Looking to purchase some new running clothes? Wondering what all of the buzzes are about moisture-wicking fabric? You’re not alone! This blog post will explore what makes the moisture-wicking fabric so special and provide tips on shopping for it. Keep reading to learn more!
Polyester-wicking fabrics are high-tech, moisture-absorbing polyesters that draw away wetness from the body. Unlike cotton, which absorbs 7% of its weight in water (as opposed to only 0 – 4%), these materials can take on up to 10 times more liquid!
Sweat can be a big inconvenience during aerobic activities since it makes us feel uncomfortable, causes odor and stains in our clothes, and makes us cold If we are outdoors. Therefore, many sports brands have been working on different ways to create moisture-wicking clothes, and to do that; multiple materials have been tested to find the one that gives the best results.
In this article, I’ll be talking about the different ways moisture-wicking fabric can be created and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.
What Is The Purpose of Moisture Wicking Fabric?
The main purpose of the moisture-wicking fabric is to make it easier for the moisture to come out from our clothes and reach the surface, so it evaporates and avoids sweat. These fabrics are usually made of 3 different layers, the inner one is usually made of polyurethane, the mid-on works as a breathable membrane, and the outer layer is made of DWR-treated fabric, which allows the moisture to come out but not to enter.
Between these layers, spaces are left that enable the moisture to emerge; this process is called capillary action. Moisture-wicking fabrics are usually made of synthetics since these can be altered to work in one way or another, making them perfect for creating water-proof products and breathable sports clothes. However, a few natural fabrics, such as wool or bamboo, are also good for moisture-wicking.
What Different Types of Moisture Wicking Fabrics Are There?
There are three types of moisture-wicking fabrics depending on the type of materials that have been used for doing them. First, we have synthetic ones made of materials such as polyester or nylon; these are the most typical ones.
On the other hand, we have semi-synthetic fabrics made of materials that are taken from natural sources but mixed with synthetic products (e.g., bamboo). At last, we have natural fabrics, which are 100% natural.
What Moisture Wicking Materials Are There, And Which One Is The Best?
Inside each of the types of moisture-wicking materials, there are many of them. Each is better for specific situations and has its pros and cons, so I wouldn’t say one is the best since they all have specific purposes.
If you purchase moisture-wicking clothing, you should consider the different features of each fabric and buy the one that matches your needs the best. Now I’ll proceed to mention some of the most popular moisture-wicking materials and their features, so you can understand in what situation you should wear each.
Polyester is a synthetic fabric ideal for aerobic activities since it is lightweight and breathable. Still, it has some disadvantages, such as bad odor or the fact that it is not a natural material, which is not friendly to the environment.
Another very similar material to polyester is polypropylene, it is also ideal for aerobic activities, but it has the same disadvantages; the main differences between these two are that polypropylene is not as soft and light as polyester and is also used for other kinds of products such as backpacks and winter clothes.
Another synthetic fabric is nylon, which is not as breathable as polyester or polypropylene but can be more comfortable than them; it also has some extra features such as its elasticity and water resistance; however, in terms of odor, it is not the best option either.
In terms of natural materials, wool is awesome for moisture-wicking since it is comfortable to wear, warm, and friendly with the environment. However, wool may not be the best choice for hot temperatures since it is pretty warm and you may overheat; it is also not as durable as synthetic materials and is more expensive.
Merino wool is a wool that is even more comfortable and warmer than the standard one.
Bamboo is a semi-synthetic material good for moisture-wicking and the environment. It is also pretty comfortable but not as good as moisture-wicking fabric and more expensive than others.
If you are looking for winter clothing that is also breathable and doesn’t hold odor, I would recommend buying wool made, especially merino wool made.
On the other hand, If you are looking for durable clothing that you would also be able to wear in summer and don’t care too much about the odor while you are doing sport, you should probably go for a synthetic made; I hope I’ve helped you understand the differences of the moisture-wicking fabric materials and their advantages and disadvantages with this article.