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Moleskin is a heavy cotton fabric, woven and then sheared to create a short, soft pile on one side. 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.
The fabric, in a greyish olive-drab colour, was used for West German Army uniforms from the 1960s until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by a polyester-cotton blend twill printed with a camouflage pattern called Flecktarn. German moleskin was not sheared and thus had a flat, smooth outer side, differing from British moleskin. It was nonetheless a tough, densely woven material strongly resistant against wind and abrasion. Its chief weakness was its weight and lack of water resistance. Moleskin fabric is commonly used to make trousers that are similar to jeans in terms of appearance and lining and hence can be called moleskin jeans.
Moleskin 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.
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.