The best fabrics for thermal underwear
A guide to the fabrics used in my thermal underwear collection:
I thought it might be worthwhile just jotting down some notes on the different fabrics that are used within the thermal underwear on my website. The following note outlines the fibre mixes and why this particular mix has been chosen. It also describes what each of the individual fibres adds to the fabric.
Angora Wool based products:
You can find out more about Angora Wool by clicking here.
1. Material Composition: 50% Angora Wool, 30% Virgin Wool, 20% Polyamide
With 50% angora wool the thermal underwear made from this fabric is extremely warm, and should be used when you will really be feeling the cold. It is the Angora element that really gives the bulk of the insulation. underwear made from 80% Angora Wool would be both expensive and simply too warm to wear in most situations, so the Virgin Sheeps’ Wool is added to enhance the natural feel, but without increasing the insulation too much.
Polyamide is the generic term for Nylon – this is added to the mix to add strength, and to stop the garment “sagging” when worn – which can be a problem with 100% wool products.
2. Material Composition: 20% Angora Wool, 80% Cotton
With 20% Angora this is a lighter weight thermal. The insulation is provided by the Angora fibres, but with a large proportion of cotton it is light and easy to wear. It is ideal for changeable weather, where you are not too sure whether it will be cold or mild.
This garment is made of 100% natural fibres, and as cotton is a relatively cheap fibre – the range comes at a lower price point.
3. Material Composition: 40% Angora Wool, 30% Polyamide, 25% Virgin Wool, 5% Elastane
This is actually a similar mix to the first one – but the addition of elastane (Spandex) makes the fabric for more elastic in nature. For this reason it is selected for the use in joint warmers – where the elastic properties are needed hug the joint and to keep the item in place.
The insulation is provided primarily by the Angora, the polyamide provides structure and a bit of strength (as the joints will be constantly moving), and the Elastane provides the elasticity required to gently keep the joint warmer comfortably secure.
You can see my range of Angora Wool based thermal by clicking here.
Merino Wool based products
You can find out more about Merino Wool here.
1. Material Composition: 85% Merino Wool, 15% Silk
The high percentage of Merino wool in this mix makes it a great thermal insulator. Although not many people know this – silk is also a great thermal insulator. However, its purpose here is to add strength (to prevent sagging), and a luxurious feel to the fabric. The silk provides a slight sheen to the material and really improves its “touch appeal”, making for a very opulent feel.
However, silk is a particularly expensive fibre (and Merino Wool is not cheap !) – so garments with this mix tend to be be more expensive. This mix is 100% natural products.
2. Material Composition: 44% Merino Wool, 48% Cotton, 8% Silk (with 100% Cotton Inner Liner)
This mix has been especially designed for people who have a slight sensitivity to wool. The thermal insulation is provided by the Merino Wool, and the high proportion of cotton makes the garments light and easy to wear.
The thing that makes this range special is that they a 100% cotton liner. The really clever bit is that the liner is not a separate construction – it is produced during the weaving process so that all of the loops of fibre on the inner side are of cotton. Really amazing technology.
Once again the silk is added to provide strength, and a lovely finish and feel to the fabric. This mix is, once again, made from 100% natural fibres.
You can see my range of merino Wool based products by clicking here.
Modal based products
1. Material Composition: 77% Modal, 19% Silk, 4% Elastane
Although it sounds synthetic, modal is actually a natural fibre usually made from birch trees. It is used in thermal underwear as it can absorb and “wick away” moisture far better than cotton (up to 50% higher levels of water absorbtion). keeping you dry and warm. the silk adds more thermal insulation, strength and a “touch appeal” to the fabric.
As this fabric mix has no wool in this mix, this range provides a little less insulation, but is ideal for layering or lounging.
You can see my range of Modal based thermal underwear by clicking here.