What is Fleece?
Fleece is a synthetic fabric created in 1979 by Malden Mills. The original creator of the material Aaron Feuerstein wanted fleece to be widely accepted so he refused to patent it. This type of material was originally designed to mimic and replace wool. It is one of the finest and smoothest material created. Fleece is used in sweaters, jackets, hats, gym clothes, hoodies, jogging pants, sweat pants and fleece throw blankets. Fleece apparel is also a great alternative to wool as it is completely vegan and is affordable. Garment fleece fibers are made between a 100-300 count, with 300 being the thickest. 300 fiber counts are typically for winter jackets and throw blankets. This type of material is excellent especially for winter coats as it serves as a thermal lining and is able to serve much like a wind breaker.
Types of Fleece
Polar fleece is one of the most popular as it is lightweight and insulating. It also comes in four varieties which are:
- Microfleece: Used in leggings, shirts, scarves and jacket linings.
- 100-weight fleece: Used in sweaters, sweatshirts and jacket linings.
- Spandex or Lycra fleece: Perfect for cold weather pajamas, socks, scarves, mittens, hats and pants.
- Medium-weight fleece: One of the most versatile as it is used in slippers, socks, vests, gloves, hats, pants, shirts, leggings, jackets, and heavy duty jacket linings.
Sherpa is the heaviest type of fleece apparel. It is very similar to wool in its thickness and is best for winter jackets. Sherpa fleece is one of the few types of fleece that is completely resistance to wind.
Berber fleece is a lightweight material used primarly in fleece jackets, fleece sweaters, sock, winter jackets or fleece blankets. It is known for its insulating properties and resists moisture. This particular type of fleece is created by knitting yarn and wire brushes into the fabric to give the material its full look. Berber fleece is most commonly used in socks due to its ability to resist moisture.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Fleece
Fleece is one of the most highly used material in apparel, as it offers flexibilty and is rather lightweight. While fleece is one of the most popular materials to make it does have its pros and cons. However, the pros vastly outweigh the cons.
Advantages of fleece clothing:
- The material is very soft.
- It is lightweight compared to other apparel material.
- Ability to retain insulation even when wet.
- Dries quickly.
- Machine washable.
- Insulating material.
- Fleece can be made from recycable materials.
- Easy to sew.
Disadvantages of fleece clothing:
- Generates and is prone to static elecrtricity.
- Attracts pet hair and lint.
- Cannot withstand tumble drying.
- Cannot be ironed.
- Most fleece is not windproof unless treated.
- Extremely flammable.
Washing and Caring for Fleece
- Wash no more than 2lbs of fleece at a time.
- Soak wool for 24 hours with laundry detergent.
- Gently squeeze out the water after it has soaked over night.
- Fill two buckets, one with hot water and one with warm.
- Soak the fleece in a the bucket with hot water and squeeze dry.
- Repeat step 5 with the warm water.
- Lay the fleece apparel out to dry in the sun.