Staying Cool when the Heat is on
The big buzz in consumer wear lately is "performance wear." Many of you may know it as UnderArmour®, or moisture management. The choices are expanding daily and getting better looking all the time. If you look at the tags on a lot of these garments they are made with a polyester blend. These are far from your father's polyester though. Some differences that set these apart are that they're now blended and treated to make them more comfortable and breathable.
For the purpose of this article, we will deal with two basic performance wear constructions: loose-fit and compression. They can be made out of roughly the same materials. Their purpose is to help channel moisture (sweat) away from the body and help it evaporate quickly. In theory this helps you perform at a higher level longer. The fabrics are usually made of hollow fibers that act as straws or chimneys.
Loose-fit performance wear are garments that fit loosely on the body and can be compared to a T-shirt in look, but not in performance. Compression wear is usually blended with lycra, fits you like a sausage casing, and can help prevent muscle pulls and strains. Compression garments also provide a slight edge when it comes to moisture wicking, as the garment presses against the skin and pulls more moisture away as it is released. These reasons make compression garments the choice base layer fabric of athletes in many sports. I also use mine for hunting. It really helps on a long day of grouse and pheasant hunting where you may be tramping out miles and miles. I do have a loose fit long sleeve Badger B-Hot shirt that I use for deer hunting season. This is specifically made for cold weather and I have found it far exceeds any of the traditional long underwear that I have used.
The loose fit covers a lot of territory. It can range from a simple t-shirt look to very high end polos and corporate wear. it can also have many different materials in it. One hot material is bamboo. This material is also viewed as a rather eco friendly material, because of its fast growth rates and low need for chemicals in growing it. There is some debate on how green the manufacturing process is though.The fabric itself is naturally moisture wicking and possesses some anti microbial properties. So not only does it keep you cool it can help keep away the odor bugs naturally. Other fabrics may be chemically treated to achieve this. All these advances aren't just left for the athletes though. The companies have noticed and every month there are new polos, business wear and ladies' fashions showing up. All the major brands like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok offer a full line. The smaller brands have also been able to start producing these. They look and feel fantastic, and have great price points to fit any budget
Something else that's now off the horizon are sweatshirts and warm ups that are moisture wicking. These are nice for outdoor activities where you may start out on a cool morning and work into a more strenuous activity. Holloway and Augusta are offering really nice ones that come in Men's and Ladies' styles.
Want to stay comfortable and look good? Contact Jon at The Design Monkey, by email or 715.652.6887, and let us make you look great.
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