Sweating at work – it’s a delicate issue. As well as being embarrassing and uncomfortable for your employees, it can be unsightly and off-putting for your customers and clients. Fortunately, the solution is out there. Nick Grinnell explains how moisture wicking technology has made its way from the sports field and is making its mark in workwear.
What is moisture wicking?
Moisture wicking is the name given to the process of moving moisture away from the skin during physical activity.
A moisture wicking fabric is one that does not absorb sweat, but captures it and pulls it to the surface of the garment so it can evaporate.
Some of the best moisture wicking fabrics are polyester and merino wool, both of which are used in sports and outdoor pursuits, when staying dry is important.
How does moisture wicking fabric work?
Moisture wicking fabric is designed to prevent sweat build up, keeping the wearer looking and feeling dry and comfortable.
Moisture wicking fabrics do not absorb water. Instead, it forms in droplets on the inside surface of the fabric. From here, it is pulled through tiny spaces in the weave through capillary action until it reaches the outside surface. Once exposed to the air, the droplets evaporate. This is calling ‘wicking away’.
As sweat is made from 99% water, a moisture wicking fabric has two main duties: firstly, it quickly transfers sweat to the top layer of a garment, and secondly, it dries out quickly so that sweat doesn’t end up soaking back through the fabric.
Find out how moisture wicking is different from moisture absorption in our blog on the topic.
Moisture wicking workwear – the real deal?
Moisture wicking clothing might be the best option for people working in warmer environments or in variable temperatures where maintaining comfort is difficult, but is it really possible to look smart and ‘on-brand’ in moisture wicking workwear?
Yes – it absolutely is!
When you think of moisture wicking clothing, do you picture sports tops such as those you might wear on the football, rugby, or hockey pitch? If so, you’re probably not alone. But, in reality, there is so much more variety and choice out there, including a whole range of options designed specifically for the office or warehouse. These include t-shirts and polos shirts that look exactly like their non-moisture-wicking cousins and cost the same.
If you think about it, this is perhaps not really all that surprising. After all, innovation in materials science and fabric technology at the highest levels of professional sport frequently filters down to the high street in time (just think about the impact of high-performance motorsport on general car design and manufacture).
Moisture wicking workwear – who is it for?
Workwear made from moisture wicking fabric is the most effective sweat proof solution for those working in warmer environments, people who suffer from excessive sweating, and in situations where temperature regulation is an issue.
But, if it looks like mainstream workwear, costs the same as mainstream workwear, and is proven to keep your employees cool, dry and comfortable all day long, what’s not to like? Moisture wicking workwear isn’t something you necessarily have to need; it might be something you choose.
At iSB Group, we offer a range of moisture wicking clothing and footwear and can advise businesses on the most suitable options for their team. We are always on hand to answer any questions about our products and the technologies they include, so please get in touch and we will be happy to help however we can.