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About Polartec® / FAQ

Who is Polartec®, LLC?

We are the creators of Polartec® fabrics—the most advanced performance textiles available today. Polartec® started as the original synthetic fleece and now offers a collection of over 300 different fabrics designed to keep you warm, dry and, most important, comfortable in a variety of outdoor activities. Polartec® fabrics range from extremely lightweight base layer fabrics for long underwear and T-shirts to water repellent soft shells to flame resistant fabrics for the military. Think of Polartec® fabrics as the protection nature didn't give you. They can keep you warm when it's cold, keep you dry when you sweat, even repel wind, rain, and snow to protect you from the elements.

What are Polartec® fabrics?

Polartec®, LLC manufactures over 300 different fabrics under the brand Polartec®. Think of the brand as an umbrella for many categories of technical fabrics, such as Polartec® Power Dry®, Polartec® Power Stretch®, Polartec® Classic 100, 200 & 300, Polartec® Thermal Pro®, Polartec® Wind Pro®, Polartec® Windbloc®, and Polartec® Power Shield®. Each category represents a collection of fabrics of many different weights and textures, for many different activities and weather conditions, as detailed in this website.

Can I purchase fabric by the yard, or cut yardage?

For home sewers and smaller commercial orders, a selection of Polartec® fabrics are available by the yard, and cut yardage, from our small order fulfillment house, Mill Direct. Sample swatches can be ordered or viewed online including prints for children, fashion prints, and a variety of weights and textures of Polartec® fabrics. For more information visit http://www.milldirecttextiles.com.

What fabrics are available using recycled or renewable content?

Polartec®, LLC sources yarn from many companies around the globe. Wherever possible, our company is committed to using renewable and recycled fibers provided by these vendors. The quality and variety of recycled-content yarns has improved dramatically in the past couple years enabling Polartec®, LLC to offer over 20 recycled and renewable fabric styles today including recycled polyester, wool, and even corn-based PLA fleece.

Patagonia, L.L.Bean, REI and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) are some of our largest customers purchasing recycled fabrics. Patagonia offers a collection of Synchilla jackets and vests made of recycled content Polartec® fabrics and they also offer the Capilene 4-base layer collection made of 50% recycled content. Patagonia, through their Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, will now accept any garment ever made of Polartec® fabrics to be recycled back into yarn and then new garments. This is the first closed-loop garment recycling program and all Polartec® fabrics qualify. L.L.Bean, REI and MEC are all converting major fleece programs to recycled content in the Fall of 2007.

Does Polartec use C8/DWR chemicals?

Polartec supplies fabric to customers all around the world. We weigh many factors when developing their materials, and balance appropriate chemical use with end use and durability expectations.  Polartec is working towards cutting C8 and PFOA from its product line in Lawrence and Shanghai, and we currently offer a non-PFOA DWR to our customers.

Where can I purchase official military garments made of Polartec® fabric?

Polartec®, LLC works very closely with all branches of the United States Military to develop custom fabric solutions for the unique demands of the armed forces. We are very proud to have played a significant role in the development of the latest Gen III Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) for the U.S. Army. This collection is only available through ADS Tactical at www.adstactical.com. Similar consumer layering systems can also be found at www.cabelas.com.

What is the difference between Polartec® Classic and Polartec® Thermal Pro®?

Polartec® Classic fabrics are the original polyester fleece. While we have refined our manufacturing processes over the years to ensure Polartec® Classic styles are the most durable, highest quality fleece on the market, we realized we needed a new category of fabric, Polartec® Thermal Pro®, to represent dramatic breakthroughs in fabric technology. Polartec® Thermal Pro® is state-of-the-art Polartec®. These insulation fabrics include new lightweight yet warm high-loft designs or new aesthetic finishes like sweater knits or even corduroy styles. We have specific thermal data on each Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric but without knowing which Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric you are considering, it is impossible to rate it against Polartec® Classic 200 or Polartec® Classic 300. Each Polartec® Thermal Pro® fabric is developed to meet the expected functions needed for a specific use.

How do I care for my Polartec® clothing?

The care instructions for the majority of our fabrics are: machine wash warm, tumble dry low, do not use bleach, avoid use of fabric softener, do not iron, and do not dry clean. Since we do not create and manufacture the clothing, we do not know what type of trim or other materials our customers are using which may affect care instructions. Always follow the care label instructions on the garment.

Can I use fabric softeners on Polartec® fabrics to reduce static?

The addition of fabric softeners affects the function of the water repellent applied to some Polartec® fabrics but often diminishes the static problem. There are various brands of softeners with different chemistries and some will help static at the expense of water repellency, and others will have no effect on either. No softener will damage the basic fabric and will come off in the next wash. We do not recommend using fabric softeners on Polartec® Power Dry® or Polartec® Power Stretch® because it may inhibit wicking and drying properties.

What is the Polartec® Challenge Program and how can I request sponsorship?

The Polartec® Challenge Program is designed to sponsor expeditions, not people. Polartec® only sponsors a certain amount of expeditions per year. At this time, the 2008 grants have been awarded. The Polartec® Challenge website is www.polartec.com. We accept applications from January 1 through December 15, 2009, for the 2009 Polartec® Challenge Program. If you are interested in this program, we encourage you to read about it and if your expedition falls within the guidelines of our sponsorship program, we encourage you to apply for future grants.

How do I purchase Polartec® fabrics?

For small businesses and the home sewer, you can see the availability by yard and full roll by going to our site at http://www.milldirecttextiles.com. If you need to rely on a consistent assortment of colors, you will want to stick with our "All-Time Favorite" assortment of fabrics. A swatch pack is available on the cut yardage side of the site or by calling our order line toll-free number at 1-877-289-7652.

Did you know that Polartec®, LLC has account managers located worldwide and they manage their accounts by business address? Our minimum requirements for a production run are 500–600 yards. If your needs exceed this amount, we would be most happy to have an account manager contact you. Just go to "Contact Us" at this website.


 

For questions not answered above, we can reached at 1-800-252-6688 during business hours.