Fleece Definition presented by Apparel Search
Fabric Definitions  Textile Industry  Fleece Fabric Mills

What is fleece and is it different than polar fleece?

The most common type of fleece on the market, polar fleece, is made from polyester and other synthetic fabrics.

Polar fleece originated in Massachusetts in 1979.  A large fabric mill named Malden Mills, (which later became Polartec LLC), and Patagonia developed Synchilla (synthetic chinchilla). It was a new, light, strong pile fabric meant to become a manmade fiber alternative to wool.

Polar fleece is a soft napped insulating fabric made from polyester.

A lightweight, warm and soft fabric, fleece has some of wool's good qualities but weighs a fraction of the lightest available woolens. Polar fleece garments traditionally come in different thicknesses: micro, 100, 200, and 300, with 300 being the thickest and least flexible.

Polar fleece is used in jackets, fleece hats, sweaters, sweatpants, gym clothes, hoodies, blankets, high-performance outdoor clothing, and more. It can be made partially from recycled plastic bottles and is very light, soft, and easy to wash.  Polar fleece can stretch more easily in one direction than in others.

Polar fleece is renowned for it's ability to insulate even after getting wet. Polar fleece is a quick-drying material that is typically used for insulating outdoor clothing.

Non-recycled fleece is made from non-renewable petroleum derivatives.

What is a micro fleece? Microfiber (or microfiber) is synthetic fiber finer than one denier or decitex/thread, having a diameter of less than ten micrometres. This is smaller than the diameter of a strand of silk (which is approximately one denier), which is itself about 1/5 the diameter of a human hair.  Micro fleece is even softer than polar fleece.

Coral fleece has a higher pile than polar fleece.  It is thicker.  You can think of it as "furrier" than polar fleece.  Coral fleece can shed at the edges due to its furry texture.  It also tends to have more stretch than polar fleece fabric.

Learn about women's fleece clothing in our women's clothing guide section.

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