

#7 – MicroPlush, close up.

#8 – Shepra (left), Berber (right), close up.

#9 – Anti pill, this one will show how the lights can play with the fibers better. Left half of fabric is topside, right half is bottom side.

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Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:41 pm

Whittibo - hay out of some of these, HA!! You'd have to ask someone else about the MicroShag, but I won't use it in a hay area. Think latch hook rug on this stuff, sorry but I'm not brave enough.
A picture to come (plush fleece), it's not a in cage idea to use with, except no hay areas :) Oh what a nightmare it would be!

As for the other 'fuzzy' ones, MicroPlush is a snap, Anti-pill just a good shake out or brushing. Berber is brush or vac, so is Shepra cause I wouldn't not shake them if I were you!
Trust me, I wouldn't, I COULDN'T do that to someone. Oh I'd never let myself down if someone wanted a cage blanket out of one of the others. And if they begged me to do on, well I don't know, maybe. But they'd have about 50 warnings before I did it.

Cotton felt you say - go for it with some fleece on top. Cotton anything for the most part will absorb.

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 6:56 pm

That's what I was hoping, doing their regular towels, then a layer of the cotton felt with the fleece on top.

I tried fleece bedding, but it stayed wet, someone pointed out that unless you have something to soak up the urine, yes, fleece will stay wet. If the layering of cotton felt works with the fleece, I might have you make some cage blankets for me from it. I am thinking 4 of them, and I can use them in the whole cage and just switch them out every other day like I do the towels.

I think I'll just try cutting the pieces up and layering them for now, as I don't have anything to sew with. :s

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 8:24 pm

You wrote: Berber – so far is the best material I’ve found. Two major cons’, is becoming harder to find and is a bit pricey. Downfalls totally outweigh the pros.

Did you mean the pros outweigh the cons?

Here are more pics:


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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:02 pm

Lynxiepoo, are you going to post the fleece I sent you here? I don't know what kind it is, but someone else may know.

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Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:23 pm

Um, yes Lynx. That is what I meant.
Last edited by WindeSpirit on Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:28 pm

Set two
#1 – Terry fleece, no cotton so don’t become confused, 100% polyester here.
Left side shows the topside, right side shows bottom. I have yet to use this in anything. I wouldn’t recommend it for hay areas, price is reasonable.

#2 – Waffle fleece was cropped to a pretty small area there! The textured top looks exactly like waffle indentations. The material it’s self is a cross between a anti-pill and microplush, there for the price is also a little high. I don’t feel the price is justified for using without a good sales price. It’s thickness is about ¼” inch and good for all areas and uses.

#3 – Sweatshirt fleece, 100% poly (no cotton). The fleece is always double sided, unprinted such as shown here looks exactly the same. It’s not recommended for blankets because this is a very tightly woven fabric, making pee and water harder to pass through. It’s great as a top half for such things as the Pockets I make or the Caves that Ly makes. Prices vary with solids and prints.

#4 – Plush fleece, this has a limited use to special things where hay will not become a problem in it’s plushy fibers. While it is a ideal fleece to use for all areas because of the pee it allows to pass so readily, the plushy fibers that catch everything would make you want to cut it to pieces. Not a wise option to use with health problem pigs, and NEVER use this with surgery pigs without risks. Price is reasonable.

#5 – Pants fleece. This is often used in smaller kids clothing. This is a warning – DO NOT USE THIS WITH YOUR ANIMALS. Just looking at this material and feeling it says warning, placing it on floor for use as material only human rug: shocking every time touched, snags every time anything not completely smooth touches. Enough said from my personal use so there for will not go further to test. Thickness 1/8th – 1/16th of inch

#7 – Holiday fleece felt is double sided, cannot tell which side is which often. As you can see, is sparkly in the fibers, there are no actual sparkles in this. It is good for small uses but not whole cage areas, fabric is lightweight but can become take on static easily so fabric softeners are recommended to use with this fabric. Keep in mind, softeners will also reduce the pee passing ability so use small strips or pre-used sheets and never liquid.

#8 – Dotted MicroPlush acts a bit differently the regular MicroPlush. As can see in the link, the dotted is thinner. This is because instead of the dots being crushed down (how the waffle is down) the areas instead are crushed down while the dots are untouched. With the fabric being pressed as it is, it tends to act like fur on an American breed guinea, water tends to run off. There for if this material was used in some creations that do not lay flat, it would be best used to full potential there. Thickness is roughly ¼”.

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 9:43 pm

Here, let's try this:

[Large image:]

After washing once (washed great), I figure it has to be washed several more times. Some of the pee stayed at the top. Nothing ran through. It is very luxurious and soft.

Obey My Authority

Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:29 pm

Lynx, would you happen to know what's the difference between sherpa and berber? I've recently switched to using sherpa instead of fleece, and I am already in love with it, and the pigs love its softness and lushness too!

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Post   » Thu Dec 22, 2005 10:37 pm

Read WindeSpirit's description in an earlier post. She knows tons more than I do.

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