What does wicking fabric mean on performance t-shirts and hats?

Wicking fabric is a term most commonly associated with performance and technical style t-shirts. This style of t-shirts is used most often in athletic events because of its ability to breathe and keep the user's skin dry from sweat. In fact this ‘wicking’ ability is what the term wicking tee is derived from. The fabric literally wicks sweat and moisture away from the body to keep the person’s skin dry.

Wicking is defined by Wikipedia as the flow of liquids through porous media. In t-shirt terms, this translates into the fabric being breathable and allowing sweat to transfer from the wearer's body to the air around them. These types of shirts have a few extra benefits to them including being antimicrobial and lightweight.

Since cotton holds water, wicking material is typically composed of a synthetic fabric such as polyester or a combination of polyester and cotton. Since wicking fabric is so technical, it does in fact cost more than standard t-shirts. This is money well spent when considering all of the benefits of wicking fabric and its intended use for performance t-shirts.

It is important to feel good when competing and wicking fabric might be the advantage you are looking for. In fact wicking t-shirts are most often purchased by people who are competing in marathons or other sporting events. The good news is that the wicking fabric is just fine for screen printing. Thus it is easy to order high quality wicking t-shirts featuring your team name or the information for your event.

It is much less common for us to see people purchase wicking t-shirts for non-athletic events. For example we rarely see these types of t-shirts being purchased for use as club t-shirts or t-shirts for a group trip. That is most likely because they are a good bit more expensive than traditional shirts and of course because the moisture wicking need is typically not present for everyday events. Still if you live in a very hot climate you may want to consider these t-shirts anyway. They also come in a lot of very cool styles and colors that people often enjoy even if they are not being used for athletics.

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