Innovative fabric technology engineered to reduce fiber shedding

Innovative fabric technology engineered to reduce fiber shedding

March 29, 2019
Marcia González

Polartec Power Air is more than solving a problem and creating a new platform – it’s a brand statement about the power of fabric

With increasing focus on microplastic fibers from textiles used in the fashion industry, an innovative response could be ‘Power Air’ from sustainable textile solutions specialist Polartec, which is claimed to be the first fabric technology engineered to reduce fiber shedding.

By encapsulating lofted fibers within a multilayer, continuous yarn fabric construction, this new platform offers advanced thermal efficiency that is proven to shed five times less than other premium ‘mid-layer’ weight fabrics.

Insulation that effectively regulates core body temperature has generally been achieved via lofted or high-pile knit structures that hold warm air. Although Polartec is an authority 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.

“By using the efficiency of encapsulated air to shelter lofted fibers, Polartec Power Air will drastically improve how fabrics perform over their lifetime with respect to versatility, comfort, and sustainability,” commented Gary Smith, Polartec CEO. “We’re only beginning to realize the potential for this new type of fabric construction.”

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.”

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.

You will hear from dozens of materials innovators with solutions to create highly sustainable fashion lines at Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019. The event will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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