October 6, 2008
MORE ABOUT MOISTURE MANAGEMENT FIRST LAYER GARMENTS
The need to remove moisture from the skin surface of the human body in order
to stay comfortable has I believe become paramount to the fiber, fabric and
garment manufacturers. They have recognized there is a problem and they are
making enormous effort to solve the problem. That is as rapidly as possible
get the moisture from your skin surface and moves it via what they refer
to as “moisture management” as quickly as possible away
from the skin.
You may as a quick reference read the September
2008 #2 newsletter where I deal with wicking underwear. There are many more
articles in the archives that deal with the subject as well.
The source of the following information is the September/October 2008 issue
of Textile World magazine.
Cotton Incorporated represents the cotton industry
and as such looks into ways of further developing uses for cotton. They have,
I would imagine a magnificent research facility in Cary, N.C. to work in.
They have done some marvelous things with cotton and I personally am a big
fan of cotton garments. However I do not believe for one nano second that
any closely knitted fabric cotton included regardless of how it is processed
is even remotely capable of managing moisture to the benefit of the person
Cotton Incorporated is debuting “TransDRY
technology”. “The TransDRY moisture-management technology for
“According to the company, cotton fabrics
made with TransDRY— named for its moisture-transferring, quick-drying
properties—retain cottons familiar comfort and softness while keeping
the wearer cooler”. The article further states; “TransDRY technology
is engineered to move moisture away from the skin to evaporate from the outside
of the fabric”.
I looked in the Cotton Inc. web site and read what they had to say about
TransDRY only to not find out what they are adding to the cotton fiber
to cause it to have a characteristic that it otherwise does not have, and
couldn’t find that information. They claim the “moisture moves
in one direction, away from the skin to the outside of the fabric”.
I do believe that the exact same action takes place with all cotton fabric.
The moisture a person generates will always be absorbed by the cotton;
first by the fiber laying against the skin and as the moisture builds in
the fabric it moves in and through the fabric until it reaches the outside,
in other words in one direction away from the skin. The statement that
the wearer will stay cooler is correct. This is what is known as evaporative
cooling. When all you are wearing is the cotton shirt because the ambient
air temperature is for the sake of this discussion 75 degrees or higher
the evaporative cooling effect is desirable. However, if the temperature
is 20 degrees and one is obviously wearing two other layers of clothing
over the cotton underwear the cooling will still take place but the evaporation
of the moisture will not take place since the outside of the cotton fabric
is not exposed to the atmosphere, if it were you would ultimately freeze
to death. People will read about this material and believe that it is going
to make a difference when worn in a cold environment. There in lies the “rub”,
now you will experience the “chill” affect. The moisture will
as I have said in the past be trapped against your skin surface drawing
precious heat from your body. (Author’s comments)
They further state; “Fabrics engineered to
have one-way transfer performance beat any synthetic product we’ve
tested in head-to-head comparisons—it’s not even close,” said
David Early, director of supply chain marketing, Cotton Inc.” “We
think this is an incredible break-through for cotton in the world of performance
apparel that will help us compete head-to-head with synthetics.”
I do not believe he knows or understands when a cotton shirt is worn
as the only layer it is far more efficient as a cooling garment than any
synthetic could ever be regardless if it is adulterated with what ever
chemical I suppose that gives Cotton Inc. the right to give it a name “TransDRY”.
The synthetic as I have said is just a wall that works to retain the moisture
against the skin versus the moisture moving through the cotton.
If they were to be really fair in their
testing they would get a fishnet shirt and see how well it performed
against the fishnet fabric. Of course that will not happen. They know
or maybe they don’t know the moisture would move for the most
part instantly while in a vapor state away from the skin never having
the time to condense. However, there will be some condensation which
would happen even if you were not wearing fishnets.
My opinion; these companies are only interested
in marketing something, that something being a “promise” and
nothing more. As I have said and will continue to say, if you want
to be comfortable in out door activity situations summer or winter
the best first layer of clothing that you should wear are fishnet underwear.