If you spend a lot of time outdoors and aren’t a fan of the cold, you’ll know that a good fleece is worth its weight in gold. Warm gloves and a comfortable beanie also go a long way to improving your wellbeing. So today, we’d like to introduce a material that is not only often used in fleece clothing, but has also been on the market for decades: Thinsulate.
But what actually is Thinsulate? Where is it used and what can it do?
Thinsulate Insulation is a microfibre material from 3M, which is known for its excellent insulating properties. A brief look at the history of this fleece fabric shows that it has proven itself for decades. 3M was already experimenting with microfibres in the 1960s. Thinsulate Insulation technology was first used in skiwear in the 1970s. When the 1988 Winter Olympics were held in Calgary, Canada, Thinsulate got involved. In the course of the 1990s, 3M expanded the Thinsulate Insulation product family and since then has been synonymous with a wide range of materials used in a variety of areas, from occupational safety to sports and fashion. The product family continues to impress today with lining material in winter clothing and sleeping bags as well as material for beanies, balaclavas and gloves.
A little material science
Thinsulate Insulation consists of a material made of polyester or a blend of polyester and polypropylene. Thinsulate’s distinctive feature comes from the fact that its made from considerably smaller fibres than conventional polyester materials. With a diameter of about 15 micrometres, Thinsulate fibres are about ten times smaller than other synthetic fibre. This means the fibres can be processed with a very high density. The tight structure reduces the heat flow between the individual fibres. As a result, body heat is reflected by the fibres and the material keeps warm even at low temperatures. According to the manufacturer, Thinsulate should provide 1.5 times more warmth than down of the same thickness. The material is also breathable and moisture-repellent.
Application areas and product variants
Thinsulate Insulation is a product family that is divided into several different material types. Different types, with tailored properties, are used depending on the application. The following types are mainly used in outdoor and mountain sports:
This material is extremely robust and thin. With its high durability and good insulation performance at low thickness or in compressed condition, this is mainly used for footwear.
Thinsulate Insulation Type C is particularly suitable for leisure and outdoor clothing. This fleece material offers very high insulation performance and feels very comfortable. Its low weight and the thin material makes the material especially good for jackets, beanies and gloves.
Type P material combines numerous good properties. The material is not only very warming and robust, but is also very easy to maintain. This makes it perfect for clothing, which is subject to challenging conditions outdoors.
Type FR is flame retardant. Therefore, it is mainly used in work clothing, as well as sometimes in outdoor wear.
This material is used in bedding such as duvets and pillows, as well as in sleeping bags. As it puffs up, it provides not only effective heat insulation, but also a high level of comfort at a low weight. The material can also be washed in a washing machine at up to 60 °C.
In general, all Thinsulate products are easy to clean. They can be simply washed in a washing machine. However, as products such as jackets and sleeping bags often contain several different components, it’s important to observe the manufacturer’s instructions. Companies such as Nikwax, Holmenkol or Toko also offer detergents that are suitable for washing outdoor clothing. The exact method for washing the product can be found on the washing label on the product.
Warm, soft and fluffy are words that can be used to describe many Thinsulate products. They offer a range of excellent properties which can be utilised in different applications to provide optimal comfort. From shoes to sleeping bags, Thinsulate Insulation is a technology that has been established and proven over the decades. In addition, Thinsulate materials are breathable and moisture-repellent. This makes them ideal for use in harsh and adverse conditions and ensures the products have a long service life.
Any questions? If so, feel free to ask our experts in customer service. Hannes is our Thinsulate expert. He is available during the week from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. and can be reached by phone at +49 (0)7121/70 12 0 or by e-mail.