WITH WARMEST REGARDS
FOR A PRODUCT that “provides warmth without weight; is soft to the touch; will not shrink, ravel or run; is water-resistant; has moisture-wicking properties and is easy to work with,” according to the fleecelady.com Web site, it is the opinion of this writer that fleece deserves a place in the hallowed exhibition halls of the Smithsonian, or at least a tributary wax figure in New York’s famed Madame Tussauds museum.
Granted, it’s hard to think of anything having to do with warmth, much less hot wax, given the current temperatures outside. However, as sure as dawn turns into dusk, so do hot days turn into warm ones; warm days eclipse into cool ones and cool days into cold ones—making fleece and sweatshirts welcome garments. These items are some of the industry’s most important apparel
offerings that can quickly warm distributor-client relations, resulting in long-lasting sales opportunities and end-user satisfaction. “Fleece is a terrific promotional product because it is a durable material that is as familiar to the general public as denim,” noted Jules Braun, president of Eastland Textiles, Cleveland. “Fleece is versatile, easy to decorate and care for.”
Besides its staying power, Patric Anderrson, marketing manager at Gainesville, Virginia-based Atlantic Coast Cotton, praised fleece’s affordability, pointing out that the low price points make the item attractive to clients of every budget. “[Fleece and sweatshirts offer] good value for the money,” he said. “The prices have gone down over the last couple of years. The cost now is about $3 to $4, as opposed to $5 to $6.”
Like Anderrson, Braun confirmed the trend toward less expensive fleece products has inundated the market, but unlike Anderrson, he does not support it. “The trend in the market place is for low-cost, imported fleece,” said Braun. “However, our growth comes from the distributors and end-users [who] demand a better quality product.”