The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Malden Mills/Patagonia Fleece

1981

Patagonia’s original fleece jacket     Photo: Courtesy of Patagonia

Fledgling Patagonia experimented with bunting and faux fur fabrics as synthetic alternatives to wool insulation—they wanted something durable that could dry fast. They collaborated with Malden Mills upholstery fabric and faux fur supplier, and together the two developed a circular knit fabric that comes off the knitting machine looking like a giant terry cloth tube sock. The fiber loops are then sheared at exactly the same height so that they hold each other up to create airspace that keeps the wearer warm.

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