The Differences Between Fleece and Microfleece Fabric
Check the label of your favorite outerwear clothing. What is it made of? If you’re searching for new clothing but don’t know where to start, begin by learning the differences between fleece and microfleece fabric.
Why Was Fleece Created?
The original purpose of fleece was that people wanted an environmentally friendly solution to mimic the feeling of wool. Rather than sheer sheep and potentially harm them for their woolskin, people opted for a synthetic fiber to mimic the warmth and strength of the material.
The natural wool properties include moisture repellence, ample warmth, and a luxuriously soft texture. As a result, fleece fabric was born!
What Are Fleece and Microfleece Made Of?
The foundational composition of fleece and microfleece are roughly the same. They are both formed on the foundation of polyester fibers derived from petroleum.
The synthetically made polyester fabric is then brushed. If manufacturers didn’t brush the material, it would remain a polyester fabric—however, the soft-napped material results in the creation of fleece.
The goal of fleece and microfleece is to provide warmth and water resistance. Whenever the fabrics encounter water or sweat, they won’t retain moisture like cotton. Instead, the water will rapidly evaporate from the surface. The incredibly tiny fibers remove the water, making your skin feel comfortable and airy.
The breathable synthetic material is also very warm. Other materials that cannot expel moisture struggle to regulate a warm core temperature. The properties of fleece and microfleece safeguard the skin from various brisk weather conditions, from chilly to frigid.
Microfleece Is a Double-Sided Material
One of the key differences between the two materials is that microfleece is a double-sided material. Instead of supplying copious warmth, microfleece enhances the body’s insulating properties.
The purpose of base layers is to repel moisture, make the body feel comfortable, and regulate the body temperature. Because microfleece is much lighter than its fleece counterpart, it’s a perfect material to wear as a base layer when you need minimal insulation.
Perhaps you’re dressing up for an outdoor event in the winter or become easily chilled from the air conditioning while working in the office. Microfleece is the starting point. The lightweight base layers for women have two barriers to enhance insulation without weighing you down. There’s no need for incredibly heavy outer layers when you have powerful, double-sided microfleece on your side.
The Levels of Warmth for Fleece Fabric
When you need a fleece garment, there isn’t just one type to choose from. Fortunately, fleece is available in a few warmth levels, so you can choose the perfect layer to stay warm.
The material gets measured in grams per square meter or GSM. The heavier the fleece, the warmer it will be!
Lightweight fleece weighs 200 GSM or less. It’s a slim material that offers minimal warmth. Nevertheless, it provides substantial moisture resistance.
The next step up is midweight fleece; the material ranges from 200 to 300 GSM to supply warmth without feeling overbearing. The material is excellent for anyone who is searching for an in-between fabric. Wear midweight fleece for outdoor activities, like skiing and snowboarding, or playing soccer and baseball in the winter. People of all ages can benefit from the exceptional properties of midweight fleece.
The highest level of fleece warmth you can buy on the market is heavyweight. It weighs 300 GSM and above. Manufacturers use this material in thick coats, jackets, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. Heavyweight fleece is ideal as the outer layer to complete the outfit when braving the cold. It might feel bulky at times, but it will guarantee your warmth for the duration of the outdoor adventure.
The Weight of Microfleece
After reading about the different warmth levels of fleece, where does microfleece lie on the list?
Microfleece rests at the bottom. It’s the thinnest type of fleece that maximizes breathability and warmth despite not offering the strongest warmth.
You might see this referred to as lightweight fleece on occasion. The terms are roughly interchangeable; clothing gets considered microfleece if it’s under 200 GSM. However, the material is more likely closer to 100 GSM.
It’s essential to remember that microfleece is a double-sided material. If microfleece is the fabric you’re searching for, always pay attention to clothing tags or descriptions online to find the ideal microfleece clothing.
Blending Fleece With Other Materials
Fleece can blend with other materials to enhance warmth, texture, and moisture repellence. These various additions make fleece quite different from microfleece. Microfleece doesn’t include other materials outside the polyester-based fibers used to create the fabric.
Here are some fabric combinations you might find on the clothing you buy.
When you buy a cozy pair of sweatpants or a sweatshirt, it’s most likely made from cotton fleece. The blended fibers leave a soft nap on the inside and a sleek finish on the outside. Although cotton is more likely to lose heat and doesn’t wick moisture, the breathable properties make them an incredible combination!
When you hear spandex, you may think of very stretchy and comfortable clothing. Pair that with the soft texture and warmth of fleece, and you have the perfect outdoor gear that will keep up! The fabric will retain its shape while supporting your body through various outdoor endeavors.
Rayon is a semi-synthetic fiber that’s weak on its own, but strong when blended with fleece fabric. The breathable and stretchy material is typically a cheaper alternative when manufacturing clothes. Nonetheless, when combined, rayon fleece is a great clothing fabric.
Rayon risks shrinking when exposed to too much water. The water resistance of fleece strengthens this component. The power of breathability is what makes these two fabrics a great match!
Hemp fleece is one of the softest fabric blends you can find. The hemp fibers come from the cannabis sativa plant and blend with fleece to form a highly breathable, water-resistant material. This material is a lightweight form of fleece that’s great for making shirts, sweatshirts, and socks.
Before buying your next base layer from Hot Chillys, consider this list of the differences between fleece and microfleece. It may help you choose the clothing item for an important upcoming adventure.