Winter is here again and in full swing! Now is a great time to make smart choices on the best way to stay warm. Fleece is a special fabric for a number of reasons, and it is one of the best for keeping warm both indoors and outdoors. Enjoy these fun facts about this fabulous fabric:
1. Fleece fabric is named after the woolen coat of a sheep, as it was manufactured to imitate the best qualities of wool. And it is not itchy, unlike a lot of wool products. Fleece is also generally more inexpensive than wool, so the same warmth can be attained at a reasonable price!
2. It is a very durable fabric because it is made up of Polyethylene terephthalate, more commonly known as PET. This is the plastic commonly used in standard soda and detergent bottles. Believe it or not, the same polymer that makes up soda bottles is what makes this soft fleece material. These synthetic fibers are composed of this same strong plastic, so you can be sure it is a very durable material. It is unlikely to fray, pill, or unravel as other fabrics tend to do.
3. Fleece is made with a special technique to make it extra soft. The fabric is run through a napping machine that rubs bristles over the surface to give them a fuzzy feeling. This quality makes it perfect for mid-weight pullovers and as the inside fabric of standard sweatshirts.
4. It is extremely warm because it is such a strong fabric that dries quickly. It was originally manufactured with outdoor applications in mind, but its superior warmth has increased its popularity for indoor use as well as the base fabric for a variety of blankets and lounge pants.
5. Fleece is very lightweight, which also makes it a great alternative to wool products. Fleece is found in a variety of thicknesses, but each weighs a fraction of its woolen equivalent in warmth. Its light weight makes it a great choice for outdoor adventures like hiking and camping. This is enhanced by its extra warmth and the fact that it generally does not take up much space in a backpack for the conditions when it is not needed.
6. Fleece is a great material for vests. Fleece vests are perfect for a lot of outdoor activities in chilly weather. The chest is one of the most important places to protect for the ultimate warmth, and vests have that ability. Fleece vests free up the arms for mobility while really protecting the chest and holding onto the very important body heat. You may wonder how people keep warm in just a long sleeve t-shirt or long sleeve thermal with a vest, and it is because a well-insulated torso retains an unbelievable amount of body heat.
7. Fleece does not hold water, so it continues to be very breathable when wet. These hydrophobic qualities are often looked for in outdoor wear for use in winter and the colder parts of the fall and spring when precipitation and a chill are likely. This is one of the reasons fleece is a popular fabric for stadium blankets and exercise gear. Wet and heavy garments are just about the last thing anyone would want to wear while exercising.
8. It is an animal-product free version of wool, so it is vegan approved. As vegans refuse the usage of any animal byproducts, the fact that fleece is composed of entirely man-made materials makes it a perfect alternative for the warmth and comfort of wool.
9. Fleece is also very environmentally-friendly. Since it is made of man-made fibers, it can be created by using recycled plastic bottles and similar PET plastics. Fleece can even be re-created using recycled fleece! PET is one of the most practical plastics to recycle, and there is an abundance of it in post-consumer waste in the form of household product bottles. Because of its availability and ease of recycling, it is commonly found in a variety of polyester fabrics. For every meter of fleece that is manufactured, about eight soda bottles are kept out of a landfill. Each fleece product makes a positive impact on the environment.
10. Fleece should be washed at a lower temperature than other garments. One drawback people mention about fleece is its tendency to feel rough, but that roughing over time can be avoided by taking proper precautions in washing and drying fleece products. The low temperatures of water in the washing machine protect the integrity of the material. Fleece garments should be air-dried. Running fleece through the dryer is not good for the material, but it dries very quickly anyway because of its hydrophobic qualities. Ironing is also not recommended for fleece garments, as it can damage the material. However, the thickness of fleece keeps it from crinkling and requiring an iron to flatten.
Now you know all about the greatest attributes of fleece!