Athletes put their bodies through a lot of stress. From the constant physical activity to the sweat and dirt that accumulates, they need all the help they can get to stay comfortable and perform at their best. That’s where moisture-wicking fabrics come in. These textiles are designed to keep athletes cool and dry by drawing sweat away from the skin. But what are they, exactly? And how do they work? Read on to find out!
Wicking fabrics are the newest, most technical type of clothing that wicks away moisture from your body. Made with high-tech polyester fibers, unlike cotton, they absorb very little water – making them perfect for hot weather!
A fabric’s ability to absorb and disperse moisture is its wicking capability. For a fabric to be considered moisture-wicking, its fibers must be hydrophobic (water-hating) and gentle on the skin. Materials that are not adequately treated can irritate the skin, causing rashes.
Moisture-wicking fabrics vary in effectiveness depending on the weight and construction of the fabric. Many athletic types of clothing are made out of materials designed to keep you dry and temperature neutral.
What Is a Moisture Wicking Fabric?
A moisture-wicking fabric transports sweat away from your skin to the outside of the material, where it can evaporate. If you sweat a lot, wearing clothing made from moisture-wicking fabrics will help keep your clothes dry and protect your skin from rashes caused by sweat build-up under wet clothing.
The outer layer of fabric should always remain dry, even during intense physical activity. Moisture-wicking garments should absorb sweat and take it to the outer material layer to evaporate.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to move sweat away from your skin and allow it to dry faster. These fabrics help regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. In addition, moisture wicking is a valuable asset.
What Is The Best Moisture Wicking Fabric?
Moisture-wicking Fabrics are made with materials that allow sweat to move from your skin to the outer layer of fabric, where it can evaporate. These fabrics are designed to keep you dry and comfortable by moving moisture away from your skin. High-performance wicking fabrics also usually have anti-bacterial properties.
Moisture-wicking fabric is designed to draw sweat away from the body through the fabric’s fibers and release it into the air, where it can evaporate. Many types of materials are considered high-performance wicking fabrics. Some popular kinds of moisture-wicking fabrics include:
Nylon/Polyester Blends: Wear-Resistant Nylon and Supplex/Lycra fabrics are popular for moisture-wicking workout clothing because they provide comfort, style, and durability.
CoolMax: CoolMax is a unique four-channel fiber created by DuPont to transport the sweat from the skin to the outer layer of the fabric, where it can evaporate. MicroPoly: High-tech fibers with a soft, smooth texture and shiny appearance.
MicroPoly Fabrics: these are extremely lightweight and provide excellent moisture-wicking properties and a stylish look for clothing worn indoors and outdoors.
Bamboo Fabric: This fabric is made from the pulp of bamboo plants, creating an exceptionally soft, silky fabric. Bamboo fibers are naturally antibacterial and moisture-wicking, making them the perfect choice for healthy clothing that is comfortable to wear.
Cupro: This fabric is made from silk-like fibers from the cotton plant. Cupro fabrics are soft, silky, breathable, absorbent, and shrinkage-resistant. Cupro fabrics also have natural wrinkle resistance and stretch for easy movement.
Rayon: This fabric is made from regenerated cellulose fiber from wood pulp or cotton plant fibers. It provides a soft, sheer alternative to silk.
How Well Do Moisture Wicking Fabrics Work?
Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to hold in heat while releasing moisture away from the skin. Fabrics that are not adequately treated can irritate the skin and cause rashes. Moisture-wicking fabrics vary in effectiveness depending on the weight and construction of the material. Many athletic clothing types are made of moisture-wicking fabrics, allowing for a more comfortable workout.
How Can You Tell If A Fabric Is Moisture Wicking?
Several tests can be run to determine the effectiveness of a fabric’s moisture-wicking properties. Some factors that will affect a fabric’s ability to wick moisture include:
How The Fabric Is Treated: Some materials have an anti-bacterial treatment that repels moisture.
Environmental Conditions: Temperature and humidity can affect how well a fabric absorbs and releases moisture
Testing the effectiveness of a fabric’s moisture-wicking properties is easy at home. You can test the moisture-wicking effectiveness of towels, for example. If you take two towels and place one directly on your skin, the other towel should wick away moisture from your body faster than the towel touching your skin.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to pull sweat away from the skin and release it into the air, where it can evaporate. During exercise, they provide comfort by allowing for quick evaporation of sweat on the skin’s surface.