What exactly is microfiber yarn and why are our AlpineFiber and AlpineMicro so good?
There seems to be quite a lot of confusion in the automotive market as to exactly what microfiber is. There are several unscrupulous suppliers who would have you believe that because a cloth is microfiber it is safe for your vehicle's finish. NOTHING could be further from the truth. There are towels that use microfiber yarns that will scratch and there are towels that do not use microfiber that are safe. The fact that a towel is made using microfiber yarns is not in itself a guarantee of safety.
Microfiber is not a fabric, it is a very small diameter yarn, spun into thread, that is used to weave or knit fabric. Most common microfibers are polyester and may indeed scratch the surface of your car if you aren't careful. You should, as a rule, avoid any cloth material that is not thoroughly inspected by the manufacturer and seller. You're asking for trouble with low priced mega-store towels or heavily discounted ones from online sellers. Always test any towel you buy before use, it's better to be safe than sorry.
By definition, microfibers are ultra-fine yarns made from various sources. They can be polyester, nylon, or a natural material such as cotton or other cellulose materials. Microfiber is typically two times finer than silk and hundreds of times finer than human hair. In fact, our AlpineFiber and AlpineMicro yarns are so fine that a strand stretching 25,000 miles around the earth will weigh only three ounces!
The smaller the diameter, the softer the fabric will "feel." This does not mean, however, that it is not abrasive or will not scratch. In fact, most microfiber cloths that come from the orient are polyester microfiber and will most likely scratch the surface of your vehicle. Just because it says microfiber and it feels soft does not guarantee a scratch free shine! If you use polyester microfiber be sure they come from a respected source who has very stringent quality control.
Microfibers are never used in their natural state, they are spun together to make a larger diameter yarn which is then used to weave or knit various fabrics such as twills, satins, and terrycloth. Many times you will see microfibers spun in combination with other yarns in order to achieve a desired result. For example, nylon microfiber spun with spandex to give it stretch is a common fabric used in lingerie and swimwear fabrics. Our AlpineFiber is an all natural cotton microfiber spun with Pima cotton that is then woven in a terrycloth fabric.
Compare our terrycloth with those of other manufacturers. The first thing you will notice is how much softer it is. Also take note of the larger terry loops that we use. These larger loops allow for more fabric to come into contact with the surface than other terrycloths.
AlpineFiber and AlpineMicro are our trademarks for our microfiber yarns. A secret process combines 100% natural materials in the case of our AlpineFiber or very highly processed polyester and Nylon yarns in the case of our AlpineMicro into very absorbent and soft yarns that will not scratch whatever surface they come into contact with.
Finally, we do not use any chemicals to fool you into thinking our cloth is softer than our competitor's. We are softer naturally and will stay that way.