Boiled wool is exactly what it sounds like—wool that is boiled until it shrinks and transforms in texture. It’s compressed and interlocked, giving it a structure similar to felt. Not only does this make it very strong, warm, and cozy, but it results in more cross-grain stretch. Boiled wool that’s blended with rayon or polyester is perfect for knit projects like oversized coats and sweaters. It will maintain shape, but is not as thick as wool coating, and if it is blended with rayon, it can have a nice drape to it. Pay attention when caring for your wool projects. Just because boiled wool was pre-shrunk during manufacturing does not mean that it won’t continue to shrink in hot water or the dryer—you know how much wool loves to shrink! Use cold water and spot clean as needed.
The Jill coatigan sewn in a boiled wool coating.
1 | Wool blend in red
Cozy, dense, and slightly stretchy, this wool and rayon combination is great fabric for a coatigan $22.00/yard from The Confident Stitch.
2 | Wool blend in olive
This wool blend is a perfect slubby knit, $22.00/yard from The Confident Stitch.
3 | Boiled wool coating
This wool is 56” wide and comes in a pleasing cool-weather shade, $19.99/yard from Style Maker Fabrics.
International sources for boiled wool: AU, AU, CH, FR, UK
Coatigans are designed to show off your sweater knit fabric! The most important thing to pay attention to while shopping for sweater knits is the weave of the fabric. Dense weaves can get bulky while sewing, and loose weaves can fray. Check the fabric’s description for the weight as well as the contents. Sweater knits can be made from a bunch of different fabrics, including wool, acrylic, and cotton. If you need help sewing with sweater knits, check out our tutorial here. And don’t miss even more examples from Style Maker Fabrics—a fabric store known for dreamy, cozy, seasonal sweater knits—in their interview here.
The Jill coatigan sewn in a sweater knit.
1 | Boucle sweater knit in cream and black
This textured, cozy sweater knit will make you want to live in your coatigan, $14.00/yard from Style Maker Fabrics.
2 | Boucle sweater knit in teal
For a statement coatigan, go with a big, bold texture, $19.99/yard from Style Maker Fabrics.
3 | Designer heathered wool blend in darkest blue
This medium-weight wool and nylon blend is super soft and cozy, $15.00/yard from The Confident Stitch.
International sources for sweater knits: CH, UK, FR
Good news! Since a coatigan has more ease and structure than a cardigan, you can often use woven fabrics instead of knit fabrics. This means you can use all of the beautiful wool coatings that are available in classic plaid, houndstooth, and tweed. Coatings are stable, easy to sew, very warm, and they will maintain a strong silhouette for your project. They won’t stretch like a sweater knit, but for a pattern with enough ease, they are a fun option. As always, pay attention to the finished garment measurements when using a woven fabric for a knit pattern.
The Jill coatigan sewn in a coating.
1 | Reversible wool coating in black and brown
Since this fabric is reversible, it will look like you went through the effort of lining your coatigan, $24.99 from Style Maker Fabrics.
2 | Basketweave coating
This medium-weight, wine-colored coating has a cozy texture, $19.99/yard from Style Maker Fabrics.
3 | Reversible wool coating in gray and cream
This high-quality wool blend coating will make a coatigan that you can wear for the rest of your life, $24.99/yard from Style Maker Fabrics.
International sources for coating: AU, AU, CH,CA, FR, UK, UK