What is calendered fabric?

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Calendering is a process by which fabric ran through hot, heavy rollers at the mill. This flattens the fabric, seals the weave, and leaves one side of the fabric shiny while the other is matte/dull in appearance. This process is done to make the fabric downproof, increase wind resistance, and improve hand feel.  

Because of the heat involved, calendering does tend to decrease the tear strength of the fabric somewhat. So for a given fabric, there's a tradeoff between things like downproofness/wind resistance and tear strength when calendering.

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  • Does Calendering affect the tear strength of a fabric? If so, does it make it stronger or weaker?

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  • That's a good question. I'd like to know the answer too.

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  • Because of the heat involved, calendering does tend to decrease the tear strength of the fabric somewhat. So for a given fabric, there's a tradeoff between things like downproofness/wind resistance and tear strength when calendering. The trick is finding a good balance.

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  • Can you use uncalendered fabric for synthetic insulation?

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  • @Josiah - Yes, you can.

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  • Does the Calendering process alter the overall breathability of the fabric?

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  • For your calendared fabrics that have a DWR treatment, would the calendared side be treated with DWR as well? I understand that the calendared side would need to be on the inside for down quilt/jacket applications, but for something like a wind shirt, it might make sense to have the calendared side on the outside if the uncalendared side has a better feel against the skin. Would the calendared side be less resistant to damage/abrasion with it being on the outside? Thanks.

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