In the outdoor industry, fleece refers to be any synthetic fabric designed to insulate. Today, most fleeces are made up of polyesters and recycled polyesters, but some fleece is comprised of super-soft acrylic, which performs as well. Our manufacturers only use top-notch, first-class fleece, which is typically still made in the United States, and sewn together to last for years.
Originally developed by Malden Mills of Massachusetts for Patagonia in the 1980’s, fleece was intended to offer a soft, lightweight, non-itchy alternative to wool, especially in wet environments. Fleece insulates, but dries very quickly and can be manufactured in very bright or even pastel coloration.
Weatherford’s was the first store in the Pensacola area to carry fleece made from polyesters, and was instrumental in the quick development of acrylic fleece by a local industry.
Fleece comes in many different thickness, weights, and densities and some even have a wind-block laminate to really insulate and prevent wind penetration. The heavier, winter-weight technical underwear can be made of fleece.
Typically, fleece comes in weights of 50, 75, 100, 200, and 300 with the higher number designating greater thickness and warmth. However, with the newest fabrications and their composition, the warmth factor needs to be qualified with usage, and thickness does not always translate into warmth, unless a shell is put on top.
Our list of manufacturers is not limited to, but does include:
The North Face