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08 Clothing Materials: Polyolefin (Olefin)




Description

This article is from the Running FAQ, by Ozzie Gontang with numerous contributions by others.

08 Clothing Materials: Polyolefin (Olefin)

Characteristics:
* Lightweight, lightest fiber, it floats
* Strong
* Abrasion resistant, resilient
* Stain-, static-, sunlight-, and odor-resistant
* High insulation characteristics
* Resists deterioration from chemicals, mildew, sweat, rot and weather
* Fast drying
* High wickability
* Static and pilling can be a problem
* Ironing, washing/drying need to be done at low temperature
* Non-allergenic
Major End Uses: Apparel - activewear, sportswear, jeans, socks,
underwear, lining fabrics.

Of all fibers, this is probably least familiarto you. Developed in 1961,
polyolefin has been used exclusively in the home furnishings and high
performance activewear market: backpacking, canoeing, mountain climbing
apparel. In 1996 producers of olefin began to make in-roads into the
mainstream apparel market. It is being blended with cotton in the denim
market. It's being tested in the swimwear market. Asics Japan has developed
a swimsuit made of polyolefin and Lycra for the Japanese Olympic Swim Team.
Polyolefin is the least absorbent of all the man-made fibers, and the only
fiber that floats. (Swimmers will do anything to cut a milli-second off
their times!)

 

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