What is moisture-wicking material? You have likely seen this term before, but do you know what it means? Moisture-wicking material is a special fabric designed to disperse sweat and moisture from the body.
This helps keep you dry and comfortable during exercise, which can improve your performance. This article will take a closer look at what makes moisture-wicking material so special and how you can choose the right clothing for your needs.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are a lifesaver for people with friction headaches. The built-in capillaries pull moisture away from your skin, which makes it easier to evaporate and soothes you during those long days on the go!
Moisture-wicking fabric is any fabric that has microscopic channels through which sweat evaporates. Even though it won’t eliminate all perspiration, moisture-wicking clothing makes runners and other exercisers feel more comfortable by reducing moisture through evaporation.
How Does It Work?
When your body produces water vapor during exercise or regular activity, it’s typically released into the air. But when you wear clothing made with moisture-wicking material, this vapor passes through the material via tiny tunnels (typically constructed out of nylon). The spaces between each thread work like small tubes to disperse moisture throughout the fabric until it can dry off completely.
What is Moisture Wicking Material Vs. Breathable Materials?
There are significant differences between moisture-wicking materials and breathable materials. Breathable materials allow water vapor to escape from the inside of the material, thus allowing sweat and humidity to escape as well.
Moisture-wicking materials, on the other hand, transport moisture (dampness) away from your body and expel it on the outside of the fabric, where it can dry more quickly. Even though both fabrics help regulate body temperature and keep you cool or warm, some distinct differences may affect your
Choice of which one is best for your specific situation:
- Breathable fabric works best in temperatures between -30° (-34°C) and 120°F (49°C). Its optimal warmth retention capacity makes it an excellent option for cooler climates.
- On the other hand, Moisture-wicking fabrics keep your dryer by their very nature. They are perfect for warmer temperatures beyond the optimum temperature range of breathable materials.
- Moisture-wicking fabrics perform better in wet, humid, and rainy conditions because they effectively disperse moisture to the outside of the material.
What is Moisture Wicking Material?
Many different materials can build moisture-wicking fabrics, making it difficult sometimes to decide which material is the best for your specific needs. The following list provides an overview of some of the most popular moisture-wicking fabric materials on the market today.
It makes up more than half the weight of most moisture-wicking athletic fabrics and provides strength to hold up under heavy loads. Although nylon absorbs less than 1% of its weight in water, it dries extremely fast – usually within 15 minutes. It’s often blended with other materials, such as cotton or lycra (a type of elastane), to increase its stretch and comfort. It’s an ideal material for activewear because it provides excellent shape retention, durability, and abrasion resistance.
Cotton has long been known as the most absorbent fiber on earth, and cotton fabrics made explicitly for moisture-wicking offer significant advantages over traditional 100% cotton products. They are usually made with a blend of moisture-wicking materials to reduce the overall cost, and they typically provide more stretch than typical cotton T-shirts. Because cotton is porous, it also moves air through the fabric, so you feel more relaxed in hot weather and warmer when it’s cold out.
Known by the brand name Lycra®, elastane is a polyurethane fiber that’s five times stronger than steel. It enhances the garment’s stretch, comfort, and flexibility while retaining shape. This material has become popular in underwear because of its ability to hug the body without restricting movement or causing discomfort.
Polyester is the most widely used fabric for moisture-wicking garments because it performs consistently in all climates. It’s an excellent choice for activewear because it provides four times more abrasion resistance than cotton while being less bulky and easier to care for. Polyester fabrics are durable, long-lasting, and resistant to shrinkage after repeated wash cycles. They also provide more excellent stretch than cotton fabrics.
Also known as elastane or lycra, spandex is a slightly elastic synthetic fiber popular in moisture-wicking garments. It provides extra support and hugs the body without adding unnecessary bulkiness. It also retains shape to cotton garments, keeping their form even after frequent washings.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to help you regulate your body temperature and stay comfortable, regardless of the climate you live in or the activity you do at any given the time of day. The only downside of these fabrics is the cost.
Because they are so versatile and effective at keeping your body temperature regulated in all climates, they can be pretty expensive. But, according to our research, there is an excellent reason for their added cost.