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Nature's Tech Fabric

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    Nature's Tech Fabric

    I was thinking, as it's summer, what would you consider to be the "tech fabric" of nature?

    Of course, that brings up questions of what you consider "tech fabric" to be, so I'll leave it up for discussion. Do you like the light, breathable cheapness of cotton? Or the airiness of linen? Or the wicking ability of wool? Or maybe you don't like the way cotton can stay damp, or how wool feels like it's too insulating and warm? Maybe silk is great but to pricey and delicate?

    #2
    I'd say linen is the tech fabric of nature. Light, airy, comfortable in heat. Sure it wrinkles if you so much as look at it. But all fabrics, even the man made tech ones, have their drawbacks.

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      #3
      I would say linen in summer. It isn't technically a wicking fabric (I don't think) but doesn't seem to get as drenched with sweat as cotton and breathes a lot better as a result. I have on merino wool t shirt from a brand called icebreakers but it is so sheer I really am not comfortable wearing it on its own in public, so mostly use it as a base layer under something else, and usually in cooler weather. That said I mostly wear cotton in summer - t shirts, polos and short sleeved button ups. Linen and merino can get pricey, and knit cotton t shirts are hard to beat for softness and overall comfort as the fabric has a lot of natural stretch built in. You get the same with merino wool but I've never seen a knit linen garment and woven fabric doesn't have much give.

      Once the temps drop wool all the way.
      “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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        #4
        Linen and cotton all the way. Or a cotton-linen blend if you prefer some cotton to strengthen linen's propensity for wrinkles. I think claims about cotton soaking up moisture in the heat is fair but overstated. A slub cotton does pretty well in the heat. Either way, the acceptance of artificial "tech" fabrics is my biggest pet peeve in menswear. "Tech" fabrics are nothing but a marketing ploy to sell cheap polyester at premium prices. All these artificial "tech" fabrics are nothing but plastic. You might as well wear a plastic bag. If you want a cooling fabric for the heat, stick with linen or cotton.

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          #5
          Originally posted by garryowen47 View Post
          Linen and cotton all the way. Or a cotton-linen blend if you prefer some cotton to strengthen linen's propensity for wrinkles. I think claims about cotton soaking up moisture in the heat is fair but overstated. A slub cotton does pretty well in the heat. Either way, the acceptance of artificial "tech" fabrics is my biggest pet peeve in menswear. "Tech" fabrics are nothing but a marketing ploy to sell cheap polyester at premium prices. All these artificial "tech" fabrics are nothing but plastic. You might as well wear a plastic bag. If you want a cooling fabric for the heat, stick with linen or cotton.
          It does have to be pretty damn hot, or you have to be working pretty damn hard, before cotton really becomes an issue. Except for boxer briefs - things can get pretty damp in that area with just normal walking around, or sitting around in hot weather. Tech fabrics have their purpose - they are much more comfortable for exercising in. I never really understood why guys think they need a tech polo for just normal everyday wear - a cotton jersey or pique polo is just as comfortable, maybe even moreso, if you're just hanging out. Linen is even better from a not getting waterlogged standpoint and also allows for more airflow so it's even better in hot weather. but on the downside, it's not as soft or stretchy like a knit cotton fabric, so there's a little comfort tradeoff.
          “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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            #6
            Merino wool. It can be knitted in multiple gauges from ultra fine to thick and fluffy. It's breathable, moisture wicking, and naturally anti-microbial.

            I've converted to 100% Darn Tough merino wool socks and I'm usually wearing some Filson merino wool t-shirts when I'm not in tech fabric Under Armour or Nike polos.

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              #7
              Originally posted by mcadamsandwich View Post
              Merino wool. It can be knitted in multiple gauges from ultra fine to thick and fluffy. It's breathable, moisture wicking, and naturally anti-microbial.

              I've converted to 100% Darn Tough merino wool socks and I'm usually wearing some Filson merino wool t-shirts when I'm not in tech fabric Under Armour or Nike polos.
              This ^^ I recently bought two merino wool t-shirts for running in and LOVE THEM! Now when I go for a run those are the first shirts I reach for. They are cool to run in (believe it or not) and as you stated have natural anti-stink properties. I still like my technical Ts for running in, but some of them are getting stanky. And the Mrs. is definitely not a fan of the stank.

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                #8
                Having lived all my life in hot areas, sigh, and running hotter then most people. We I have been experimenting with fabrics for a while.
                Linen is great more in a hot humid areas as air movement is key to keeping you cool.I don’t wear any now that I live in the desert as linen doesn’t protect from the sun that well and that’s a bigger need then breathability. Plus a drawback of linen is that in dry heat you are trying to keep moisture in your body not letting it leave. Another problem I have with linen it has to be lose fitting to work if not it rubs and I have gotten rashes from bad fitting line. Yes I was moving a lot more then probably should have in linen, it’s more fabric meant for relaxing.
                Merino wool is amazing for socks because it doesn’t rub like cotton and removes pressure points. A big deal for boots and helps me as I put most of my pressure on my heals. What bugs me is how you have to find the right thickness for the temperature, meaning you have to have more socks. I need to invest in some Merino wool t-shirts but haven’t gotten around to it.
                I definitely agree that most guys use tech fabrics as a crutch much like exercise shorts. Though I can’t complain to much as I wear mostly dry fit polos as I run hotter than most people.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Synthetics definitely have their place but you have to be a little careful with some of them - certain types of polyester get really hot in direct sunlight - I have a 60/40 poly/cotton blend t shirt - it looks vintage but when the sun hits me it's like it's being heated up in a microwave. I might try some merino will T's at some point but my issue is I have a couple of merino base layers and the moths always get to them. It's probably fine for stuff you are just working out in as who cares about small eighth inch holes but for wearing casually a holey t shirt isn't ideal.
                  “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Linen and wool. Both can be used year round for different purposes. Linen gets a bad wrap because most of the stuff we see is cheap and not finely woven. That makes it itchy. Fine linen can be incredibly soft and incredibly warm but its expensive to produce. The really nice stuff can be so soft you would never believe its linen. I have a linen sweater that rivals any lambs wool sweaters in terms of warmth and its so much softer. It doesn't scratch at all like heavy wool. It also has an open weave knit so I can wear it comfortably on cool summer nights.

                    Rayon is made of wood pulp. Does that count? Never had a rayon shirt but I've heard the nice ones are great in summer heat.

                    Synthetics have their purpose and there are definitely varying levels of quality. I think nylon is superior to poly. I was firmly against synthetics until I tried the Jcrew tech shorts. They're lightweight, stretchy, repel water, quick dry and just super comfortable. I find myself wearing those way more frequently then cotton or linen shorts.

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                      #11
                      Not all cotton is created equal. I really like seersucker in the hot weather. Also, I just picked up a shirt from Filson on their summer sale made from what they call "feather cloth". Its 100% cotton that feels somewhere between seersucker and chambray and is great in the heat as well. I also like linen shirts in the summer. Like most people, I think, I hate a clingy, wet cotton t-shirt. So I do wear "tech" fabric for working out or if I know I'm going to sweat a lot. But otherwise, gimme natural fabric.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Geo View Post
                        Rayon is made of wood pulp. Does that count? Never had a rayon shirt but I've heard the nice ones are great in summer heat.
                        I had a shirt made of rayon back when I was in high school. I didn't wear it because the shirt kept me cool. I bought and wore it because I thought I was cool in the shirt.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          DocDave Don't sell yourself short. You were cool wearing that shirt.

                          I suggested rayon somewhat in jest but here's an interesting article from PTO on the subject.

                          ​​​​​​https://putthison.com/rayon-summers-magical-fabric/

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