November 22, 2022

Sherpa vs. Fleece Fabric – Advantages and Disadvantages

by Roger

Sherpa is a unique fabric that appears like sheepskin as it has a flat surface on one side and fabric appearing on the other side.

Fleece fabric has a soft layer on one side and a brushed layer on the other side.

Most people wear Sherpa in addition to other clothing materials.

You can wear Fleece without adding more fabric layers.

To find the most suitable fabric, you can consider Sherpa vs. Fleece’s advantages and disadvantages.

Table of Contents
Sherpa vs. Fleece
Sherpa vs. Fleece Fabric – Advantages and Disadvantages

Sherpa vs. Fleece: The Key Points

It is hard to learn what to expect from fabric when you use it for the first time.

You can avoid confusion by finding the points about these fabrics.

These key points will help you learn about Sherpa and Fleece better.

  • Uses: You can use the Fleece on the outer lining of warm clothing. It is not the case with the Sherpa because you can use it on the inner cloth lining only. You can mostly see the Sherpa on the inner side of the coats.
  • Cost: Sherpa is usually more expensive than Fleece material. It is inaccurate in all cases because some branded products may have more expensive Fleece coats and clothing. The cost also depends on the type of fleece material.
  • Caring Ease: It is better to care for them by avoiding hot water exposure. You can put them in the machine to wash on low settings. These fabrics can suffer from damage if you put them in the dryer. It is better to air dry them after washing.
  • Wicking Properties: You can use these materials in the inner linings of the coats because they can absorb a lot of moisture. They consist of synthetic materials. These materials have peculiar designs to allow high quantity moisture wicking.
  • Softness: Fleece has a high hardness to maintain a high level of durability. Sherpa is a soft material due to its sheepskin-like texture on one side. Sherpa material is less soft on the other side.
  • Heat Retention: Fleece is a warmer fabric than the Sherpa because Fleece can retain heat without extra layers of material. You will find Sherpa with layers of other materials to enhance heat retention.
  • Thickness: You can get Fleece with different levels of thickness from the market. There are some Fleece fabrics with low thickness to reduce fabric weight. Sherpa has a velvet-like texture on one side. There is a flat surface on the other side. You will not get perfect thickness variety in the Sherpa fabric.
parameterSherpa FabricFleece
UsesInner linings of coatsJackets and Blankets
Cost It is expensiveIt is less expensive than Sherpa
Caring EaseWash in cold waterWash cold and do not add in the dryer
Wicking PropertiesHigh-level wickingDepends on the type of fleece material
SoftnessHigh-level softnessHarder than Sherpa
Heat RetentionRetain some heatCan work alone to accumulate a lot of heat
ThicknessLightweight fabric Thickness varies depending on the type of material

What Is Sherpa Fabric?

Sherpa is a fabric with two distinctive sides.

You can look on both sides of the fabric to ensure it is Sherpa.

You will get a soft knit material on one side and a fuzzy layer on the other side.

Many think the manufacturer makes the fuzzy layer with a complicated process.

It is not perfect because they use a wire brush to make this layer.

They also crimp the fibers on one side to give it a similar appearance to the wool.

Sherpa appears like a sheepskin.

It does not have sheepskin because it consists of polyester material.

The softness is due to stretching the fiber during manufacturing.

Some companies are making this fabric from cotton and other natural materials.

Sherpa made with these materials will cost more.

This material is also known as the faux-sheepskin.

People add a layer of their material on the inner side of the warm clothing to add comfort and warmth.

What Is Fleece Fabric?

Fleece fabric differs from the Sherpa material because it has brushed fabric on one side instead of the sheepskin-like fabric.

There is a fluffy nap on the other side.

You can create plush on one side by pulling the fabric.

Most fleece material consists of polyethylene material.

It is a type of synthetic polyester material.

Polar Fleece is an excellent material to stop cold due to its thickness.

You can wear this material without any extra layers of materials.

It is perfect to manufacture blankets and jackets.

In contrast, you can use Sherpa material only with other material layers.

What’s the Difference Between Sherpa and Fleece?

You will find several differences in the structure and construction of the Sherpa and Fleece fabric.

Appearance is the first parameter you should note when observing Sherpa and Fleece.

You can make clothing without adding extra layers to the Fleece material.

It is impossible with the Sherpa fabric due to low levels of durability.

We arranged some differences in the features and uses of these fabrics.

You will get details of Sherpa vs. Fleece fabric in the sections below.


You can get Sherpa attached to most jackets. It is due to the softness of the Sherpa material.

Fleece has high heat retention properties and durability.

You will find Fleece blankets and clothing because it has high durability.

It is hard to find a blanket entirely made of Sherpa material.


Most types of Sherpa fabrics are thinner than Fleece fabrics.

Sherpa has a higher level of thickness than cotton material.

The thickness is lower than the sheepskin.

You can get Fleece fabric with a higher thickness than sheepskin because several Fleece thicknesses are available on the market.

You can get Fleece with more thickness when you ask for the high gram-per-meter value.

Moisture Wicking

Sherpa and Fleece have a high level of moisture-wicking properties.

You will not see such properties in the sheepskin.

Most people think they only need moisture-wicking properties in sports fabrics.

It is not true because clothing for winter needs to remove more moisture from the body to prevent issues.

Moisture wicking is the reason for their use inside coats and jackets.


You can keep yourself warm when you use clothing made with brushed or sheepskin-like fabric.

Fleece and Sherpa fabrics work well to retain heat because air cannot escape from the deeper layers of the fabric.

Due to their insulating properties, thick types of fleece fabric can retain more heat.

Some believe that Sherpa and Fleece are warmer than sheepskin due to better synthetic material.

One side specializes in keeping the body warm.

The other side ensures comfort.

Ease of Care

It is easy to clean the Sherpa and Fleece fabrics because you can wash them in the washing machine.

There is no need to use dry cleaning techniques for these materials.

You cannot put them in the tumbling dryers because high pressure can force the material to lose its softness.


You should get Sherpa fabric if you want the softest product.

It is softer than the Fleece and Sheepskin material.

You will see Sherpa on the baby items and the inner lining of the coats and jackets.

It is due to the high level of thickness of the material.

Fleece fabric has a high hardness than Sherpa and sheepskin.


You can get most types of Sherpa fabrics for fifteen dollars for one yard.

It is more expensive than the thickest type of Fleece material.

You can get the polar Fleece for six dollars for one yard.

Both of these fabrics have a lower price than the sheepskin.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Sherpa Fabric

You can get the pros and cons of the Sherpa fabric on this list.

These points will help you find Sherpa vs. Fleece differences.

  • It is a cheap material that mimics sheepskin well.
  • You will get more heat retention in the Sherpa than the sheepskin.
  • You can make the Sherpa inner lining to make the clothing comfortable.
  • Sherpa has a high level of moisture wicking due to its synthetic material.
  • You will not get clothing entirely made of Sherpa material.
  • It has a higher price than the other winter clothing material.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Fleece Fabric

From these points, you can learn many things about the pros and cons of Fleece fabric.

  • Fleece is one of the most affordable winter clothing materials.
  • It has high durability due to the use of polyester material.
  • You can get it in several styles and thicknesses.
  • You can make entire clothing from the Fleece material and use it as the lining.
  • It absorbs moisture to prevent smell.
  • You can make blankets and jackets from Fleece material.
  • You will not get a high level of softness from the Fleece.

Should You Buy Sherpa Fabric or Fleece Fabric?

Three things can affect your decision to buy the Fleece or Sherpa fabric.

  • You may like the Sherpa fabric when you want comfort because it has a high softness level.
  • You may not get many styles in the Sherpa material. If you want a variety of styles, you may need Fleece.
  • Sherpa is a lightweight material. You may need a fabric with more thickness when making entire clothing. Fleece is more suitable for that.

If you want to keep yourself warm in the winter, you can use any of these materials due to their high level of heat retention.

Some prefer the Sherpa for its softness and Fleece due to its high durability.

Price is also a crucial factor.

You may need Fleece fabric when you want clothes on a low budget.

To Summarize: Sherpa vs. Fleece Conclusion

You can consider many factors when comparing Sherpa vs. Fleece fabric.

These points will help you learn about the difference faster.

  • Sherpa looks more like the sheepskin fabric.
  • Fleece has a high level of durability and looks less similar to sheepskin.
  • Fleece retains more heat than the Sherpa material.
  • You cannot make clothing entirely from the Sherpa material due to its low level of durability.
  • Fleece has high durability because you can make clothing from this fabric.
  • Sherpa has less thickness than Fleece fabric.

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Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Roger

About the author


Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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