From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
German moleskin under magnification
Material typeHeavy cotton fabric

Moleskin is a heavy cotton fabric, woven and then shorn to create a short, soft pile on one side. The feel and appearance of its nap is suede-like,[1] less plush than velour and more like felt or chamois. The word is also used for clothing made from this fabric.[2] Clothing made from moleskin is noted for its softness and durability. Some variants of the cloth are so densely woven as to be windproof.[3]

Its name is due to the soft brushed hand of the fabric, similar to mole fur.[4] Though mole pelts have been used to make fur clothing, they are not referred to as "moleskin", which is also a term for soft, dense adhesive pads stuck to the skin to prevent blisters.[2]


Moleskin is woven of carded cotton yarn in a dense weft-faced satin weave. The surface is napped or shorn to "produce a suede-like finish".[1]


Moleskin fabric is commonly used to make trousers, also referred to as "moleskins", that are similar to jeans in terms of cut and construction. They similarly started as working menswear,[5] but are now also much more widely worn.


Moleskin-like fabric with an adhesive backing is used to prevent or treat blisters, cut with a hole in the centre to provide relief to the affected skin.[2] The thickness of the surrounding moleskin further protects the blister from additional friction.[6][7][8][9]

Audiovisual productions[edit]

Medical moleskin-like fabric with adhesive backing is also commonly used in video and/or audio productions when using a lavalier microphone. When further concealment of a lavalier microphone is needed in these types of productions, it can be worn underneath a layer or layers of the singer's clothing. This would normally cause the microphone to pick up the unwanted noises of the singer's clothing rubbing up against the body and top of the lavalier. Attaching a small strip of moleskin around the microphone body will dramatically reduce the amount of noise created by the singer's clothing and, consequently, reduces the amount of unwanted noise picked up by the lavalier microphone.[10][11][12]


West German army uniforms from the 1960s until the early 1990s were made of "moleskin" fabric in a greyish olive-drab colour, but the German moleskin was not shorn and thus had a flat, smooth outer side. Nonetheless, it was a tough, densely woven material, strongly resistant to wind and abrasion.

Military snipers occasionally wrap the stocks of their rifles in moleskin to absorb sweat and prevent slippage.


Trousers made from moleskin were popular with British workers during the end of the nineteenth century due to the insulating and windproof qualities of the fabric.[3]


Cotton sateen is a variant of moleskin. It utilises cheaper short-strand cotton to create a softer feeling fabric that is relatively fragile and wears quickly.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tortora, Phyllis G.; Merkel, Robert S. (1996-01-10). Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles (7th ed.). New York: Fairchild Publications. p. 366. ISBN 9780870057076.
  2. ^ a b c Vonhof, John. (2011). Fixing your feet : prevention and treatments for athletes (5th ed.). Birmingham, Ala.: Wilderness Press. ISBN 9780899976860. OCLC 708566008.
  3. ^ a b Goodman, Ruth, 1963- (2015-09-21). How to be a Victorian : a dawn-to-dusk guide to Victorian life. New York. ISBN 978-1631491139. OCLC 903283280.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Digging into Moleskin - Textile Tales". Heddels. 2015-04-25. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  5. ^ "Unlikely bedfellows on the Liverpool Plains". Radionational. 17 November 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2016. in Akubras and moleskins sat alongside dreadlocked activists...
  6. ^ "Blisters: First aid". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  7. ^ "Foot blisters take the fun out of marching". Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  8. ^ Braff, Danielle. "How to prevent blisters". Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  9. ^ "How to Treat a Blister". WebMD. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  10. ^ Ascher, Steven; Pincus, Edward (2007). The Filmmaker's Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age. Penguin. p. 397. ISBN 9780452286788.
  11. ^ Miles, Dean (2015). Location Audio Simplified: Capturing Your Audio... and Your Audience. CRC Press. p. 154. ISBN 9781317936800.
  12. ^ Miles, Dean (2016-07-07). Camera Audio Simplified: Location Audio for Camera Operators. CRC Press. p. 89. ISBN 9781317289296.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of moleskin at Wiktionary