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Cheap Polartec Sources
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Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Cheap Polartec Sources on 12/09/2009 09:58:38 MST Print View

I'm aware that fleece isn't the best warmth for the weight, but I still like it and am planning to make a lot clothes for my kids out of it. I say "a lot" because they have this bad habit of growing!

The most complete source of Polartec brand fabric I've found online with great prices on many items is:
Mill Direct Textiles

I haven't received my first order yet, but it was shipped the morning after ordering. Meantime I've been going over their swatch pack of over 100 samples.

They have many "all time favorites" that they keep in stock at all times- at reasonable retail prices. In addition they have lots of short rolls and closeout items at great prices- Wind Pro for $15/yd, Powerstretch for $8/yd, Powerdry for $6/yd, etc. If you need a lot of fabric you can order full rolls or 15 yard bolts for even better prices- Powerdry seconds are $3.20/yard if you order a roll.

Here's what their website says about the company:
Welcome to Mill Direct Textiles. We are a newly formed company made up entirely of former employees of the Malden Mills Retail Store. All of us are also former employees of the Mill and have a vast experience with the fabrics we are selling. We are eager to help you find the right fabrics for your needs.

We work directly with Polartec LLC in Lawrence, Massachusetts and can, therefore, offer you the full family of Polartec® fabrics—known for their quality and as the most technically advanced outerwear products in the marketplace.
End Quote.

I believe that at the time Polartec became a stand alone company from Malden Mills (about 2007), the factory store closed and Mill Direct was formed.

The next source I found was through a Craigslist ad. A woman who has spent the last decade making polartec garments is closing her shop and selling her remaining yardage. She had bought a trailer load of Polartec fabric in 2007 when Polartec spun off.
I'm not comfortable putting her contact info here but I will email it to anyone who wants it.
Her prices are: $15 for Powershield (black only), $8 for Wind Pro, $6 for 200 weight. You would probably be best off getting Mill Direct's swatch packs first unless you know exactly what each fabric type is.

Edited by jimqpublic on 12/09/2009 23:32:43 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Polartec Powerdry and Powerstretch weights. on 12/15/2009 10:04:14 MST Print View

I just got my order from Mill Direct Textiles. Presuming the length of each bolt is what I ordered and width is 60", weight per square yard is:

3 ounces Powerdry X-Static
6 ounces Powerstretch nylon/poly blend smooth one side.

Powerdry is much thinner than I expected, Powerstretch is much thicker. Also I'm not 100% sure which side of the Powerdry is meant to go against the skin- I'll do some wicking tests to figure it out.

Edit: Did the Powerdry wicking test. Very impressive. The smoother side dries right out while the water spreads out on the harder 'pointelle' side. Fabric has only about 20% stretch in the lengthwise direction but 100% crosswise. It should be perfect for baselayer.

Edited by jimqpublic on 12/15/2009 22:02:36 MST.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Long Johns done! Re: Polartec ... on 12/19/2009 23:29:52 MST Print View

I just made my first two garments ever- long johns for my 6 year old.

I used one of his Pajama bottoms to create a pattern. Then started off with the Powerdry. It all seemed to be going well until I noticed that one leg was right side out, the other wrong side. I kept going to at least be sure the pattern seemed to fit. It did other than ankle cuffs that would barely squeeze over his feet.

Next try went very well- I pinned all the seams before I started sewing. Had to take a break to go to Jo-Anns for waistband elastic.

Finished up they looked good (enough) and fit well. Since I was on a roll I did a pair from the Powerstretch too. A little different to sew but they came off fine- probably less than an hour from start to finish.

Weights: 2-1/8 oz for the Powerdry and 3-7/8 oz for the Powerstretch. (Elastic waistbands were 1/4 oz each- have to go with narrower next time!) Too bad my size will use about 3x as much fabric as skinny boy!.

I think I'll trademark my work "Almost good enough to call 'seconds'."

Edited by jimqpublic on 12/19/2009 23:41:42 MST.

Brady Fulton
(bfulton) - F

Locale: Phoenix Arizona
$ on 12/19/2009 23:42:46 MST Print View

So what did each pair end up costing you?

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
DIY baselayer cost. on 12/19/2009 23:57:47 MST Print View

Including shipping, my Powerdry was about $7 per yard and Powerstretch $9. My son has a 22" waist and is only 50" tall, so each pair of long johns only took 1/2 running yard of fabric. Elastic was about $.50.

So not counting time, waste from the practice pair, wear and tear on the sewing machine, etc. they cost $4 for Powerdry and $5 for Powerstretch.

The main thing is that they fit his skinny ass and when he grows I can knock another pair out in an hour.