What Is Capilene Fabric & Is It Any Good? (Solved)

You must have come across or seen sportsmen and women wearing tight-fitting sportswear. The attire, from a glance, may appear uncomfortable since sporting activities generate a lot of heat and accumulate moisture.

The attire is made of Capeline, a revolutionary fabric that allows the production of varying pieces for any weather condition. Find out more about Capilene and if it’s worth it.

What is Capilene?

Capeline is made from polypropylene. The product is used to make moisture-wicking polyester fabrics. They keep you warm when wet and manage moisture by drying quickly.

The fabric is conducive for hiking expeditions under the scorching summer sun or used as a base layer or a fleece jacket during winter.


History of Capilene

Capeline originated in the US and was manufactured by Patagonia in the mid-1980s. It was fronted as a concept of layering, an alternative to the combination of wool and cotton used in underwear.

The invention gave birth to synthetic polyester fleece for attires like pullovers.

Patagonia, in its extensive research, discovered the ability of polyester to wick away moisture from the body and fashioned the fabric as a next-to-skin option other than cotton.

This option was called Capeline and became the first base layer for performance.

Capeline has become a staple to the extent that it forms the basis for all enhanced layering systems. An assortment of weights in Patagonia’s Capilene products gives consumers various choices.

Different kinds of Capilene

Patagonia, the leading manufacturer of Capilene, produces them in series that suit the weather condition. Irrespective, all can be used as part of layering since they retain heat at different rates. Some of the series include:


The fabric has wicking moisture attributes which is the basic composition of Capilene polyester infused in T-shirts that makes them fit for daily activities.

Daily is stretchier and made for regular use. It also has an odor control feature called polygiene permanent, which allows less washing and longer wear.

Lightweight Capilene

It has a complex weave that facilitates the fastest drying among the base layers. Typically suitable for aerobics in warm or cool environments.

The open-knit structure allows it to breathe with ease, wicking out moisture and, at the same time, increasing warmth in lower temperatures.

Midweight Capilene

Regarded as the most versatile of Capline types, it dries quickly and stretches to accommodate mobility. Midweight strikes the perfect balance of breathability, weight, and wicking.

Using an additional layer on it is possible since it has a smooth texture and can be worn independently.

It’s comfortable when worn alone and provides great wicking, plus it regulates the temperature in cold or cool conditions.

Thermal weight Capilene

The warmest of all is the Capilene base layer series, that’s breathable but bulky.

It’s soft and stretches well while maintaining warmth in cool and cold temperatures. The thermal weight has a warm interior that’s brushy; when worn next to the skin, it keeps you warm.

Cool tech tees Capilene

The lightest and stretchiest, plus it dries fast under immense workouts or during long treks under the scorching sun.

Donned with excellent breathability, when worn alone, it has an ultra-violet protection factor (UPF) of 50+.

It is conducive to wicking out moisture when worn underneath and provides warmth in low temperatures.

Is Capilene worth it?

Attires made with Capilene have the advantages of great wicking and warmth. The fabric is well curated to offer comfort, accommodate stretching for mobility, and allow regular use.

Its invention comes with great comfort that would otherwise not have been realized.

Capilene’s versatility in sportswear is phenomenal, especially with the fast-drying lightweight piece, also known as silky weight.

Its weave construction is open to offering adequate breathability since its use will require maximum wicking due to intense exertion.

Alternatively, thermal Capilene is essential for cold expeditions as a base layer or single-worn attire for daily activities. The fabric offers versatility for a wide range of wear, subject to how warm or wicking the wear needs to be.

How does Capilene differ from other fabrics?

Capilene fabric belonging to Patagonia is the best polyester fabric used for technical base layers. The fabric is fundamental for all layering and usable in various sportswear.

Patagonia Capilene spots a blue sign® approved (Capilene® system), unlike most fabrics. The sign means the company ensures that their production follows strict guidelines that enable them to reduce waste and enhance their products’ sustainability.

Also, the Capilene polyester product line maximizes using odor-preventing technologies to significantly reduce or eradicate odors due to long wear.

The fabric can be treated with silver-based compounds, plus triclocarban and triclosan.

Products made of Capilene

Other than fabrics, a type of Capilene TU 75 AV, a component of polymer plastic, can be used to make various other products. Some of these products include:


Capilene resins with low emissions are used in the automotive industry for interior finishing, like the dashboard and other hardened plastic components. The resins usually comply with FOG and volatile organic compounds (VOC) requirements.

Plastic containers

Made from clear Capilene and widely used for deep freezing food packaging. The bowls are usually clear, strong, and don’t exhibit warpage. They are considered durable, safe, and not harmful when handled correctly.

Another variant is Capilene TT 75 AV, which produces polymer plastic used to make large containers, shelves, cabinets, and technical parts that are heavy-duty.

Capeline is a game-changer

The invention of Capilene by Patagonia gave the sportswear industry an option of a light fabric that’s stretchy, soft, and suits extreme exertion. The fabric’s construction offers adequate breathability and remains comfortable and applicable to various sports.

Capilene is also a great fit for T-shirts that are used regularly. They stretch to offer mobility in everyday use offering comfort in warm or cool weather conditions. For extremely cold conditions, Capilene features jackets, pullovers, or fleeces that are worn as base layers to increase warmth.