Fleece Types For Every Occasion
Fleece comes in a few categories. The different types vary according to thickness. Their thickness, however, doesn't necessarily determine the warmth of the product, but the look and feel of the product. Are you looking for something big and fluffy or sleek and soft? Do you want to replicate your grandmother's heirloom woolen blanket (minus the scratchy surface of course)? Or do you need a good pair of gloves that won't render your hands useless? Let's look at the different types of fleece on the market today.
There are three main categories to fleece: High grade, medium or standard, and super thin or micro fiber. Then there are several styles within these three. Let's take a look.
High grade: Blizzard (aka flurry) fleece is often heavier than polar fleece. Polar fleece is thicker and fluffier like a polar bear! These types are good for linings (jackets), heavier blankets and sweaters.
Standard or Medium: This is a cross between polar and micro fleece. It is used in clothing production, and is also referred to as performance fleece (like the Old Navy brand line).
Micro fiber: This is a more solid material. It gives the items a fitted feeling and a slim and trim design. This fleece is usually used when making accessories like gloves.
*Faux-sherpa attempts to imitate the fluffy wooly look and feel of sherpa fur. It can be used as decoration or lining or for eccentric and bold apparel items.
*Anti-pill: You know those annoying little balls of worn material that pop up occasionally on perfectly good clothing items? These pills can ruin an otherwise great apparel item. Most items nowadays are made from anti-pill fleece (see our article on caring for fleece). This fleece is woven in such a manner to prevent the fibers from twisting and pulling together (which is what creates the pills in the first place.
Berber fleece doesn't hold in the warmth like most fleeces, but they come in a variety of colors and patterns. This type of fleece is often used for linings or apparel items like vests.
Various weights from 100-2000: The 100 weight is a thin fleece, worn as hats, socks, and liners. 300 weight is a heavy duty fleece used as thermal under layers in extreme weather or
Windbloc: This style of fleece has been treated to withstand the harshest winds and the highest performance sports and activities. It is a double-face fleece, water-resistant, and still soft as ever.
Power stretch: When fleece and lycra meet, the rest is history. Power stretch is perfect for active days, when easy movement and comfort are at the top of your list.
Usage, the degree of protection necessary and style are the main variables that will determine which fleece is right for you. For example, if you'll be working outdoors a lot this winter, you'll want a thick fleece jacket that will offer more insulation and better protection against the elements. On the other hand (no pun intended) if you need flexibility, gloves should be made from the finer (but still heat-insulating) micro fleeces. For couch throws, a lightweight blanket fleece works great. Scarves and other apparel items will vary based on your style and personality.
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| December 11, 2013
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