Fleece Jackets make a practical item of Staff Uniform but what if your staff need something better, just like a Windproof or Waterproof Fleece?
Fleeces are comfortable, smart and easy to care for and have become a standard item of apparel for many companies yet those staff who spend most of their time outside often need a higher specification of garment.
Many modern Fleeces are coated in a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish that encourages drinking water to form beads and run off the particular garment but whilst a normal Fleece jacket Jacket will offer some protection from a mild drizzle, it is not intended to be windproof or offer protection from more chronic rain. So for staff that spend the bulk of their time outdoors or work in harsh environments, better protection can be offered by a ‘Technical Fleece’.
Technical Fleece Jackets include a range of garments that offer improved individual protection and comfort through the use of sophisticated fabrics and multi-layer construction and when again the technological innovations in these clothing have trickled down from advancements in the extreme sports and mountaineering sectors.
Some manufacturers have designed fleece fabrics that are more blowing wind or water resistant than their conventional counterparts. Others have created Fleece Jackets with a two layer construction that incorporates a separate Windproof & Waterproof membrane, known as a ‘Drop Liner’ behind the outer fleece. The outer layer of fleece continues to be not completely waterproof but the drop liner prevents water and wind from getting through to the wearers epidermis.
Speaking of skin: Like all human activity, physical exertion uses energy, creates heat and prompts our body to perspire in order to regulate our core temperature.
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This process of evapourative cooling is a wonderful design, functions extremely well, right up to the point where all of us cover our epidermis in an additional windproof & waterproof layer – at which point our body can no longer functionality in the way it was designed to and we usually end up feeling wet, sticky plus pretty hot under the collar: not a great way to feel at work.
The breathable drop liner is a step forwards but for true wearer convenience a Technical Fleece Jacket should have a windproof & waterproof membrane layer bonded directly to the outer fleece jacket along with a ‘wicking’ inner layer. The direct link between each coating helps perspiration to be carried away through the skin, through the membrane to the outer layer. This system allows the wearers body to perspire normally and function at a comfortable temperature, while at the same time preventing cold rain and wind from penetrating the membrane layer.
Fleeces which include such technology and are also intended for corporate use often have specific access for embroidery, to prevent harm to the membrane and your supplier can advise which parts of the outfit can be embroidered.
There are a range of Windproof & Waterproof Fleece Jackets which are now available for corporate use so that as usage has increased, prices have reduced considerably.
In my next article, Softshell Jackets for Staff Uniform, I’ll be explaining the benefits of the Softshell material in a working environment and asking, is this garment an alternative to a Specialized Fleece?