What's a microfibre?
Microfibre is a synthetic (inorganic) fibre which is extremely fine, even finer than a strand of silk (which is about a fifth of the diameter of human hair!).
Microfibre can vary in properties depending on the fibre it’s created from. This results in an incredibly adaptable fabric with plenty of advantages over natural woven materials.
Its inorganic nature is the natural enemy of bacteria which feed on organic material.
What's microfibre made of?
Microfibre is mainly made up of 2 components:
- polyester and polyamide.
Polyester holds the towel together and constitutes about 70%-80% of the towel. Too much polyester results in a towel which feels less plush and inhibits its ability to retain water, however too little polyester and the towel will not hold together.
The remaining 20-30% of the towel is made of polyamides, the main ingredient that gives the towel its softness, absorbency and durability. The combination of these 2 terms is usually mentioned by way of 80/20 or 70/30 in the industry.
The first figure tells us the polyester content while the second figure tells us the polyamide content.
A general rule is that 70/30 towels should always be used on the exterior of a vehicle/marine craft to avoid scratching the finished surface. Due to the soft nature of the 70/30 towels, they are often the preferred choice when selecting a towel for exterior paint use.
How important is weave?
The type of weave changes the property of the towel (affecting its ability to retain water or spread product). Here are a couple of more popular weaves:
- Circular weave (Eagle edgeless) – Excellent for application of product
- Twisted loop weave – Excellent at drying
- Pearl weave – Excellent at levelling ceramic or quartz coatings
- Standard weave – General purpose like the Utility Towels
The type of weave affects the microfibre’s ability to absorb and/or release water. This is why some type of weaves are excellent at drying and will absorb significant amounts of water without letting it go (twisted-loop) whereas others such as the circular weave are great at absorbing and releasing enabling it to evenly spread products across a surface.
Is more GSM better?
Think of it like horsepower in any vehicle, more is not always better. Depending on the event, say a time-attack, more horsepower isn’t going to get you very far if your chassis isn’t tuned to the track. The same concept applies for GSM, more GSM isn’t going to necessarily get you the finish you’re after.