1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Flannelette
FLANNELETTE, a cotton cloth made to imitate flannel. The word seems to have been first used in the early ’eighties, and there is a reference in the Daily News of 1887 to “a poverty-stricken article called flannelette.” Now it is used very extensively for underclothing, night gear, dresses, dressing-gowns, shirts, &c. It is usually made with a much coarser weft than warp, and its flannel-like appearance is obtained by the raising or scratching up of this weft, and by various finishing processes. Some kinds are raised equally on both sides, and the nap may be long or short according to the purpose for which the cloth is required. A considerable trade is done in plain cloths dyed, and also in woven coloured stripes and checks, but almost any heavy or coarse cotton cloth can be made into flannelette. It is now largely used by the poorer classes of the community, and the flimsier kinds have been a frequent source of accident by fire. It is, however, when used discreetly and in a fair quality, a cheap and useful article. A flannelette, patented under the title of “Non-flam,” has been made with fire-resisting properties, but its sale has been more in the better qualities than in the lower and more dangerous ones. Flannelette is made largely on the continent of Europe, and in the United States as well as in Great Britain.