CUDDLE – So Soft . . . So Plush

(Originally published August 2015, SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #20. Written by Rita Farro.)


Fabulous 5 Cuddle Kit Chickadee

Fabulous 5 Cuddle Kit Chickadee

Everyone who sews wants this to happen . . . .


You make a blanket for a newborn baby — and two years later, you see that toddler dragging it everywhere he/she goes.  Nobody knows why the child picked THAT blanket for their comfort item . . . but it has become their most beloved “blankie” . . . and every time you see the child clutching the blanket you made — your sewing heart swells.

Thanks to microfiber plush fabric, introduced to the sewing world about 12 years ago — your chances of that big score have increased dramatically!

Cuddle, imported by Shannon Fabrics, is the softest, plushest fabric you can imagine. It is the ultimate fabric for creating baby blankets and baby accessories.  But it is also perfect for quilts and quilt backings, apparel, toys, home décor, accessories and more.

Arvin Pairavi, left and Ebrahim Pairavi, right, owners of Shannon Fabric reviewing artwork. Ooh La La, A Shannon Studio Cuddle Collection.

Arvin Pairavi, left and Ebrahim Pairavi, right, owners of Shannon Fabric reviewing artwork.
Ooh La La, A Shannon Studio Cuddle Collection.

Cuddle is the market leader in microfiber plush fabrics. It comes in a wide variety of piles and is offered in solids, prints, embossed and double sided.  It can also be found in a wide variety of patterns, colors, and textures — from classic dots and stripes to gorgeous embossed prints. With its signature “Cuddle” collection, Shannon Fabrics has become a household name. The company was established in 1995. It is owned by Ebrahim Pairavi and his son, Arvin Pairavi. The company imports and distributes many types of fabrics such as fabulous faux furs, Cuddle Suede, Embrace double gauze, and other novelty fabrics. However, Shannon Fabrics is best known for its signature Cuddle brand.  The company works with independent and in-house designers to develop and create some of the best fabric collections available in the industry.

According to Arvin Pairavi, “We were excited about this new category and started carrying Cuddle.  We took an existing product in the market and made it even better with superior quality and variety.  Cuddle is manufactured in Korea to rigid specifications using premium yarn.  It is not as stretchy, in fact, it only stretches on the cross grain (with the exception of Cuddle Dimple® which stretches both ways). Shannon Fabrics embossed patterns are produced with the best machinery and equipment.  Long arm quilters love Cuddle so much, we now manufacture 88/90” widths. In fact, some swear by it and say they won’t use any other brand of extra wide plush.”

According to Sheryl Sapriel, Sales Director for Shannon Fabrics, “When plush knit fabrics were first introduced, they were very thin and stretchy.  They curled on the edges and stretched both ways, which made them difficult to work with.  Those early days are past.”

Kozy Cuddle —Solids, Embossed

Kozy Cuddle —Solids, Embossed

The beauty of working with Cuddle is that it is the softest fabric in the world, and it is very forgiving.  It is machine washable, which is especially great for babies and kids.  Sheryl says anybody can be successful with Cuddle, once they understand some basic principles:

  • Cuddle is a polyester knit fabric, so it will NOT FRAY — NOT EVER.  It will not shrink.  It is washable and wears very well.
  • Cuddle has a nap.  The nap should lay smooth when brushing your hand towards the bottom of your project or quilt.
  • When you cut Cuddle, there will be a bit of fibers- fondly called ‘Cuddle dust’.  It’s a one-time thing — just like getting a haircut.

Here are some tips and tricks for working with Cuddle from the Shannon Fabrics website. We’re sharing a few, but you can download them.


  • You will get ‘Cuddle dust’ when you cut Cuddle; the longer the fibers, the more “dust.”  To control this, cut shorter pile Cuddle fabrics with a rotary cutter, remove from cutting surface, and place in dryer with damp wash cloth (dryer sheet optional) on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • For longer fiber Cuddle such as Rose Cuddle®, shag, frizzy and furs:  draw cutting line on back side of fabric, and with scissors, cut through the backing only.  Then pull apart and place in dryer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Keep a vacuum cleaner nearby and vacuum along cutting lines before moving cut fabric.  (Be sure to weight cut fabric so you don’t suck it up.)
  • Cuddle does not fray. For a great edge finish on double-sided Cuddle and bindings, use a rotary cutter with a pinking or wave blade.
  • When using pattern pieces, do not pin through layers.  Precut pattern pieces and hold in place with pattern weights or rulers. (Empty coffee cups and tuna or soup cans work great, too.)


  • For “sandwiching” and appliqué, spray adhesives work to hold batting, backing, and fabrics together.  Be sure to ventilate area when spraying.
  • Use freezer paper, paper side up, to protect projects from over-spray.


  • Be aware of straight of grain and stretch.
  • A walking foot is highly recommended.
  • Use SCHMETZ Stretch 90/14
  • Lengthen the stitch length to 3 – 3.5 mm
  • When making rugs, if stitch quality is off when sewing through multiple layers, use a SCHMETZ Universal 100/16 needle.
Cuddle Kits

Cuddle Kits

Shannon Fabrics provides Cuddle in a variety of friendly and fun pre-cut kits with free patterns and tip sheets.  Kits are available for throws, quilts, baby blankets, scarves, wraps and more. Here’s a link ( to a popular video of Jenny Doan of the Missouri Star Quilt Co, making a baby quilt from a Shannon Fabrics kit.

Mary Gay Leahy, a Shannon Sales Rep, has been a quilt teacher for years. She developed a talk for quilt shops called “Are You Afraid To Cuddle?” She tells her students they can’t sew Cuddle the same way they sew cotton.  She teaches that the straight of grain runs parallel to the selvage.  So, if you’re a long arm quilter — you want to be sure the selvage edges are perpendicular to the rail.  You will get a BEAUTIFUL result.  If placed the other way, Cuddle will stretch, and will not return to the original shape.

Mary Gay’s Cuddle tips:

  • Use a new needle for each new project.  She recommends SCHMETZ Stretch 90.
  • Engage your needle down feature — you want your needle in the fabric when you pause or turn.
  • Check your presser foot tension and loosen it by one or two clicks.
  • Use a lot of pins, (flat flower head pins will not get lost in the nap).
  • Sew slowly.
  • Clean the sewing machine after sewing on Cuddle. DO NOT BLOW or use canned air.  It will only blow the fine fibers inside your machine.  If you use a serger, be sure to brush the ‘Cuddle dust’ out after each project.
Debra Ross, Customer Service Manager and Pat Wodskow, Cuddle Specialist 2014 International Quilt Market, Pittsburgh

Debra Ross, Customer Service Manager and Pat Wodskow, Cuddle Specialist
2014 International Quilt Market, Pittsburgh

Shannon Fabrics works with many pattern companies and independent designers.  Mary Mulari (the most frequent guest on Sewing with Nancy) says,Cuddle isn’t just for babies!  When I wrote my book, All Occasion Fabric Wraps, I made wraps out of Cuddle.  When I developed the patterns for the wraps and shawls, I wanted the projects to be quick and easy, and Cuddle was the perfect choice.  Cuddle has a lovely drape, so it swings and swishes — it has a very luxurious finish, and it doesn’t cling.  It is the perfect travel fabric because it’s washable, soft, and it never wrinkles.”

Custom Creations has created a variety of adorable patterns for Cuddle and Cuddle kits. One of their most popular patterns and kits is their Ziggy Cuddle Kit Lamb.

Cuddle is available at local quilt shops and fabric stores.  Use the Store Locator to find a shop near you.  Shannon Fabrics lives by its motto, “Making the World a Softer Place.”