News-Releases Index | Polartec, LLC
POLARTEC INTRODUCES FIRST FABRIC TECHNOLOGY ENGINEERED TO REDUCE FIBER SHEDDING: POLARTEC® POWER AIR (11/28/18)
Polartec, the premium provider of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, announces Polartec®
Power Air™, the first fabric technology engineered to reduce fiber shedding. By encapsulating lofted
fibers within a multilayer, continuous yarn fabric construction, this revolutionary new platform offers
advanced thermal efficiency that is proven to shed five times less than other premium ‘mid-layer’
Insulation that effectively regulates core body temperature has traditionally been achieved via lofted or
high-pile knit structures that hold warm air. Although Polartec is a leader in making resilient materials,
it has recognized that any exposed fiber is susceptible to shedding as a function of normal wear. The
Polartec Power Air construction process mitigates this by encasing the insulating lofted fibers within
the knitting process.
While creating a more environmentally sound construction was the initial inspiration for Power Air, the
innovation also enables greater design versatility, with distinctive visual signatures. The initial release
features an internal grid structure on one side not unlike ‘fabric bubble wrap’ which simultaneously
holds air and increases breathability, while the other side features a smooth, durable outer surface that
resists pilling and minimizes drag.
As the first fabric construction to encase air with a continuous yarn, Polartec Power Air is a
foundational technology platform that will eventually provide shedding reduction to all existing apparel
categories (including insulation, lightweight next to skin, and extreme weather protection). The
innovation has recently gained recognition from the World Textile Information Network with its Future
Textile Award for Best Innovation: Sustainable Textiles.
“Polartec has never shied away from solving tough, intractable problems,” says Mike Rose, Polartec VP
of Product Development. “Power Air has the potential to be our most significant development since
pioneering the process to knit fabrics made of post-consumer plastic bottles.”
Power Air is the culmination of a multi-year development consisting of thousands of work hours and
dozens of iterations, and is the latest product of Polartec Eco-engineering™. Eco-engineering is the
process by which Polartec deploys recycled inputs, advanced production techniques, highly efficient
logistics, and rigorous testing and certifications to create an unrivaled innovation pipeline devoted to
producing sustainable fabrics with elite performance characteristics.
Throughout its history of innovation, Polartec has built many unique, robust and repeatable testing
protocols that emulate a lifetime of use and abuse from serious athletes and professionals. In the case
of Polartec Power Air, a whole new testing protocol had to be invented to measure shedding due to
home laundering. The protocol simulates dozens of launderings in a single cycle to accurately capture
any microfibers lost in a lifetime of use. The test then accurately determines the percentage of weight
loss due to shedding.
Pioneers of eco-engineering sustainable fabrics, Polartec invented the process of knitting technical
fleece from post-consumer plastic bottles in 1993, upcycling well over one billion bottles to date, and
continues to lead the industry in offering fabric technologies made of recycled content. Earlier this
year, Polartec introduced its 100% recycled Power Fill insulation that further reduces environmental
impact by eliminating the need for wasteful and non-recycled carrying agents used in other insulation
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