Polartec has launched Polartec® Power Air™, a fabric technology engineered to reduce fiber shedding. By encapsulating lofted fibers within a multilayer, continuous yarn fabric construction, this platform provides advanced thermal efficiency that Polartec reports sheds five times less than other premium ‘mid-layer’ weight fabrics.
Insulation that effectively regulates core body temperature has traditionally been achieved via lofted or high-pile knit structures that hold warm air. Polartec, which produces resilient materials, understands 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.
Creating a more environmentally sound construction was the initial inspiration for Power Air, but the innovation also enables greater design versatility, with distinctive visual signatures. The initial release features an internal grid structure on one side that is 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.
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, 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 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.
Polartec Power Air technology was unveiled last week in partnership with Adidas, which launched the The Polartec Power Air Hoody. Other brands, including Houdini and Mammut, will release their own offerings using the technology in the coming months.