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You know that adult onesies are warm and cosy, just right for those long winter evenings, especially if you choose one of our polar fleece styles like Bumble funzee. Here are some considerations for using fleece for your Adult Onesie.
But what is fleece?
If you look in a dictionary you will see that traditionally fleece refers to the woolly covering of a sheep or goat. You may recall that Jason went to buy a golden fleece at Argos. Nowadays the term fleece is used as a generic term to describe soft fabrics. But fleece as we know it is a surprisingly recent invention.
Around 1980 a US company called Malden Mills (which started making woollen bathing suits around 1906) invented Polar fleece. This was a new, light, and strong pile fabric meant to copy and improve upon the properties of wool. Wool’s got some problems that modern science sought to improve. First, it sucks up water. And when it does, it smells – like a wet sheep unsurprisingly. It’s also a pretty heavy material to begin with, so getting water logged turns an already sizable sweater into something that feels like you have bricks in the pockets. And then right next to the skin there is the itch factor (which is why the idea of woollen bathing costumes seems unfortunate).
Plastics solved many problems in the 20th century. Why not the wool dilemma? Malden started by spinning plastic into a yarn. Weaving the yarn into fabric with tiny loops on one side created a thin fabric—but when brushed, the yarn broke down into individual fibres and the loops puffed up, improving the fabric’s texture, thickness and insulation without increasing the weight. So a new cheap, versatile fabric was born.
Owner of Malden Mills, Aaron Feuerstein, was something of a philanthropist and did not patent Polar fleece. This has allowed the material to be produced cheaply and by many vendors, leading to quick and wide acceptance. During the 1980s, all fleece fabric was generally the same except for the “weight” or thickness of the fleece weave. The operating rule was: the heavier the weight of the fleece, the more insulation it provided. A weight of two hundred fleece, for instance, is much more insulating than a fleece of one hundred weight (fabric is usually measured by gsm – grams per square metre). Polarfleece is still widely used as a generic term for all outdoor polyester fleeces. The fabric was revolutionary and changed the way we dress for cold weather. It wicked moisture away from the body, it was warm and dried quickly. But its long-term disadvantage was an unattractive pilling on the surface – the fabric clusters into little balls, after only a few uses. Patagonia, a clothes manufacturer in California was an important company to push the usage of this new fabric. Patagonia was developing sportswear for demanding outdoor types. The company field-tested garments made from new fabrics under the most extreme conditions before endorsing a fabric for its customers. At Patagonia’s request, Malden developed Synchilla, a double-face fabric that had a non-pill texture. The development of Synchilla set record sales during the 1980’s, when the company’s sales almost doubled from one year to the next over a period of two to three years. Patagonia retained an exclusive on the product until 1987; since then Malden Mills has marketed the fleece fabric under the name Polartec. This improved version of Polarfleece, has a greater flexibility for range of motion, different weights for a variety of uses, and in general has a much nicer feel. Most importantly, it also has a pile surface that did not pill.
Modern day fleece is made from 100% polyester, much of which is made from recycled plastic items such as fizzy drinks bottles. Polyester doesn’t absorb water, break down in appearance, or absorb odours. Thus, fleece insulates when wet and provides twice the insulation properties of wool and four times that of cotton. It is soft to the touch, extremely light-weight, and dries quickly. Since it is light- weight, fleece ensures that one perspires less and remains cooler and dryer during periods of inactivity, while retaining the body’s heat exceptionally well during periods of greater activity. Like the soda bottles it comes from, fleece is also very durable and can last for years. For sleepwear in normal climates fleece can be too warm. But in outdoor conditions it excels.
Today there is an array of technical fleece fabrics available in many different styles ranging from summer-weight, extra dry and extra stretch, to wind and water resistant fleece fabrics. These innovations make fleece the ideal “all weather” fabric. There is a variety of fleece products available to suit every occasion. Fleece is no longer reserved for climbers and athletes. Indeed, it has found a home in all sorts of clothing; Micro fleece is thinner but denser in quality than normal Anti pil fleece, by comparison it is more effective at wicking away moisture from the skin and is often used in cloth nappies, mattress covers and baby blankets. Coral Fleece has a dense almost spongy quality, and is very tactile. It has a deep pile on one side. This fabric is used in bathrobes and blankets with other uses in pet products and fashion. In fact, in 1999 Time Magazine named Polartec fleece “One of the hundred great things of the 20th century.”
Funzee offer several styles of onesie in polar fleece but we also offer 100% cotton too so before using Fleece for your Adult Onesie, compare the advantages of both fabrics when choosing from our onesie range.