Moisture wicking vs moisture absorption in workwear and why it matters

Moisture wicking vs moisture absorption in workwear and why it matters

clock-circular-outline Posted 28 Jun 2022



What are moisture wicking fabrics and when should you consider them for your workwear? What is the difference between moisture wicking and moisture absorption? Nick Grinnell explains…


Moisture wicking and moisture absorbing are terms that are often used interchangeably to describe fabrics designed to keep the wearer dry and prevent sweat build up that can cause unsightly stains to develop.


But these fabrics function very differently – and this has consequences for employers wanting to purchase the most effective sweat proof workwear for their teams.


What is moisture wicking?


Moisture wicking clothing captures sweat and pulls it to the surface of the fabric so it can evaporate. The speed at which they do this helps the wearer to look and feel dry sooner and means sweat stains do not have time to form.


The best moisture-wicking fabrics include polyester and merino wool, both of which are often used in sports and outdoor pursuits, when staying dry is important.


How does moisture wicking fabric work?


Sweat is made from 99% water. Moisture wicking fabrics do not absorb water. Droplets remain on the inner surface of the fabric and are pulled through tiny spaces in the weave through capillary action until they reach the outside of the fabric. Once exposed to the air, these droplets evaporate. We say the sweat has been ‘wicked away’.


How do moisture absorbing fabrics differ from moisture wicking fabrics?


Moisture absorbing material captures sweat and holds it in the fabric. It does this by absorbing the water in the sweat like a sponge. Tiny gaps in the fibres called micropores then trap the water and stop it from leaking into other layers of clothing, making you feel drier.


Cotton is one of the best moisture absorbing fabrics around, making it a popular choice for people who suffer from excessive sweating and don’t want it to stain their clothes.


Moisture wicking or moisture absorbing – which is better for workwear?


Workwear made from moisture wicking fabric has become increasingly popular in recent years. Advances in fabric technology and clothing design mean that this material is no longer confined to the sports field or to outdoor pursuits – it is being used to make mainstream workwear that is more comfortable to wear.


The most effective sweat proof solution for those working in warmer environments, those who suffer from excessive sweating, and when temperature regulation is an issue, moisture wicking workwear will keep your employees cool, dry and comfortable all day long.


Moisture wicking workwear options


At iSB Group, we offer a range of moisture wicking workwear options. If you have any questions about the best workwear to choose for your business, please get in touch and our team will be happy to help in whatever way they can.

By Nick Grinnell

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