Cromwell stock a wide range of high visibility clothing and outerwear, designed to keep you comfortable and seen in the workplace. Our range of hi-vis fleeces from brands like Portwest and Pulsarail, are a lightweight and warm alternative to heavier outerwear.
Fleeces were first introduced to the world by Polartec in the 1970s and since then many clothing brands have adapted the design and the technology into their own lines. Woven from polyester they are a lightweight and flexible mid to outer layer, that provides warmth even when wet. This functionality led them to be the mainstay of thermal mid-layers.
Couple this functionality with high visibility reflective stripes and fluorescent colouring and you have a an outerwear garment that is incredibly practical.
Fleece has the ability to insulate as a mid-layer in harsh cold or as an outer layer in milder weather. Its construction allows for the wicking away of moisture making it both fast drying and also, unlike sweatshirts and woollen jumpers, it retains it's warmth giving properties when wet.
Hi-vis is an important part of safety in manual working environments, especially where machinery and vehicles are involved. Reflective strips and fluorescent colours help wearers stand out, especially in poorly lit environments, helping increase the chances of being seen by operators and drivers. This can help avoid potential hazards before they happen.
Fleeces come in a range of different grades and styles, to help you better understand them and make the right choice, we have outlined the most common types below.
• Polar fleece - This is the standard fleece and comes in weights of 100 to 300. The 200 weight is considered the ideal balance between warmth and breathability.
• Microfleece - This lightweight fleece is designed for active use and is highly breathable. Some variations of this fleece feature a gridded pattern for optimum airflow.
• High-loft fleece - This fleece is soft and contains long fibres to trap as much warm air as possible. It is especially designed for harsher cold whilst remaining comparatively lightweight.
• Thickness - This will depend on the environment your working in and the season. For example if your working outdoors in winter a thicker pile fleece would be more advantageous.
• The fluorescent material - Choose a colour that will make you stand out in the work environment, the two colours that meet hi-vis safety standards are yellow, orange.
• The reflective strips - CE certified garments should have reflective strips around the sleeves. Be sure to maintain the strips as some, such as glass bead strips need to be looked after to ensure they remain compliant with safety standards.
EN ISO 20471 - This is the set of standards that hi-vis clothing must conform to.
Lets break it down...
• EN - This is a current European standard
• ISO - This is a recognised international standard
• 20471 - The number of the legislation
Note: Only yellow and orange clothing conform to this standard, other colours of hi-vis such as red and green, do not. Other colours fall under the EN1150 standard which is non-industry.
How does hi-vis work?
The fluorescent colouring reacts with UV light even in low levels of light (such as dawn or dusk) giving the appearance of a glow. At night or in dark environments the reflective strips cause light to bounce back making the wearer visible.
Are fleeces waterproof?
Fleeces can repel a light drizzle, but they are not waterproof. However due to their warmth and lack of bulk they do make for a good mid layer under a waterproof outer layer.