• The Story of Microfiber- Part 1

    by Lifeboat Admin ,

    Microfiber is causing a ruckus in the towel industry, quickly becoming the cleaning fabric of choice. Not only is it perfect in towels in spas and gyms, but also in auto facilities, hotels and cleaning companies. Because of its versatility and high levels of absorbency, it’s quickly replacing older towels materials in companies around the world.

    What is microfiber you might say? Microfiber is a combination of two basic fibers- Polyamide, which is a nylon by-product and Polyester. They’re both super tightly woven fibers, super tiny, about 1/16th the size of a single strand of human hair. These fibers become a network, manufactured and woven in all sorts of different ways for different uses.

    One of the ways that microfiber is processed is called a “flat” weave. It repels water away, which is why it’s become extremely popular in clothing and wristbands worn during sporting practices and events. The same is true for athletic towels.

    Conversely, if the microfiber is split during processing, it’s much more effective in cleaning and polishing. It’s much more costly to process the fibers for this, as the polyester and the polyamide have to be split from one another.

    When you look at a towel, it’s tough to dissect this, but after the microfiber fibers are split, they’re then woven into a fabric. This is generally 70-80% polyester and 20-30% polyamide. This creates thousands upon thousands of tiny loops. These loops are very similar to claws that can draw out dirt, which is why they’re so helpful in both physical activity and general cleaning.

    Another buzz word when discussing microfibers is denier, the unit that measures how fine a fabric is. Microfiber is especially fine, a denier of .01-.02. If you need a visual for exactly how tiny this is, a single strand of silk is 8, and an individual piece of human hair is a whopping 20. So basically, you’re drying your body and cleaning your house with a material that’s exponentially softer than the finest silk.

    However just because microfiber is soft, doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly strong. This might be surprising based on its denier, but the split microfibers contain thousands of loops per square inch and the most premium microfiber cloths can have more than 200,000 strands per square inch of towel material. This means that your microfiber towel is strong enough to go through more than 500 washings. Double whammy? This means it’s even more cost-effective because its shelf life is so much longer.

    Of course the buzz word on most people’s minds these days is anything environmentally friendly. Microfiber materials trap dust and dirt, meaning that they don’t need chemicals for them to be effective. The filaments are positively charged, which counteracts the negative charge of the dust and dirt. The microfiber acts like a magnet for dirt and bacteria. Great news for anyone suffering from allergies. When used with a little bit of water, microfiber towels are even more soluable. Hypoallergenic AND safe for the environment.

    Part one of your microfiber education complete. Tune in next week for even more!

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