Since the beginning of human kind, people have used natural fibers like wool, furs, leathers, and down to stay warm. But like everything else that has happened in the last two centuries, technology has a way of changing the way we live, particularly in the way we dress. Because of technology and innovation, we now have synthetic fibers to keep us warm. Not only common in our everyday cloths, but they are becoming more and more popular in the outerwear fashion. Whether they are better, warmer or lighter are some of the questions many of my clients keep asking me every year.
In all honesty, synthetic fibers do have a role in our day to day apparel. Coats or jackets made with synthetic fibers are (for the most part) lighter than your down filled coat. In addition, there are no allergic issues with synthetic fibers, whereas with down filled coats, there is a small percentage of the population that is allergic and cannot wear them.
The other advantage of down filled coats is that they are consistent throughout the entire fabric. Thereís no area of the fabric that is thicker or more condense than another area on that material. The synthetic fabric is always uniform and constant; the properties/features of the textile are always the same. This is important for warmth reasons. Because of this feature, designers can create coats or jackets with fewer seem on them (a common designed feature with synthetic coats). Since there are usually less seems on the coat; Seams on a coat let the air pass through, therefore the fewer the seams - the warmer the coat (of course, this depends on the style). With down filled coats, you have to make small pockets to keep the down together, or else the feathers or down will eventually move downwards because of gravity. Think of your duvet. The small pockets or boxes on it is to keep the feathers distributed as even as possible throughout you duvet. Itís basically the same principle with down fill coats or jackets.
However, there are a few drawbacks with synthetic fibers. Mainly due to environmental concerns since synthetic fibers is a petroleum by-product. They are not biodegradable such as leathers, wools or downs. In simple words, they have a significant carbon footprint. Furthermore, synthetic fibers are always consistent and uniform. There's no originality to the fabric. Every fabric that gets pump out is identical. Whereas furs and leathers are made of unique pieces, and itís the combination of these pieces that gives the coat or jacket character.
In conclusion, I can't really say which ones are better because it's really a matter of personal choice. If you are looking for something light, and you don't really care about your carbon footprint, then coats made out of synthetic fibers are a good and obvious choice. However, if originality is your thing, and you prefer fabrics that are more in tune with nature, then down filled jackets or other natural fibers should be something to look at more closely.
|About Author Dino Karatzios :|
Dino Karatzios is a third generation furrier, learning the trick of the trade from his Father from the day he was born. Currently managing <a href="http://www.franksfurs.com" target="_blank">http://www.franksfurs.com</a> Frank's Furs and Fashions, they've been specializing in <a href="http://www.franksfurs.com/furcoats.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.franksfurs.com/furcoats.aspx</a> fur coats, <a href="http://www.franksfurs.com/leatherjackets.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.franksfurs.com/leatherjackets.aspx</a> leather jackets and <a href="http://www.franksfurs.com" target="_blank">http://www.franksfurs.com</a> luxury outerwear since 1963.
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Article Added on Thursday, March 15, 2012
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