The Function of Wickable Fabric

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Wickable clothing is a good choice for outdoor adventures.
Wickable clothing is a good choice for outdoor adventures. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Whether you're hiking, skiing, running or camping, you need appropriate gear to keep comfortable, and nylon or polypropylene materials make exceptional wickable materials for all these activities and more. Wickable clothing is lightweight, breathable, durable and easy to care for -- and will help keep you warm, dry and comfortable on your next adventure.

Regulates Body Temperature

Wickable material draws moisture away from the skin and accelerates evaporation. If you sweat under a jacket and it's cold outside, moisture near your skin may cause a drop in body temperature, which can lead to hypothermia. Excessive sweat can also cause dehydration. By keeping moisture away from the skin, wickable materials help the body maintain an appropriate temperature.

Breathable

Wicking fabric is constructed to allow air movement between the fabric and your skin, allowing the skin to breathe and cool itself. The lightweight material doesn’t weigh on your body like wool or cotton, and it's easy to carry.

Waterproof

The exterior of wickable material is waterproof. The synthetic materials used to make the fabric do not absorb water, so it wicks away and beads off the fibers. Wickable fabric withstands the elements and acts as a barrier between your body and outside forces.

Maintenance

Wickable fabric is made from low-maintenance materials and can be spot-cleaned. Launder when needed, but air dry the fabric so heat from a dryer doesn't damage or melt the synthetic fibers. Since most the water will simply bead off the material, the time needed to air dry is significantly less than water-absorbing materials. Simply shake the garment to remove excess water droplets and hang it to dry.

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References

  • “The Survival Handbook; Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure”; Nicky Munro, et al.; 2009.
  • “Take a Hike Seattle”; Scott Leonard; 2006.
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