Being a suggie parent is like being a parent to a little kid. We always want what is best for them and provide what is recommended for them. When we need to get cloth material for our gliders, the safest cloth materials would be our cotton t-shirts or fleece.
Usually I take old cotton t-shirts and cut them into usable pieces as a blanket or tie the ends to the cage to create a hammock. Now fleece on the other hand is normally used for making pouches and cage accessories. Why fleece?
Fleece is a material of synthetic wool fiber. Not real wool! It was created to mimic wool but the weight of this material is certainly light. Polar fleece, as it is known in the US, is a recommended material for glider pouches because it is soft, breathable and most importantly, the material doesn’t snag and get caught around the glider’s limbs or claws. If it does snag, it won’t cause much damage as to how a fluffy bath towel would.
Where can it be found? Well, fleece is normally made into blankets. It provides warmth and it is a good alternative for people who are allergic to wool. I have seen fleece blankets sold at Carrefour, Jusco, IKEA and even the local pasar malam or night markets. Usually in blanket form, prices vary and I think IKEA sells a light blue one for less than RM18. I saw it for sale once at RM12. Comes in many colours and patterns, the one for kids are normally printed with cartoon characters.
In material shops, there is another type of material that can be used. It’s not fleece, but it is a mixed cotton material that people use for blankets. It’s called flannel. Lighter and it comes in more colours. Being mixed cotton, this material is absorbent and soaks up pee and water well while fleece usually just let water roll off. In Malaysia, our country is warm and humid. Fleece may be suitable for gliders living in a cool air conditioned room but it would be terribly uncomfortable if the weather was too hot. So for fleece pouches, it is made using a single layer while flannel pouches are double layer.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of fleece from Wikipedia
Advantages of fleece are that it is:
- Soft and comfortable to wear.
- Very warm and provides warmth without weighing a lot.
- Hydrophobic, holding less than 1% of its weight in water when fully soaked and simultaneously highly breathable. Due to this, water vapor from perspiration passes through readily and little is held within the fleece. This makes it a good choice for physical activities where sweating is likely to occur.
- Can be considered environmentally friendly as it can be made from recycled plastic PET bottles.
- Machine washable and dries quickly. Specific washing instructions include cold or cool water (no more than 30-40°C), line-dry, and do not iron.
- A good alternative for those who are allergic or sensitive to wool.
- Dries very quickly and retains much of its insulation capability even when it is wet, because of its hydrophobic properties.
- Is flammable. Fleece without fire retardant is categorized as a Group I flammable fabric; with fire retardant, a Group II flammable fabric. (Group III fabrics are the least flammable and are made from natural animal hair, such as wool, from silks and from hides. )
- Is made from a non-renewable natural resource: petroleum.
- The fabric doesn’t absorb moisture as well as natural fiber fabrics such as cotton and wool (however this is usually a desired effect of fleece).
- It tends to generate very high static electricity charges. This makes it a magnet for pet hairs and other dust and fluff.
- Not windproof (although some more expensive grades are denser and designed to be windproof., and some have plastic membranes laminated with them to block wind.)
- Can be damaged by high-temperature washing (temperatures at or below 30 to 40°C are recommended), or by tumble drying and ironing (only a cool iron is OK).
- Lower-quality grades are susceptible to pilling and to early wear and tear.
- In some instances it may tear easily.
So, I’ll just repeat the places where Fleece is available.
Night markets@Pasar Malam
You may also be able to get it at certain Kamdar and Giant stores.