When it comes to staying warm outdoors, nothing beats the versatility and style of the quilted jacket. A favorite for hikers, birdwatchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, these jackets are popular because they can protect the wearer from the elements with very little bulk.
Additionally, the jackets come in a wide variety of materials, styles and patterns to suit any need and any fashion sensibility.
Quilted jackets come in different weights, from light weight windbreakers to heavy down jackets that can stand up to the worst kind of winter cold. Quilting is a sewing technique that traditionally uses two layers of outer material over an internal fill material. The fill material is designed to provide warmth, and the three layers of material together add additional protection from the outside weather. The stitching used in quilting is designed to not only hold the layers of material together, but also to design ‘pockets’ to help hold in body heat. The stitching itself is also extremely decorative in nature – even the simplest pattern adds texture and beauty to the garment that has been quilted.
Any material can be used in quilted jackets. Some of the higher end
jackets are quilted out of silk or even leather, but the most common
materials used for jackets are cotton or microfiber (such as polyester
or nylon). The durability and water repellant properties of microfibers
make them extremely popular for jackets. These materials are also
relatively inexpensive and come in a wide range of colors. Micro fibers
are acknowledged to have high moisture wicking properties, keeping the
elements out and pulling sweat away from the body of the wearer. These
properties are essential for outdoor active wear, allowing you to move
freely while keeping you warm and dry.
Durability and comfort are a must, but quilted jackets are attractive too! Even the most basic diamond quilting pattern adds style, but the stitching on jackets can become quite intricate. Many of today’s manufacturers are adding outlining stitching to their basic quilting on jackets. This technique stitches an ‘outline’ or design right into the garment. So the jacket may display stitching in the form of a flower, animals, or even more stylistically random designs. The variety of patterns can make some of these jackets so stylish they are actually wearable art.
When choosing your jacket, consider the conditions under which you will most often be wearing it. For deep cold and prolonged exposure to the outdoors, the heaviest quilted down jackets offer the most protection. Lighter quilted coats are useful for cool fall weather, but can also be versatile as additional layering due to their thinness. When worn under another style of jacket, they can add protection from cold while allowing you to wear a different style of garment on the outside.
The quilted jacket is a staple for anyone who enjoys the outdoors in all seasons. No matter which material you choose, or how elaborate the design, this jacket will prove to be the most versatile outerwear garment in the closet. Its warmth, water repellency, light weight, and attractiveness make it indispensable!
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