Choosing the right fabrics for your trip is as important as under-•.1. ding what each fiber contributes to the finished fabric. There arc three fabric characteristics that you should understand in acter to make wise and condonable fabric choices.
In the past, we chose fibers that Tysorbed moisture. The natural tiers — rayon, linen, cotton. .ind wool — were thought to be he best. Absorbent fibers take sstiorsture away from our bodies tild hold it (picture a cotton .ces shirt on a logger after a sing run). The body is cooled is breeses cause evaporation. —– -magine the difference between scaring a cotton tee-shin and a plastic ‘ig on a hot day. The plastic bag traps moisture and heat; he cotton shun absorbs and cools.
The moisture-wicking process Is the high-tech • cy to comfort- Wicking synthetic fibers have been designed to ..rke perspiration away from the body. transposing It to the fabric surface where It can evaporate. Since perspiration evaporating is sum the body coots Itself, the faster the fabric spreads moisture o the surface to speed s-vaporization. the cooler she body feels
Wicking also keeps your body warm and dry In cold weather by pulling moisture away from the body and preventing cold perspiration from settling on the skin. Fabrics that tuck moisture don’t absorb moisture so they wash and dry quickly. Cotton absorbs and holds moisture, so drying takes a long time.
Fabrics that breathe allow air to pass bemeen the threads so that the air evaporates perspiration and cools the body. A plastic bag does not breathe; it traps perspiration and keeps air out. Breathable fabrics do not necessarily absorb or nick moisture, but they still feel cool because they allow air and moisture passage. Supplex is an example of a fabric that doesn’t absorb or wick very much, but it breathes to allow air to pass through and so feels comfortable to wear. Open Weave fabrics also allow air to pass between the threads in the fabric for added comfort.
How Does This Affect Packing?
If you want to pack really light. pack two sets of CoolMax underwear so you can wear one and wash the other. It will dry overnight, even in humid climates.
Breathe for comfort, and can be washed and dried quickly in your way to a cold adventurer Patagonia Expedition Weight capilene long underwear has been worn In Antarctica by explown who swore their very survival WAS due to their clothing. It’s a weal choice for a ski trip or for other cold weather adventures This fabric is made of a wicking polyester fiber.
Determine How a Fabrk Will Perform
Now that you’re armed with lots of information about fibers and hacks that air travel friendly, you’re ready to shop There ate airtel easy performance Intl that you can do to deride If your choice is trawl worthy. Herr air some things to test. I Look at the item Is It wrinkled on the hanger In the store/ No a good Jun II it wrinkles In the store or wrinkles In your closet, II Is a sure thing rl will wrinkle In your suittaw ) Grab a corner of fabric and crush It in your hand Hold it for seconds and let your hand warmth and moisture pen/ Kate the fabric. Now let go.
- Test to see if pants will bag at the knees or a skirt will bulge In the back after just one wearing. Check for shape retention by stretching the fabric between your thumbs and forefingers and holding it for to seconds. If the yarns slip apart easily, this could cause stretch and stress on the seams. If there is no yarn shifting and the fabric springs back after stretching, the fabric will hold its shape while being worn. Generally, woven fabrics hold their shape better than knits and synthetic fibers better than natural ones
- Test for fabric ‘pilling’ (those pesky little balls that form on the surface) by turning an inconspicuous comer back on itself and rubbing the layers together. If this produces slight balls or pills, these will occur wherever abrasion occurs during wear the front of the thigh, pant crotch. and underarm. Filling does not affect the packability of an item. but It does make the fabric look old and worn before its time.
- Check for breathability by holding the fabric to your mouth and blowing through it. If no air passes through, the fabric does not breathe and will feel like a plastic bag.