Whether you are a professional athlete or enjoy playing sports for fun, you know the importance of staying hydrated. And if you are like most athletes, you also know the importance of wearing moisture-wicking material to help keep you dry.
But do you know what makes moisture-wicking material so effective? This blog post will take a closer look at what makes moisture-wicking material so special and why it is such an important part of any athlete’s wardrobe.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are a great way to help prevent you from getting wet, especially if it’s raining or your clothes have started taking on water. Some of the best materials for this type include polyester and nylon because they contain similar chemicals as plastic. Even though these types will absorb moisture when wet, there isn’t much risk that excess fluid can get inside them through absorption!
For people with an active lifestyle, it is such a huge factor to consider the fabric type to use- whether indoor workouts or outdoor activities, there is a huge difference. There is a thin line between moisture-wicking fabric and the one that significantly absorbs sweat. But how do we know which one to pick?
Aside from comfort, it is also crucial to think about several things like sweat stains, odor, and the ability of the material to be breathable.
Breathable Fabrics Vs. Moisture-Wicking Fabrics
It is designed with fibers that absorb and capture sweat, allowing Air to travel freely through breathable materials. Due to this, any moisture produced by your body evaporates more quickly. Cotton, rayon, and linen are breathable fabrics that don’t wick moisture away from the skin very well.
Sweat-wicking fabric wicks perspiration away from your body and allows it to dissipate through the fabric. Even in hot weather or sweating, this wicking action keeps your body dry and cool significantly. This includes synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, or any textiles treated with solutions to prevent water absorption.
Polyester and nylon are both water-resistant in terms of their chemistry, which is comparable and likely to that of plastic. Instead of being absorbed by the fiber on which they rest, water droplets remain on the surface and flow along the weave, moving across the cloth. The water droplets eventually reach the fabric’s exterior, where they will effectively evaporate when exposed to the air.
This enables the cloth to dry faster in intense sweating since the wicking material does not absorb moisture. This might make it an ideal single layer for sports: perspiration can drain directly into the air, preventing your garments from being soaked.
Nylon is a moisture-wicking, mildew-resistant, and quick-drying fabric. It is pleasant to wear because of its flexibility and lightness, making it ideal for gym training and working out. For this reason, a lot of fitness gear is composed of nylon or has a high nylon ratio.
Polyester is a moisture-wicking fabric made from a synthetic mix. Polyester blends well with other textiles and is breathable, lightweight, and quick-drying, making it an excellent choice for activewear or outdoor activities. On the other hand, polyester tends to retain odors and can even promote the growth of several bacteria.
Merino wool is one of the most moisture-wicking textiles currently available. It’s a natural fiber that’s breathable and lightweight, making it ideal for hot weather. It does not absorb scents as polyester does. Merino wool is now available in lightweight materials appropriate for undershirts and activewear. However, among the synthetic fabrics, merino wool possesses less durability.
Wool is made from a natural textile that is excellent at wicking moisture. It is a heat-regulating, soft, and warm material that is fantastic for winter wear. Conversely, wool is not as silky as merino wool and can irritate sensitive skin. It’s also not as long-lasting as synthetic fabrics.
Bamboo is constructed from plants. Thus, its fibers are naturally wicking. It has a soft and cool feeling that regulates body temperature well, making it a good choice for year-round use. On the other hand, bamboo moisture-wicking fabric is more expensive than natural materials like cotton.
Polypropylene, like polyester, is a thermoplastic polymer. Polypropylene, in addition to wicking moisture, dries quickly and is very well for its thermal characteristics, making it outstanding for use in chilly gear and garments. However, it, like polyester, is susceptible to odor accumulation. It’s also not as soft as some other materials on the list.
Micromodal has become one of today’s most breathable and sweat-wicking materials. It has exceptional temperature-regulating characteristics, allowing you to stay comfortable regardless of the weather. It’s ideal for undergarments, casual wear, and any clothing close to the skin because of its extremely soft, silk-like texture.
While micro modal fabric assists in regulating body temperature, it does not help trap the heat and will not keep you warm enough.