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What are the Warmest Fabrics?


As the days shorten and the air chills, you probably find yourself reaching for a cozy sweater or favorite hoodie. But if you’re on the hunt for some new cold weather apparel, you might be trying to figure out which material is best. There are lots to choose from–like microfleece and sueded cotton–but what do those terms even mean? Below we’re breaking down some of our favorite fabrics for keeping warm and the products that can help you do it.

Fleece

There’s quite a few kinds of fleece out there–regular fleece, micro fleece, polar fleece. No wonder it can be confusing. Fleece is the general term for all different weights of fleece, a synthetic material. Other names are more specific kinds–microfleece for example is the thinnest fleece option. When it comes to fleece weights, many brands use a number system, and the higher the number, the heavier the fleece. These numbers are GSM (grams per square meter). So a 100 would be thinnest, 200 is thick, 300 is thicker, and so on. Sometimes, like at Custom Ink, you’ll see fleece described in ounces, so the higher the ounces, the heavier and warmer the fleece.

You can’t go wrong with a classic fleece vest, and we’re loving the Port Authority Value Fleece Vest right now. It’s great for layering and since it’s midweight, it will give you a nice added warmth. This style comes in a handful of fun colors and would be perfect for your company logo since it’s also budget-friendly.

Our fleece vest above is also available as a jacket in men’s and women’s, which is perfect for wearing on your commute or to your outdoor event for an extra layer in case it gets chilly. It’s available in even more colors (we love the hibiscus—a warm dark pink), with a full zip and zippered pockets.

Another fleece option that’s blown up in recent years is sweater fleece. If you’re looking for a vest with style, check out our Charles River Sweater Fleece Vest. It has a polished look–perfect for keeping at the office–while still being functional and warm.

For a quarter zip option, there’s the Devon & Jones Quarter Zip Sweater Fleece Pullover. It’s available in men’s and women’s sizes, making it perfect for your office staff or corporate giveaway. It comes in some cozy colors, like burgundy and forest green, and is anti-pill for long term wear.

Sueded Cotton

It seems like everything is made out of cotton, so when it gets into specific types, it can be hard to understand what they all mean. The first part, cotton, you’re familiar with in products like t-shirts and hoodies. Then there’s suede, which is a type of leather with a napped finish. You might have suede shoes or a suede handbag. So sueded cotton is cotton that’s been treated in order to make it feel soft, kind of like suede. It makes products super soft and is great if you’re looking for something cozy.

The Next Level Sueded T‑shirt is a popular tee, and for good reason. It has wow-level softness and a color palette to suit any group. We swoon for the light blue and heather maroon. This is a good option for a business or school giveaway if you want a quality product.

Sueded cotton doesn’t just stop at t-shirts. The New Era Sueded Full Zip T‑shirt Hoodie is such a great layering piece no matter the season. It has a lived-in softness with vintage vibes that will have you reaching for it every time you leave the house.

Midweight and heavyweight materials

This one might be self-explanatory–but just in case you were wondering, here’s a breakdown on midweight and heavyweight materials. Some of our products are available in midweight or heavyweight styles. Midweight has some heaviness to it but not too much, think of a classic hoodie you love that’s cozy and keeps you warm but doesn’t overwhelm you. Heavyweight items are, like they sound, heavier. Think of that zip up that you almost feel sitting on your shoulders but in a cozy way, that’s heavyweight.

For a tee with a little extra oomph that’s still comfortable and breathable, there’s the Jerzees 50/50 T‑shirt. It works for any group or season and comes in so many colors that the possibilities of what you can create are endless.

If you’re looking for a midweight sweatshirt, look no further than the Carhartt Midweight Crewneck Sweatshirt. It’s full of style, and comfort. Its heft adds a little extra warmth and coziness in the cooler temps and it’s a workwear brand we know and trust.

If heavyweight is more your style, we have lots of options. The Champion Heavyweight Heritage T‑shirt is timeless and perfect for any group. It also has an athletic cut so you’ll be comfortable no matter what you’re doing. For comparison, this tee is 7oz cotton, vs. 5.6oz for our midweight pick.

For a hoodie you can wrap yourself up in, go for the Bayside Heavyweight USA Pullover Hoodie. It’s classic and cozy and everything that a hoodie should be. And, we think it’s awesome that it’s made in the USA.

Thermal

Thermal clothes are made to keep you warm. At a high level, they work to trap air in order to retain heat, which helps keep you toasty. You’ll see some thermal lined products at Custom Ink, which offer an additional layer of thermal material to keep you comfortable from the job site to the office.

We love puffer jackets because they’re so lightweight and easy for driving or commuting, and small enough to throw in a bag when you might need an extra layer. The Core 365 Insulated Packable Puffer Jacket is an affordable option that would be great for any group, and it even packs up into a storage pouch.

For true warmth, we turn to the CornerStone Heavyweight Lined Zip Hooded Work Jacket. It’s super durable, still lets you be mobile, and has premium finishes. It has thermal lining under its heavy-duty outer to make sure all you have to worry about is getting the job done.

Quilted

Quilt lined gear offers a thick, plush layer to keep you warm. Think of it like a quilt, or even a down comforter that has a stitched pattern that creates puffier sections. These sections hold fill, and thanks to the stitching, create pillow-like pockets. Quilt-lined jackets are super soft and are good for cooler temperatures, especially if you’re working outside.

Our quilted picks are no brainers. The Carhartt Duck Traditional Vest is trendy and tough. It’s made of cotton duck (a heavy woven cotton fabric) and has a a quilted lining for extra style. It’s also available as the Carhartt Duck Traditional Coat, which is great for work crews or as a gift. We can’t get enough of it in navy! It’s water-repellent and wind-resistant, and has a cool corduroy-trimmed collar, too.

Sherpa

Ever pick up a garment and think “ooh that’s fuzzy?” You were probably holding Sherpa. It looks and feels similar to wool. The name actually comes from how similar this fabric is to the wool-lined clothing worn by the Sherpa people of Nepal. It’s fluffy and warm and in our opinion, one of the coziest fabrics for cold days. It also adds a hint of style to the items it’s on.

The CornerStone DWR Heavyweight Sherpa‑Lined Hooded Work Jacket can’t be beat for coziness. The exterior is water repellent and the interior has sherpa fleece lining to keep you warm. It’s a heavy duty jacket that’s great for fall and spring.

While it’s not an apparel item, we can’t leave out the Field & Co.® Sherpa Blanket. It’s such a timeless piece that’s super soft, cozy, and luxurious. With its sherpa backing, this would be an amazing holiday gift item or a coveted giveaway item at a tradeshow.

Down

Down is a very popular material for clothing and bedding, so you’re probably familiar with it. Down isn’t just a regular feather, either. It’s what lies under a bird’s outer feathers. It’s light and fluffy and doesn’t have quills. You’ll sometimes see a blend of down and feathers in clothing, which means it’s a mix of both. What we love about down is that it’s so warm but also so lightweight, so it’s great for packing if you need warm layers for a trip.

For a down option that’s so easy to customize, check out the Weatherproof Packable Down Jacket. This packable jacket is perfect for cooler weather. It’s also available as a women’s option and is water and wind-resistant. It packs away easily and we could see you showing off your logo on the front of it!

What kind of warm and cozy gear are you customizing this year? Tell us all about it in the comments below!


Kate wants her work to impact the little but important moments in people’s lives—like birthdays, anniversaries, and family celebrations. She loves coming up with witty copy that might inspire someone to create an awesome t-shirt!

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