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More About Moisture Management First Layer Garments

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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 wearing it.
Cotton Incorporated is debuting “TransDRY technology”. “The TransDRY moisture-management technology for performance apparel”.

“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.

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