Fiber-Speak

Fiber-Speak

Rupp, D

BREATHABILITY: The ability of a fabric or membrane to permit air and water vapor to pass through the materials structure.

DENIER: A measurement of the thickness or diameter of a single fiber in a thread or yarn. Generally, higher denier means that the fabric is stronger and heavier; lesser denier means it’s more lightweight, with finer fibers.

FILAMENTS: The multiple hairlike structures that make up a fiber or a yarn.

MICROFIBER: Very small, thin polyester fibers that are tightly woven together and usually have some degree of breathability and wind- and water resistance.

PILE: Often used interchangeably with fleece, but usually refers to thicker, fuzzier, onesided fleece.

RIPSTOP: At uniform intervals throughout a ripstop garment, larger yarns are woven into a square pattern. This helps resist tearing or ripping Ripstop fabric was developed during World War II.

WATER-RESISTANT/ WATERPROOF: Waterresistant usually means that water will bead on or run off a fabric for a while, but it will eventually soak through. Waterproof means water can’t get through at all; to get this rating, seams have to be taped and zippers covered.

WICKING: Pulling moisture, such as perspiration, away from the sln and moving it into or through a material.

Copyright Hearst Magazines Aug 1998

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