What is “Cuddle” in the Sewing Industry?

That word “cuddle” conjures up so many warm and fuzzy feelings. Maybe you are thinking of that last lingering hug and kiss from somebody dear to you. But believe it or not, “cuddle” is also actually a type of fabric. Now that is brand marketing at its finest because let me tell you – this fabric really does make you want to cuddle up in it.

A picture is not worth a thousand words when you cannot feel it!

A picture is not worth a thousand words when you cannot feel it!

Cuddle® fabric is a brand of fabric. Cuddle® is like the word “Kleenex.” They are brand names. It is a type of fabric called minky, sometimes spelled minkee (another brand name). Minky is a product name like tissue is the product. So for those of you who took logic or remember those analogies, Kleenex : tissue :: Cuddle® : minky. Well, maybe you forgot those symbols, so it reads; Kleenex is to tissue as Cuddle® is to minky.

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  Cuddle® comes in different colors, prints and textures.  This is their dimple - unbelieveably cute! 

Cuddle® comes in different colors, prints and textures.  This is their dimple - unbelieveably cute! 

Shannon Fabrics produces Cuddle®, which is a 100% polyester microfiber plush fabric. Microfiber is a very fine synthetic filament that is even finer than silk (Fairchild’s Dictionary of Textiles, by Phyllis G. Tortora). These yarns are knitted together to make this ultra plush textile that is used for so many purposes but is best known for the softest throws, blankets, and quilts. Interestingly, Cuddle® is not a fleece product, but it does have a very strong directional nap like velvet. Cuddle® is far superior to the microfiber plush fabrics in the clothing stores and the chain fabric stores.

This picture shows the difference between Shannon fabrics (top) and the chain fabric store version of minky (bottom).

This picture shows the difference between Shannon fabrics (top) and the chain fabric store version of minky (bottom).

Cuddle® is the softest fabric that I have ever felt. I know it sounds like I would be biased, but I was in love with this Cuddle® fabric years before I became a brand ambassador for Shannon Fabrics. To quote their sales manager, Sheryl Sapriel, “It is the most superior minky fabric in the world.” Even my husband (who is not a tactile person) was petting the fabrics strewn across the kitchen table and said, “No wonder you wanted to work for them. These are the softest fabrics I have ever felt.” Shannon Fabrics is living up to their motto, "Making the World a Softer Place!"

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  Cuddle®   in French Blue, which is one of 96 delicious colors, with more in the works.

This is Cuddle®  in French Blue, which is one of 96 delicious colors, with more in the works.

Personally, this is one of those frustrating blog posts because I can describe it all I want, but until you feel it, you will never know what I mean. It is like trying to explain a sweet scent to someone over a blog post. It just does not work. It is like someone who has never seen snow. You can read about it. See pictures about it and even experience ice, but until you see it in person, no words can adequately describe it.  It is amazing. In the same way, imitation and real things are very different, but yet so similar. You know it when you see the real thing.  I hope you have the privilege to feel the real Cuddle®.

By the way, technically this article is not sponsored by Shannon Fabrics, as I am not getting paid to write it and I paid for all the fabrics in the pictures, but yes, I am a Shannon Fabrics Brand Ambassador, which means I get paid to be an educator for them when I teach at a fabric shop. There will be later posts on how to sew with Cuddle® and some of its unique properties. Cuddle® can be purchased at Fabric.com or FabricDepot.com - no affiliation - just where I purchased the fabrics.

 

Officially a Brand Ambassador for Shannon Fabrics

It’s official! I am so excited to announce that I am a brand ambassador for Shannon Fabrics. Last week I spent an amazing three days just outside Chicago, Illinois, at the incredible Bernina Center.

Some of the Shannon Fabrics' executives, representatives and band ambassadors

Some of the Shannon Fabrics' executives, representatives and band ambassadors

Thirty people from all over the country were chosen out of four hundred applicants to be brand ambassadors. We were all chosen for different reasons and expertise, but we all have a common thread of sewing.  It was a time of a lifetime to be able to affectionately bond with so many different people.

Not only did we wear the same scarf, we were sewing partners that had the common bond of being the mother to large families - 8 for Pamela O'Neil and 9 for me

Not only did we wear the same scarf, we were sewing partners that had the common bond of being the mother to large families - 8 for Pamela O'Neil and 9 for me

Our mission as brand ambassadors is to teach others how to sew with the lush Shannon Fabrics. We are the Shannon Fabrics educators. We were trained on how to present demonstrations, trunk shows, and classes. This brand ambassador program is a new concept for them and we are proudly the first class to graduate. 

Our wonderful main educator and coordinator, Teresa Coates

Our wonderful main educator and coordinator, Teresa Coates

We spent three days in an intensive training. From six in the morning until eleven at night it was non-stop training (okay eating too), but it was truly a time of a lifetime.  I had so much fun, learned so much, and fell in love with the company’s culture. They are passionately family and quality oriented.

Even the executive, Julie Olds, had a hand at instructing us

Even the executive, Julie Olds, had a hand at instructing us

The actual fabrics of Shannon Fabrics are what initially sold me on applying to become a brand ambassador.  Their number one product is a line called Cuddle.

Cuddle comes in a wide range of 96 colors

Cuddle comes in a wide range of 96 colors

This is just one example of the lovely quilts that can be made from  Cuddle

This is just one example of the lovely quilts that can be made from Cuddle

In my opinion, it is the softest fabric there is. It is in the broad category of textiles named minky, but this is far superior to the generic minky fabric that you would feel at the local chain fabric store. It has a thicker pile and is so much more luxurious. There are also many other aspects as to why it sews so much better, but that is for another blog post (of course).

The colors in the this quilt are just exquiste

The colors in the this quilt are just exquiste

This is one of my favorite colors and workmanship as I am amazed at the detail in this printing

This is one of my favorite colors and workmanship as I am amazed at the detail in this printing

Over the past few months in preparing for this venture, I have come to realize that Shannon Fabrics has so many more sumptuous fabrics beyond the simple Cuddle line. I am absolutely in love with their faux fur and to be perfectly honest, I do not know why people wear real animal furs when they can have these Tissavel furs that are so soft you get lost in them. Those Luxe Cuddle throws had a hard time being passed around as everyone wanted a chance to cuddle up with them and did not want to give them up.

The sweet Donna Thornton swaddled in a lucious Luxe Cuddle

The sweet Donna Thornton swaddled in a lucious Luxe Cuddle

During our three days, we were treated like royalty. Of course, we were all given our own set of fur throws, but Shannon Fabrics was also extremely generous with each one of us being provided an entire large suitcase full of fabrics and notions.

All those boxes are filled with fabric for each of us and an abundance of samples are on the table

All those boxes are filled with fabric for each of us and an abundance of samples are on the table

They had arranged with their sponsors to indulge us with so many notions. There were so many that they filled an entire bag. We were all so overwhelmed with the generosity of Shannon Fabrics and their sponsors.

A bag filled with sewing notions to begin, but it would be overflowing by the end

A bag filled with sewing notions to begin, but it would be overflowing by the end

As you would expect, we ate like the rich and famous with all their furs. The first night we had a wonderful sampling of those Chicago deep-dish pizzas and the next night we were privileged to be at the Aspen Lane Wine Company that follows the Newman model of donating all their profits. You can read about their giving hearts if you click here.

Dinner at the  Aspen Lane Wine Company

Dinner at the Aspen Lane Wine Company

Shannon Fabrics also has many other lines of fabrics such as their Embrace, which is a contemporary and popular double gauze.  Have you noticed how many names are loving names? Let me tell you we had fun with those as each morning we cuddled. Yes, we gave hugs and kisses to everyone – people we had never known before this event. There were a few people that were stretched out of their comfort zones and I think the Bernina educator was the saddest to see us leave.

This is a sweet blanket made with  Embrace  on the top and a gorgeous Luxe Cuddle on the bottom

This is a sweet blanket made with Embrace on the top and a gorgeous Luxe Cuddle on the bottom

Some of the garments that can be created with  Embrace

Some of the garments that can be created with Embrace

The Bernina Center was unbelievable.  There was a dedicated high-end Bernina sewing machine for all of us with a large workstation and the training was phenomenal.

The  Bernina Center educational room

The Bernina Center educational room

Indubitably, Shannon Fabrics taught us well. We had thorough explanations as well as hands on construction, and evaluations. We saw garments as well as every other possible item that could be made with their fabrics. We even heard from a company that specialized in cosplay using Shannon Fabrics.  

The detail in this garment is impecable

The detail in this garment is impecable

It was a wonderful experience and one that I will treasure for a lifetime, but it was the people that made the difference. Without them, this would not have been the same. They were an incredible group of people and I hope that you have the pleasure to meet some of them. 

My lovely roommate, Susan Hastings, was so sweet that she wore machine embroidery every day

My lovely roommate, Susan Hastings, was so sweet that she wore machine embroidery every day

Beyond a doubt, I am so psyched. I just want to start sewing all that fabric in my suitcase.  Yes, there is so much that I am having a little trouble finding where to put it all. It is still in my suitcase. Do not tell my husband, but I have big plans for a new sewing studio.

Thank you, Shannon Fabrics for everything, but especially for “Making the world a softer place!” Words can never express my gratitude.