Since their skyrocket rise in the early 1990s, fleece apparel and products have been a must have year-round. The lightweight, soft alternative to wool is not only warmer, but it is also more comfortable and doesn’t hold in moisture. Over time fleece blankets and sweaters do not pill-bunch or form little thread balls, but rather stay just as fluffy and cozy as the day they were purchased. Fleece has been used for everything from astronaut’s undergarments to jackets for family dogs. Recently, this fabric has gained massive popularity for athletic garments because of its moisture wicking abilities that keep the body warm and dry.
Fleece can be made from plastic or even recycled plastic which makes this fabric a vegan and possibly eco-friendly alternative to wool. Not to mention the unique brushing technique through a “napping machine” that makes the fabric feel extra soft. A common drawback to fleece is the belief that it can harden over time after multiple washes. This hardening only occurs if it is not cleaned correctly; fleece should be washed at a lower temperature than most other clothing items. Also, fleece products should avoid dryers since they naturally dry quickly and the plastic fibers do not react well under hot irons.
Prefer Soft Things?
What is it about touching soft or “fluffy” items that makes people smile or feel comfort? Soft clothing is a sign of luxury since softer fabrics are generally more expensive and of higher quality. The phrase, “Oh it’s so soft!” is very common and plays a role into consumer buying habits. In fact, 46 percent of consumers will pay more for better quality material according to an article on The Robin Report.
A study done by Dan King and Chris Janiszewski found that there are also psychological reasons as to why humans prefer softer materials. According to their study published in The Journal of Consumer Research, “people are more attentive to tactile stimuli when they’re in a negative frame of mind, making them more likely to crave soft or pleasant textures than to pay attention to visual stimuli, such as color and pattern.” In other words, happy people enjoy or seek to look at things in life that are also happy and sad people crave a physical comfort such as soft materials.
Shivering at Work?
Fleece is so comfortable that many professionals are opting to make it part of their office wardrobe. Recently the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece regarding the “new corporate uniform” being that of a fleece vest over a button-down shirt. This outfit was made popular by men nationwide regardless of the season.
Vests aren’t the only fleece office trend as many have opted to having a “work blanket” especially during the warmer summer months. This trend is most popular among women and many researchers credit it to overcooling offices via air conditioners. According to a Popular Science article, the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) standards recommend that office building temperatures should remain between 73 and 79 degrees. However, researcher Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt found that the average office building is kept between 68 and 72 degrees which is far below this standard. It is no wonder that work blankets have become a must specifically among women who on average feel colder due to lower metabolic rates.
It’s Always Fleece Season!
No matter the weather fleece is a soft warm and comfortable necessity year round. Whether it is curled up on the couch or in an overcooled office, fleece blankets and jackets are there to wrap you up in a warm hug. Check out some of the fleece products we have to offer!