Throughout the ages, humans have developed many different kinds of clothing to keep heated. The use of woolens – usually shorn from sheep – goes back to some of the earliest cultures. The natural fiber did however have weaknesses. Wool does not really keep you heated when it is wet. Actually, woolens tends to process the water and can take a while to dry. Also it can turn out to be big and heavy as you need to put on several layers in order to provide necessary insulating in freezing cold weather.
Before the 1980’s, wrapping up and preparing for cold meant wearing layers of heavy fabric that restricted movement and performed poorly when wet. But almost 30 years ago a company called Malden Mills invented Polar Fleece, which forever changed the way the world dresses for winters and has certainly caught on. All age groups and generations use fleeces and enjoy the warm cozy feel of the fabric. From grandparents enduring the outdoors to kids fleeces becoming uniform, Fleece jackets have now become a practical and fashion item of clothing. Even other uses have been found for fleece fabric such as underclothing for astronauts, lining for outfits and even ear warmers for winter born calves.
The development of fleece is also an important and ingenious modern solution as we need to be more environment friendly. The fleece is based on reprocessed PET polyester, a type of plastic that is used to make packaging materials for some of our most common products such as containers and bottles. In the UK alone, we throw away approximately 13 billion plastic containers per year and the plastic can take up to 400 years to decompose in dumpsites. In an aim to become more eco-friendly, even transport giant Stagecoach has adopted fleece jackets for its operators across the UK. The new eco-friendly outfits created from plastic bottles will be given to all motorists across the UK and as a consequence some 350,000 plastic bottles will be saved from dumpsites.
Modern day fleece is made of 100% polyester, much of which is from plastic recycled materials like bottles and cans. Unlike wool fleece, polyester fleece doesn’t process water, break down in appearance, or absorbs smells. Actually, fleece protects when wet and provides twice the insulating material properties fleece and four times that of cotton. Also, present day fleece is soft to the touch, extremely light-weight, and dries quickly. fleece is very durable and can last for decades. Hence why kids fleeces have become ideal for uniform and leisure use.
As there are well over 100 kinds of fleece the customer needs to pay special attention that they really are getting the top quality end. Unattractive piling or ‘bobbles’ can be avoided by not purchasing fleece jackets of low quality but make sure you invest in a top quality material. Outdoor clothing stores can offer advice on which brands and kinds of children and adults fleeces and which overcoats are best to protect from cold, wet and windy.