Sweat bands may seem unfashionable, but they are actually a very useful accessory when exercising and can be handy in many other situations. Since sweatbands are meant to be absorbent, the type of fabric used to make them is important.
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Cotton fabrics make for a decent sweatband since they will do a fairly decent job absorbing moisture from your body. Bandannas make good sweatbands since they can be easily folded up and tied around the head or wrists to create a quick, makeshift sweatband. The patterns and colors bandannas come in are abundant, and they usually cost under a dollar. Cotton is not a good choice for a sweatband if you plan on working out for long periods of time and sweating profusely. Cotton is absorbent, but it will not pull moisture away from skin and it dries slowly. Over time the cotton will become saturated and damp, causing discomfort.
Terry cloth is the fabric most commonly used to make sweatbands. Terry cloth is absorbent and feels comfortable against the skin. Stretch terry cloth is the best choice for making your own sweatbands, since you want them to stretch to fit your head or wrists. You can make an easy headband out of stretch terry cloth and a wide piece of elastic. You can also use a wide elastic headband you may already have and cover it in terry cloth fabric. An old bath towel is a more cost-effective option instead of buying new fabric for this purpose. Terry cloth is highly absorbent and dries quickly, which is why it is most regularly used in bath towels.
Microfiber would be the best option for making a high-quality sweatband at home. Microfiber is highly absorbent and moisture wicking. You can buy microfiber cloths at many stores for not very much money. The cloths can be affixed around a wide elastic strip or an elastic headband to make the sweatbands. Alternatively, you can simply tie the cloth around your head or wrists as needed. Microfiber headbands can often be found in the health and beauty sections of most stores. They are sold as headbands for women to use while washing their faces. These headbands can be re-purposed into sweatbands as well.