What is Wicking Fabric in Performance Clothing?

A long sleeve performance tee is made from a different material than a traditional tee. The special material is called wicking fabric. It may sound like something out of a Gothic novel, but it is a high-tech material that is a saving grace while participating in sports activities.

What is considered Performance Apparel?

Performance apparel is clothing worn for physical activity such as playing sports and exercising. The clothing is made with the idea in mind that people sweat. Thus, the goal is to move moisture away from the body and let it evaporate into the air. Many sports teams and athletics wear performance clothing during sporting events.

What is Wicking Fabric in Performance Apparel?

Wicking fabric is a type of fabric that is breathable and stretchable. It is constructed to carry sweat, perspiration and moisture away from the body. As the name implies, the fabric “wicks” or lifts the moisture from the body. This means a person’s body stays dry. Wicking fabric is also lightweight.

Wicking Fabric is not Made of Cotton

Wicking fabric is not made solely of cotton. Cotton holds in heat and moisture. That is why a long sleeve tee made with cotton clings to the body when wet. Instead, wicking is made of synthetic fabric such as polyester. That does not mean that some manufacturers do not include cotton in the construction of a performance tee. However, the performance tee will mostly be constructed of the synthetic fabric.
Depending on the garment, dye sublimation is also included in the construction of a performance apparel. Sublimation is the dye used to make the designs and graphics on the shirt. It does not add surface layer to the shirt which can block the pores in the fabric. It also does not interfere with the clothing’s ability to move moisture from the body to the air.

Is Performance Clothing and Compression Sportswear the same?

No. Compression sportswear such as tights, shorts and underwear are form-fitting garments made with material similar to spandex. Many athletics believe this type of sportswear helps them perform at their best. It is different than performance clothing because it does not move the moisture on the body into the air to keep the person dry.
Instead, the compression sportswear is constructed to keep the person warm or dry and help them move better and faster. Some athletics such as football players, skaters and volleyball players may wear both performance clothing and compression sportswear during an event to improve their athletic performance. Runners will typically choose performance clothing such a tee or shorts.

Wicking Fabric is Rarely Used for Non-Athletic Apparel

Wicking fabric is a fabric rarely used in non-athletic clothing. It slightly more expensive than a traditional shirt because of its ability to transfer the moisture and sweat from a person’s body to the air. The fabric is also breathable which may not be needed at everyday events. However, performance clothing is ideal when traveling to a hot climate such as Las Vegas.