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When The Weather Is Cold I Pity The Fashion Minded!

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The start of the winter of 2013 has been very severe. Here in Grand Junction at this writing, the temperature average for the month of December is 15.5 degrees. If it holds this way till the 31st of the month, Grand Junction will have had the coldest year since 1912. If that is the situation here it has to be all over the country. Actually the world: snow in Cairo Egypt for the first time in 112 years and 15 inches of snow in Israel as well as snow this spring in Australia. Some say we have all of this due to global warming, Oh well enough said about that.

This winter season I have seen the fashion winter garments at the retail stores and what I have seen from the high flyers such as The North Face and the others is what I consider a joke and a bad one at that. Virtually every one of these high flyer companies is showing quilted garments, with the thinnest of insulation — whether the insulating medium is down or synthetic it makes no difference because once you start quilting you have cold spots.

The North Face really has gall as far as I am concerned. In my opinion they are trading their reputation which, in my opinion, is undeserved, but there are lots who chose their products so that is the way it is. Any way, their latest claim to fame in the field of insulation that they are using is called Thermoballs. The technology to make polyester fiber clusters dates back to DuPont about 30 years ago. They are taking this fiberfill construction and quilting it between two layers of nylon in what appears to be a one inch by one and a half inches or a two by three inch diamond. They claim from what I read on their web site the following; “Thermoball clusters that trap and retain heat to achieve phenomenal(emphasis mine) warmth in cold wet weather”. Considering that standard quilting machines sew 10 stitches per inch that means for every inch you have 10 cold spots in the garment. Other companies are quilting the two layers of fabric in one inch channels and blowing in down, the end result is a very thin down garment. Maybe the designers for these companies believe in global warming so the garments are being made for use in south Florida in July, just a guess on my part.

I manufacture some quilted products that use heavier Lamilite than the polyester they use and I rate these products as a guide for customers who chose to buy them. I do not glorify these products because I do not believe it is good business to mislead your customers. Also the quilted products I manufacture are quilted with large patterns generally a 4four inch diamond and the jacket and vest I make are shown as liners to be worn under a cold weather parka not by itself except in mild conditions. Of course my garment doesn’t have the same style as theirs, it performs better.

Another aspect of their chopped staple fiber product is that it will lose whatever thickness it has; i.e. go flat versus my Lamilite which will not.

So for the fashion minded, enjoy the look while you don’t enjoy the temperature.

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