The answer might seriously surprise you because while fleece sounds like it should come from sheep, it’s actually synthetic and made from plastic. Fleece’s primary component is polyester, which is woven into the fabric. While wool and hemp can be incorporated to give the fleece its texture, the primary components are synthetic.
It was created by a company that saw many problems with the wool industry, such as the reliance on sheep and the fact that wool was itchy and uncomfortable when wet. Once fleece became a thing, the owners decided not to patent their product and made it completely accessible to the working class people of the world.
Fleece is warm and is commonly used for materials like jackets and scarves. Despite the warmth it holds in, due to air pockets in between the layers of fibers, it is very light and water resistant. People can wear fleece jackets for warmth without worrying about feeling heavy or being dragged down by it.
The plastic that makes up fleece is melted down into a thick material, almost like syrup and then turned into the fibers that are woven into the fleece item. This process makes it extremely durable, and useful for a variety of situations.
Fleece has primarily been used for athletic clothes, to both keep athletes warm and also to keep sweat and odors away from the body. You can also find fleece winter wear in colder temperatures, so chances are you have fleece items in your home already, hiding away with all your winter gear.
So, if you own an itchy wool sweater or uncomfortable wool mittens, why not look for fleece alternatives? They’ll be just as environmentally friendly, warm, and won’t make your skin itch nearly as much! That’s always a benefit after all.