Summer always comes with the heady feeling of freedom and adventure that we’ve all come to love. It is also bound to be some of the hottest months of the year, so choosing a breathable and comfortable fabric for your skin is essential.
Several fabrics are commonly used these days. Cotton and linen have been established for centuries as some of the best fabrics for summer. However, in recent times, the many good qualities of polyester have made them a popular choice. They are affordable and breathable, but do they make good summer clothes? Read on to find out.
What is Polyester Fabric?
Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from processing petrochemicals. Most synthetic and plant-based polyester fibers come from the ethylene hydrocarbon group. Some polyester products are biodegradable, but most of them are not.
Polyester is versatile and one of the world’s most popular fabrics. Polyester is very breathable and can stretch moderately, and it is also lightweight and has a slightly silky feel. Polyester is commonly used to make various things ranging from socks and blankets to shirts and pants. However, it is particularly popular in making sports apparel because it’s both stretchable and breathable.
Polyester has many advantages over other natural fabrics like cotton and linen. It is affordable, easily accessible, and durable. Recent advancements in the textile industry have imported polyester fabric’s elasticity and water repellency. Some are even treated with quick drying to improve how the fabric reacts with sweat and moisture.
How Good Is Polyester for Summer?
Given recent advancements in processing polyester, many assume Polyester is good for warm weather like the summer months, but this is not exactly so. One of the major reasons for this is that polyester has very high moisture resistance. This moisture resistance not only blocks out moisture and sweat but also traps sweat in the user’s body, giving him a clammy, uncomfortable feeling.
Also, the products used in making polyester make it unsuitable for summer wear. Petroleum-based fibers are cheap, but they can also be toxic and non-hypoallergenic. This property means that polyester can react with the skin and cause itches, unlike natural hypoallergenic fabrics like cotton. Under humid conditions, the fabric tends to stick to the skin, leading to increased irritation. Some users have even experienced fabric allergies (also known as textile dermatitis).
What is the Best Season to Wear Polyester?
Polyester is made from fine threads of plastic and other petroleum-based chemicals. In most cases, the threads are tightly woven to form a close weave that has a smooth appearance and a silky look. This sort of weave also makes it adept at trapping moisture and keeping out the weather.
The nature of the polyester fabric and the thread makes it great at holding in body heat; hence, it is a great fabric to wear during winter and autumn as it keeps you warm. Some polyester products are even prepared with this in mind. Textile workers specially weave together the fabrics to create an insulating fluff on the final fabric.
However, you should note that polyester can only make you as warm as your body makes it to be, and its insulating layer is limited. The fabric works well with autumn and mild winters, but if you stay in a place with harsh winters, you may want to wear something warmer.
Are Polyester Blends Good for Summer?
To enhance the properties of polyester, many textile producers often blend polyester with other natural fabrics, such as cotton, to create a poly blend. The idea behind most poly blends is to improve the breathability and moisture-wicking ability of the fabric.
However, are they good for the summer?
In most cases, yes, but it would depend on the fabric used and the ratio. The more breathable natural fabric should have a higher ratio for optimal results. Many have found that cotton is the most preferred fabric for blending with polyester, and a 60% cotton to 40% polyester is ideal.
These poly-cotton blends have incredible breathability and are less likely to trigger fabric allergy. They also feel incredibly soft and are much better for use in summer.
The Best Fabrics to Wear in Summer
Although polyester and its blends may not necessarily be the most ideal for the summer, there are plenty of fabrics that you can wear comfortably during the hot summer months. Here are a few of them:
Cotton is a very versatile fabric due to its affordability and durability, and it is also very breathable and suitable for summer and hot weather. Cotton is lightweight and can soak up sweat easily, allowing heat to escape the body and keep it cool.
Cotton is also hypoallergenic, making it less likely to react with the skin and trigger fabric allergies. The only downside is that cotton may absorb so much sweat that it becomes heavy and wet if you sweat too much.
Linen is another top choice for making summer clothes. Like cotton, it is a natural fabric produced from the stem of the flax plant, and it is a very breathable fabric that is usually lightweight and easily woven.
Linen absorbs lots of moisture and gets dried up quickly. Its stiff nature means it doesn’t stick to the skin during humid conditions, while its breathability makes it very comfortable in hot weather.
Rayon is a synthetic fabric blended from the wood pulp of plants and other natural fabric leftovers. Its smooth, silk nature makes it a more affordable alternative to silk and is a good fabric for the summer months.
One reason rayon does so well in hot weather is that the fabric is made from thin fibers, making it breathable and lightweight. Rayon is airier than most fabrics, and its lightness prevents it from sticking to the body during hot weather.
Nylon is also a synthetic fabric that has excellent lightweight properties. Nylon’s structure is designed to move sweat away from the body; this means that the fabric is cool and very cool to the skin. They also dry quickly and can resist abrasion. However, they are not as supple as other natural fabrics.