When you notice the term Sherpa fabric, the first thing that comes to your mind is Tibetan ethnic groups. The Nepalian Sherpa who guides us to climb mountains in the Himalayas and Mount Everest is well known to us. In terms of sherpa fabric, the name is obtained from its resemblance to the wool-lined clothing worn by the Nepali Sherpa. But nowadays it's differently popular all over the apparel industry. So, let’s start a journey with sherpa fabric.

 What is sherpa fabric?

Sherpa fabric has resembled the wool-lined clothing worn by the tribe sherpa. The word sherpa (sherwa) comes from the Nepalian Sherpa language words ‘Shyar’ and ‘Pa’.  These words basically indicate the geographical origin of Eastern Tibet of sherp. But, it's totally different from what the Sherpa people wear.

Nepali Sherpa

Sherpa fabric is popularly known as lamb fabric, faux-sheepskin, faux sherpa, and faux-shearling. It is a super soft warmer fabric as well as lightweight. Sherpa makes any product a cozier feel, making it perfect to use during the winter season. It’s wonderfully performed in freezing temperatures. Super soft and fluffy sherpa fabric is popularly used to line clothing, winter wear, and even functional clothing.

Types of Sherpa Fabric

On the basis of structure, sherpa fabric could be classified into 4 types. They are as

  1. Hard Sherpa: Used as hard shell in Winter Jacket
  2. Soft Sherpa: Lining, Denim Jacket Hoodie
  3. One Side Sherpa: Loop or brush on one side
  4. Both Side Sherpa: Loop or brush on both side

What is sherpa fabric made of?

Sherpa fabric refers to a synthetic fiber made of knit fabric from pure polyester (100%). It could be made of cotton, bamboo, polyester, acrylic, or a blend of polyester and other synthetic fiber.

Close view of Sherpa Fabric

Sherpa fabric has long and wide piles. It contains two sides. The facing side has long piles as well as the stitched woolly side with a soft and bumpy texture. The other side has a Jacquard smooth-knit shell. The combination of the two provides a sherpa soft fluffy feel, warm and durable.

The quality of sherpa fabric is very similar to fleece and wool fabric though it is warmer than wool. But sherpa doesn't need to be hurt in the production process, which is the specialty of its name derived. It’s the more animal-friendly alternative, and much cheaper than genuine wool or fur although it gives a feeling just as snuggly as the original one.

Sherpa vs fleece

Sherpa vs Fleece

Sherpa is a kind part of the fleece family. It has some unique properties to help stand out from the rest of the sibling's sherpa. Consequently, we can’t say a special style of fleece fabric. Here have some differences between sherpa and fleece




    i.  Origin

Derived from polyester fibers.

Natural one derived from sheep’s four or wool and man-made from polyester & cotton, lycra, and other fibers.

  ii. Fiber Nature

Man-Made synthetic fiber

Man-made but Could be natural also

iii. Existence

Approximately 40 years in the clothing market 40 years.

Since about 1974

iv. Construction from other fibers


could be made of cotton, polyester, acrylic, or a blend of polyester and other synthetic fiber.

Could be made from lending other fibers like cotton, hemp, polyester, rayon, and wool.

  v. Texture

Soft and can be rough

Soft can be rough, waterproof, and stretchable.

vi. Insulating

very warm material

Not as warm as a sherpa. Except maybe polar fleece

vii. Look

Fluffy and heavier than fleece

Usually smooth and thin.

  viii. Cost

Relatively inexpensive

Not that expensive.

  ix. Cleaning

Coldwater wash, no need for a dryer.


  x. Eco friendly

Perfect eco-friendly alternative to fleece

The natural one is eco-friendly but it hurts animals

  xi. Application

More for lining than anything else, especially for winter clothing and functional clothing.

Used in a variety of products.

 Characteristics of Sherpa

  1. Sherpa loft makes sherpa-lined provide incredibly warm warmth and comfort.
  2. Soft texture touches smooth, stylish, and full of elasticity.
  3. No shedding, High colour fastness, No fading.
  4. Mimics the look of wool, but doesn't use animal fur.
  5. A better alternative to animal fiber.
  6. Provide excellent insulation.
  7. Lightweight and less bulky.
  8. Good drape, comfortable, and highly breathable.
  9. It Wicks moisture and dries quickly.
  10. Easy to maintain.
  11. Convenient for washing both by hand and machine washed.

If you want warmer clothing without harming an animal, sherpa is the best choice for you. It will provide your required warmth without unnecessary animal cruelty. Sherpa fabric never is compromised with quality either as it is soft, tough, durable, and long-lasting.

Application of Sherpa Fabric

  • To manufacture winter outerwear items such as jackets, coats, and vests
  • Used to produce jackets for the military personnel
  • Used in producing military blankets for soldiers who fight in the snow areas to keep them warm.
  • Used in tents to manufacture walls warm and cozy.
  • Use for winter civilians protection from cold weathers such as snow or freezing winters
  • Used in making gloves, hats, shoes, and socks, etc which protect the feet of people from the harsh weather conditions.
  • Produce socks which are mostly worn by sportsmen who play in cold climates.
  • Used in Lining to feel warm
  • Used under helmets to provide more warmth during colder weather sports or just daily activities.
  • Inside of Hoodie
  • Used in Shell of the apparel
  • To produce Towels.

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Mohammad Mahedi Hasan

Senior Author

Mahedi Hasan, a Textile Engineer, as well as a Top Rated content writer at Upwork, Level 02 Seller at Fiverr, Level 02 Publisher at Ezoic. A passionate textile ad fashion content writer, fashion SEO expert, and fashion web designer. Having a B.Sc. in Textile Engineering from Textile Engineering College, Noakhali (TECN). Department is Apparel Engineering. Highly Experienced fashion writer for the last 3+ yrs. Established Textile Details Website website to enhance professional Fashion Blogging skills.