Also known as micro-fleece, polar fleece is a synthetic material made from recycled matter such as PET and various by-products of the chemical industry. Among the first types of polar fleece ever made we should mention the one invented by Malden Mills as early as the late 70s. He opened the door for the creation of a fabric that surpasses wool in so many ways: it is lighter, stronger and environment friendly.
Polar fleece is normally used for all kinds of sportswear: jackets, training suits, jobbing sweatpants, hoodies and so on. You may also find blankets, gloves and hats made of the new polar fleece, all coming with a thickness variation that you should consider when purchasing an apparel item. The thicker the polar fleece, the higher the insulation and wind breaking features.
The very name of polar fleece was first used by Malden Mills in 1979, when he started selling his lightweight polyester fabric; he did not know that the term would soon become a generic name rather than a brand. Though there are technologies similar to the fleece manufacturing process, differences do exist; polar fleece is made by the controlled twisting of the fibers into yarns, which machines knit into fabric afterwards.
By the end of the 90s there were around half a dozen of polar fleece producers only in the United States, with Dyersburg Corporation as a leading name in the business. The great thing about polar fleece is that it responds to the demands of a very changing and versatile market. Polar fleece is now worn both casually and for specific purposes, which only proves the high appreciation and the popularity the fabric has gained over the years.
With polar fleece, sewing projects are a piece of cake, since this is one of the easiest fabrics to work with. There are people who choose to buy several yards of polar fleece and design blankets, jackets, vests, ponchos and even slippers. The wide range of usage is explainable given the great features of the material, of which comfort comes first.
The polar fleece used to make coat linings, shirts and other apparel items should not be too tightly knit since they require warmth with reduced bulk. Micro-fleece is also ideal for children's clothing too; yet, if you want to make a blanket for instance, thicker fabric is necessary. For vests and jackets, polar fleece comes in the waterproof and windproof varieties.