As autumn weather makes its way across the country bringing cooler temperatures, it’s normal to start thinking about winter lurking around the corner and securing cold-weather essentials. Chief among those must-haves is the knit hat, now known as “the beanie.” While few winter hats are as versatile as a beanie, that doesn’t mean all are created equal.
It’s all about the material
Manufacturers know that the knit beanie is a winter staple as well as a fashion statement with a large market, but that also means there is a glut of options at varying levels of quality. By using better materials in headwear, brands can make their products stand out and ensure shoppers sport their warm, winter knit with confidence.
This investment in the right materials can have a huge impact on comfort, product longevity, and the environment. Emerging fabric blends that are drawing interest in the world of knits include Polylana fiber, recycled polyester, and organic cotton.
First among them is Polylana fiber, an eco-efficient staple fiber with characteristics similar to acrylic and wool fiber, at lower impact. The production of this fiber uses less energy and water and produces less CO2 during production. Polylana fiber is also recognized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as a vegan alternative to animal-derived materials.
Another option for buyers concerned about the environment is to buy knits made of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate). This fiber is made from polymers obtained by recycling plastic bottles. It’s a high-quality, breathable fiber that blends well with acrylics and is more widely available than Polylana fiber.
Like acrylic yarn, recycled polyester is lightweight, keeps its shape, holds its color, and is resistant to stains and wrinkles. It also protects wearers from the cold as well as acrylic, while simultaneously helping to keep plastic bottles out of landfills.
Recycled polyester is also used to make soft and comfortable fleece beanies. Fleece beanies maintain warmth while wicking moisture, making them ideal for high-energy activities in cold weather. They’re also machine-washable and can range in thickness.
Finally, there is 100% certified organic cotton, which is grown without the use of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This is a natural, versatile fiber that is machine-washable, durable, and easily dyed. Plus, it can be more affordable than wool.
Regardless of material preference, headwear made of high-quality fabrics will have a longer life cycle, and that means a timeless beanie can step up a wardrobe year after year.