How do sweat-blocking fabrics work?

If you work in a warm environment or outside where the temperature is variable, sweat-absorbing clothing is invaluable for staying comfortable. Let’s take a look at what sweat-blocking fabrics are and how they work.

What does sweat-blocking mean?

There are several ways in which clothing that absorbs sweat is described, including sweat-blocking, sweat-absorbing, moisture-wicking, and sweat-wicking.

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Moisture-wicking fabrics are those that don’t absorb water, with this phrase referring to the way some fabrics draw moisture away from the skin. These fabrics don’t absorb sweat; instead, they capture it and draw it to the surface of a garment, where it evaporates. This evaporation is known as wicking away and means the wearer feels dry and comfortable. Droplets are formed on the inside of the fabric before being pulled through small gaps in the weave to the outside.

Best sweat-resistant fabrics

An article in the Sun recommends avoiding polyester and other synthetic fabrics, which trap sweat and heat. Natural is the best way to go if you want to stay cool and dry.

As you might expect, cotton is highly recommended. It is lightweight and breathable, which lets air flow around your skin and the garment. It also absorbs moisture, which is essential for managing sweat.

Linen is also lightweight, absorbent and breathable. It is often worn by people in hot countries who want to avoid clothes that stick to their bodies.

You might not think of wool as being able to keep you dry and cool, but it has been used for this purpose for centuries. Irish sweaters for men, which are available from stores such as Shop Aran, are often made of merino wool because it is moisture-wicking and ideal for wearing in all weathers and regulating body temperature. The fact that fishermen’s wives off the west coast of Ireland used it to make jumpers for their husbands is proof that it works in drawing moisture away from the skin.

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Bamboo is another natural fibre that is used in the manufacture of breathable clothes. It has the advantage of being resistant to mildew and mould.

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