Microfiber has quickly been overtaking the linen and furniture industries. This durable fabric is both strong and soft and has a wide number of applications. But what exactly is it? And is it breathable?


Not often used for clothing because of its flammable nature, microfiber is most commonly used to make drapes, linens, and even things like mops. Because it naturally absorbs moisture, it often used in cleaning applications. While not the most popular choice of material for linens, it is growing in popularity and is seeing a surge recently because it is inexpensive and lasts a lifetime.


What is it made of?


Most people are surprised to discover that microfiber is actually made of the same materials that are used to make plastic. It is a natural byproduct of petroleum production. If it was not used to make fabric, it would just be dumped in a landfill, making microfiber and extremely environmentally-friendly product and one that is inexpensive to obtain and produce.


After oil is produced, there is a type of "sludge" left over. This material is collected and used in one of two applications, after a refinement process. It can be used to produce plastic—the most common use until recently—or it can be spun into fibers, which can then be woven into material.


Starting in the 1970s, this fabric was used as interiors for cars, to make carpeting, and most of all for upholstering furniture. Continued refinement of the production process has introduced a whole new line of microfibers that can be used to make just about anything, from sheets, to mops, to car seats.


What was once just dumped into the environment as a pollutant, is now used to create some of the most durable and well-loved items in our homes.


Properties


One of the most common properties of microfiber fabric is its ability to wick moisture. This means that it is both extremely absorbent and dries quickly. For this reason, it is used to make some kinds of clothing—like those worn by athletes, but also makes it great for furniture and other linens, because it does not stain easily.


Microfiber is also extremely breathable, another reason that it is great for athletic clothing and for linens. It helps regulate temperature and keep the wearer or sleeper comfortable.