Today’s fleece apparel isn’t like it was decades go. When you think of fleece, probably thick, heavy, fuzzy Sherpa comes to mind. That type of fleece is still popular and available, but so is a large variety of other fleece fabrics. Fleece isn’t a standard or natural fabric, but instead is a man-made fabric typically made from 100% polyester. Fleece can be microfiber, shearling or even a water-repellent and windproof softshell fabric. So if you’re looking at fleece clothing, make sure you read the product descriptions so that you understand exactly what you’re purchasing.
Why is fleece such a popular fabric? The polyester yarns that are used to make fleece are soft, durable, repel moisture and are fast drying. The fabric retains warmth without the weight, yet still allows for optimal breathability. The most popular fleece fabric is manufactured by a brand called Polartec. Polartec, introduced in 1981, was the first synthetic fleece product made and is available in micro, 100, 200 and 300 weights. The larger the number, the heavier the fleece. Polartec fleece can be found in many of our top brands including certain Burton hoodies and Patagonia fleece products.