Polartec, known for its warming fabrics such as fleece, is cooling things down with Polartec Delta.
Launching for spring, Polartec Delta is based on a patent-pending technology resembling a car radiator, explained Karen Beattie, product marketing manager at Polartec.
Beattie explained that the Delta fabric consists of two yarns — Tencel lyocell and polyester — that serve specific purposes.
“The hydrophilic yarn spreads across the fabric in a radiator matrix designed to carry sweat across the body and hold it there, so that when it dries you get direct benefit from evaporative cooling,” she said in an interview. “That hydrophilic element is Tencel lyocell. Interspersed between that matrix is polyester, the hydrophobic element that resists getting wet. It stays open and breathable and that body moisture vapor can pass freely through the shirt.”
The company said it successfully navigates the middle ground of natural and synthetic fibers, taking comfort cues from cotton for immediate and long-term cooling ability, and synthetics for their fast dry time, reduced wet cling and chaffing.
A special knit construction promotes maximum breathability and a quick dry time. In addition, the yarns are created and constructed to have a cool touch, regulated drying and an odor control additive.
The target market for Delta is primarily athletic end uses, such as cycling, running and fitness, “people generating heat who would welcome some relief and a cooling fabric.”
Beattie said the initial launch is a single fabric in two weights and will be followed in spring 2018 by a group of fabrics in different textures and end uses, including a golf shirt fabric, a fitness or cycling fabric, and a mesh shirt with a smooth inner face to avoid cling for sublimation printing and hiking. All the fabrics have a built in UPF rating of 15 to 50.
There have been several recent product introductions in the activewear space addressing cooling and wicking. Cotton Incorporated and Nanotex have collaborated on a new technology called Nanotex Dry Inside aimed at enhancing cotton’s moisture management characteristic, and Eastman Chemical launched Avra Performance Fibers with performance benefits that include moisture management and a chemical-free “cool to the touch” sensation.
The patented Nanotex Dry Inside technology enables effective moisture transfer away from the skin, eliminating dampness and chaffing in 100 percent cotton apparel, while maintaining the additional comfort aspects of garments made from the natural fiber.
“While the technology is new, this does build on previous knowledge and technology at Polartec, “ she said. “We are known for our fleece and raised-surface warm fabrics, and this takes that in the opposite direction.”