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  • Madras is a lightweight, plain-weave fabric (usually cotton) made of combed or carded yarns. White and colored threads of uneven thickness often give Madras a textured look and form a repeating plaid, stripe or check. Frequently, the dyes are not indelibly set and subtle color changes can occur with each washing.
  • Martexin® Original Wax is a waterproofing wax compound used on clothing. A tightly held secret, it has been made with no hazardous solvents for over 50 years. Martexin® is most often used on cotton and canvas clothing. It is breathable and penetrates each fiber to provide protection against rain, water, non-oily liquids and most stains.
  • MCS stands for “Moisture Control System” and is a fabric that gives both nylon and polyester fabrics sustained hydrophilic properties ("hydrophilic" means water-attracting). Often used in activewear, MCS actively transports moisture away from the skin and distributes it over a wide area to allow for rapid evaporation. Thanks to the fineness of the yarn and the compactness of the weave, MCS Blocker is a moisture-wicking fabric with long-lasting UV protection. MCS Blocker fabric also frequently provides UPF sun protection.
  • Melton wool is a thick, heavy, tightly woven fabric with a heavily brushed nap, giving the material a smooth finish that conceals the weave. Melton wool is durable, warm and wind resistant, making it perfect for outerwear and blankets.
  • MemBrain® is a waterproof breathable technology developed exclusively for Marmot. MemBrain® technology includes a micro-thin polyurethane polymer film that is laminated to high-performance fabrics chosen by Marmot to enhance their waterproof breathable properties. In order to optimize comfort in both wet and dry conditions, MemBrain® breathability adapts to your body temperature while remaining waterproof at all times.
  • A membrane is a thin film that serves as a selective barrier, allowing some particles to pass through and remaining impermeable to others. In gear and clothing a membrane allows vapor to escape as it blocks moisture from seeping in. Waterproof breathable membranes keep the wearer dry and comfortable in extremely wet conditions.
  • Mercerized is a term used to describe treated cotton thread that adds strength and luster to yarns. Mercerized cotton has a soft feel and is referred to in the crafts as “pearl cotton” because of its sheen. Mercerized cotton also takes dye more readily than traditional cotton and is preshrunk.
  • Widely regarded as the finest and softest sheep’s wool in the world, merino wool is highly praised for its natural moisture-wicking performance, superior breathability, exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio and resistance to odors. Many manufacturers of high-end athletic apparel use merino wool because of its superior performance over conventional synthetic fabrics. Unlike coarser wools, merino wool is extremely soft and can be worn directly against the skin. In fact, merino wool long underwear is prized for its comfort and excellent temperature regulation.
  • Meryl® is an ultra-fine, silky fiber used in knit and woven fabrics that has excellent absorption capabilities and helps maintain a balanced comfort level during athletic activities. Meryl® is extremely soft, machine washable, dries three times faster than cotton and requires little or no ironing.
  • Mesh is a loosely-woven or knitted fabric with a large number of closely-spaced holes and a net-like appearance. In performance apparel and footwear, mesh increases breathability and comfort. Mesh is used in technical gear as a lightweight alternative to solid fabrics for design features like pockets and linings.
  • Microban® is an antimicrobial treatment used in a wide-range of products, such as textiles and kitchenwares. Combing organic and inorganic antimicrobial materials, Microban® is applied to products during the manufacturing stage in order to increase resistance to mold, bacteria and other microbes.
  • Microclimate refers to the thin layer of air and humidity between the skin’s surface and the first layer of clothing, or between baselayer and the outer-layer of clothing. Performance fabrics are designed to maintain a stable, comfortable microclimate.
  • Microfiber is an incredibly soft, highly durable synthetic material commonly used in household textiles, upholstery, cleaning products and athletic apparel. Microfiber is also touted for its superior ability to wick moisture and repel stains. Though most often made from polyester, microfiber can also be made of acrylic, nylon or rayon.
  • First introduced in 1979, microfleece is a soft, napped fabric commonly made from polyester. Also known as polar fleece, microfleece is commonly used in outdoor garments, such as shirts, pants, jackets, hats and blankets. An ideal lightweight alternative to wool, microfleece is exceptionally warm, wind-resistant, moisture-wicking, water-repellent and quick-drying.
  • Micromattique is a lightweight synthetic microfiber that yields a finer hand than silk, yet is highly durable. Used alone or blended with other fibers, Micromattique lends easy maintenance and colorfastness. Because of its softness and natural drape, Micromattique is used primarily in dress slacks, dresses and sportswear.
  • MicroModal® is a manufactured, cellulose-based fiber with properties similar to cotton fabrics. Softer than silk, MicroModal® is an extra-fine fiber known for its lightweight, airy and smooth hand. Commonly used in bedding products and apparel, MicroModal® is highly absorbent, breathable and maintains its extremely soft feel, even after repeated washings.
  • Micromove® is a lightweight, breathable microfiber fabric with a soft hand and move-with-you comfort. Micromove® is also quick drying and wrinkle resistant, making it an easy-care solution.
  • A micron or ‘micrometer’ is a unit of measurement equal to roughly one millionth of a meter, or 0.001 millimeters. A micron value is typically used to describe the thickness or diameter of extremely thin objects, such as fibers and filaments. The finer the fiber, the lower the micron value.
  • Introduced by The North Face, Micronamics™ is a high-performance, pill-resistant fabric manufactured with tightly knit brushed filament yarns and a spun-yarn exterior in an open weave. An ideal fabric for base layers, Micronamics™ fabric has a porous exterior surface, making it highly effective at wicking moisture and regulating temperature. In tests, Micronamics™ has proven to retain less than 2% of its weight in water, which allows it to stay very dry.
  • Micropoly is a soft, brushed polyester fabric or polyester blend. Apparel with micropoly provides an exceptional warmth-to-weight ratio and moisture-wicking comfort. Micropoly is another term for microfleece, fleece, tricot or microfiber.
  • Created by Pearl Izumi, Microsensor is a moisture-wicking performance knit, leading the Ultrasensor® technology fabric line. Created using larger yarns on the interior and finer, microfilament yarns on the fabric face, Microsensor fabric wicks moisture away from the skin 15-20% faster than Ultrasensor® fabrics.
  • Microsuede is a man-made microfiber fabric that bears similarity to suede leather. To make microsuede, fine fibers are tightly woven together to make a dense fabric, yielding an extremely soft hand. As an alternative to suede leather, microsuede is softer, more flexible and less expensive, yet also durable, stain resistant and easy to clean.
  • Microwic is a micro yarn with an open-channel “waffle” construction that facilitates effective moisture management. Microwic construction employs a “push-pull” action that transfers perspiration to the fabric surface for quick drying. Additionally, Microwic is frequently manufactured with UV sun protection qualities.
  • A mitered fabric forms a popular striped pattern, which is created by a beveled line where two pieces are cut at an angle and fit together to form a joint. The process for forming mitered fabric is very similar to the miter joint in carpentry.
  • A type of rayon, modal is a manufactured, plant-based fiber that yields textile fabric with a smooth, soft hand. Comfort benefits of modal fabric also include good breathability and resistance to shrinking. Modal absorbs dye much like cotton and is color-fast.
  • Mohair is made from the hair of the Angora goat, known for its silkiness and lustrous sheen. Mohair is strong, durable, breathable, lightweight and non-pilling. Mohair is typically used in high-quality suiting, sweaters, dresses, scarves and upholstery. It’s sometimes confused with Angora wool, which actually comes from the Angora rabbit.
  • Moleskin is a heavy, cotton-twill fabric with a short, thick and velvety nap on one side. Moleskin fabric is soft to the touch yet dense, warm, wind resistant and very durable. Moleskin is also used in first aid as adhesive pads that adhere to the skin for blister prevention or treatment.
  • A momme is a unit of weight used to measure the density and thickness of silk. The higher the momme, the more durable the weave and the heavier the fabric. Less than 20 mommes is considered lightweight, 20 to 28 mommes is considered medium weight, and anything above that is considered heavyweight.
  • Seen on ‘monk style’ shoes, a monk strap is a broad strap and buckle that fastens across the top of the foot. A monk strap replaces the need for laces and is commonly used on moderately-formal shoes, adding both function and stylistic detail.
  • Mother-of-pearl, also known as nacre, is the hard, iridescent lining of certain mollusk shells and also forms the outer coating of pearls. Mother-of-pearl is widely used for its decorative purposes due to its lustrous sheen and durability. It is most often used as an inlay in jewelry or furniture as well as for high quality buttons.
  • Mouton, meaning ‘sheep’ in French, is sheepskin that has been sheared and processed to resemble beaver, mink or seal fur for use in fur garments. Mouton fur is typically made using lambskin and involves straightening and treating the hair with heat to produce a moisture-repellent finish.
  • A mule is a backless and usually closed-toed style of shoe. Mule shoes vary in heel height from flat to high and are predominantly seen in the women’s shoe category. The mule shoe has been around for centuries but was made famous in the 1950’s by Marilyn Monroe.
  • Mummy refers to the shape of sleeping bags designed to provide maximum warmth. Mummy-shaped bags taper from the head to the foot, reducing their volume and surface area, improving overall heat-retention properties. Mummy bags are typically more lightweight and take up less space than rectangular bags, which makes them ideal for backpacking.
  • Muslin is a loosely-woven, cotton fabric that originated in Bangladesh, and was later introduced to Europe in the 17th century. Air moves easily through muslin, making muslin clothing suitable for hot, dry climates. Muslin is also used as a cloth filter, such as cheesecloth, in the culinary world.
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