Fleece FactsFor outdoor activities, fleece is the favorite!
Fleece does not retain water and is twice as warm as wool! Fleece will protect to 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit! And if you love the outdoors, you'll be happy to know that fleece is made from 85% recycled materials (soda pop bottles, plastic bags, etc).
Today's fleece fabric is a high-tech material that is uniquely soft to the touch. In comparison to its weight, fleece offers tremendous warmth, making it a top choice in the field of fabrics. Fleece fabric is strong, hard to puncture or tear and doesn't pill. It also doesn't ravel, so there is no need to finish the raw edges of seam allowances or hem allowances when sewing with fleece fabric. Moreover, fleece wicks moisture away from the body so that it feels dry, even when soaking wet. Having reached the top of the fashion charts, fleece fabric is now available in high fashion colors, textures and a multitude of designs
Fleece is made by first twisting fibers into yarn. The fibers are made predominantly from polyester, although they can be blended with other materials such as spandex, cotton, wool, and rayon. The yarn adds weight, and fleece offers more wind resistance per weight. The yarn is then knitted into fabric. The fabric is brushed with wire brushes to compact the fabric and to build air pockets for insulation. Finally the fleece is sheared and then finished.
Fleece fabric's wicking properties make it a winner. Wicking, also known as moisture management, is comparable to human 'capillary action'. That is, fleece fabric is constructed in such a way that allows moisture to travel along the fibers, or yarns, away from the body. This feature is especially important for the lighter weight fleeces because they are worn next to the body.
Since fleece is made from polyester that is naturally hydrophobic, the fibers retain little water. And with scientific advances in the technology of micro-fibers (fine denier yarns), fleece products now repel water by construction. Furthermore, a semi-permanent substance called Durable Water Repellent or DWR has been developed that is applied to the surface of some mid-weight and heavy weight fleece fabrics to further repel moisture.
Another 'claim to fame' of fleece is its low pilling characteristic. Pilling refers to the formation of little balls of fiber on the surface of a fabric that result from contact, abrasion, and wear. As fabric rubs against fabric, fiber is pulled away from the yarn and rises to the surface of the fabric. This process occurs in all fabrics and cannot be avoided. Pills are not as noticeable on natural fabrics because the fibers are not as strong as synthetic fibers. Thus, when pills rise to the surface on natural fabrics, they break and fall off.
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| April 28, 2009
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