German moleskin under magnification
|Type||Heavy cotton fabric|
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Moleskin is a heavy cotton fabric, woven and then sheared to create a short, soft pile on one side. The feel and appearance of its nap is similar to felt or chamois, but less plush than velour. The word is also used for clothing made from this fabric, as well as adhesive pads stuck to the skin to prevent blisters. Clothing made from moleskin is noted for its softness and durability. Some variants of the cloth are so densely woven as to be windproof.
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 men's wear, but are now also much more widely worn.
Moleskin fabric can be coated with an adhesive backing and used to prevent or treat friction injuries of the feet. In the case of a blister, the moleskin is cut with a hole in the centre so the fabric does not adhere to the blister directly. The thickness of the surrounding moleskin protects the blister from further friction.
Moleskin 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.
West German Army uniforms from the 1960s until the early 1990s were made of "moleskin" fabric in a greyish olive-drab colour, but this German moleskin was not sheared and thus had a flat, smooth outer side. It was nonetheless a tough, densely woven material strongly resistant against wind and abrasion.
Military snipers occasionally wrap the stocks of their rifles in moleskin to absorb sweat and prevent slippages.
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.
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.
...farmers in Akubras and moleskins sat alongside dreadlocked activists...