Sweat-Blocking Materials Explained: The Best Options for Underarm Sweat
For all the heavy sweaters out there, finding an affordable shirt that prevents sweat is like striking gold. Don't roll the dice with sweat proof clothing. Become a savvy shopper so you can discover the best sweat-blocking materials before investing.
Types of Sweat-Blocking Materials
Navigating the hundreds of sweat proof shirts gets confusing. Knowing how the different sweat-blocking materials react to sweat will help you make smarter purchases.
Here's how sweat-blocking materials work: When moisture hits a fabric, the fabric either repels or absorbs it. Moisture-loving fabrics soak up and retain sweat while moisture-repelling fabrics push it outward.
Here are some examples of each:
Natural, Water-Loving Fibers:
- Cotton: Quality, lightweight cotton is one of the most breathable fabrics and offers some airflow for drying out the dampness. Because cotton is a natural fiber, it absorbs moisture rather than repelling it (forcing the sweat to sit on your skin). With standard cotton shirts, you'll also have to be mindful of the colors you choose. Since it absorbs moisture so easily, pit stains are often a problem.
- Bamboo: Bamboo is a high-quality, absorbent, breathable and ultra-soft material. It’s also a hygienic option due to its resistance to odor, mold, mildew and bacteria — even after multiple washings.
- Linen: Linen is a natural fiber that is lightweight, breathable & absorbent. It also doesn’t cling to the body, which can keep you feeling cooler, but the material does wrinkle easily, making it a difficult option for everyday, repetitive use.
Synthetic Water-Repelling Fibers:
- Polyester: Polyester is a durable yet water resistant fabric, but don’t let these words fool you. “Water resistant” means it doesn’t absorb sweat. Instead, the moisture sits on your skin or gets pushed to your outer layer — the complete opposite effect you want from a sweat-blocking material.
- Rayon: Rayon is lightweight and doesn’t trap heat, but because it’s a synthetic fabric, it repels water and doesn’t absorb it (i.e., not a good solution for heavy sweaters).
- Cotton/lycra blend: While cotton is an absorbent fabric, when combined with lycra, the blend traps heat and moisture, creating a breeding ground for sweat, especially when wearing tight clothing.
Brands often use phrases like "moisture-wicking" or "performance" to describe anti-sweat workout clothing. Shirts that “wick away” sweat push wetness to the outer layer of your clothing.
These shirts are typically made from synthetic fibers or blends. Some brands coat their sweat proof fabrics with chemical treatments that wear off when washed. In turn, the sweat-blocking effects only last a few wears. Sweat-wicking performance materials can also be more expensive.
Natural or Synthetic: Which Is the Best Sweat-Blocking Material?
Choosing natural or synthetic depends on your sweating needs. Here are some common situations where you need sweat-blocking power and the best material for each:
Work or Professional Settings
If you plan to wear a sweat-blocking shirt underneath your clothing (and don’t want sweat to show through), avoid synthetic fabrics.
Professional or Casual Settings
To protect your expensive dress shirts, you need an undershirt that contains sweat so it doesn’t leak through your outer layer. Natural fibers like cotton and bamboo are great options.
However, all cottons are not created equal. Unless a brand is transparent about the quality, it’s hard to know what you’re buying until you feel the product.
Thompson Tees are made with 100-percent premium combed cotton and natural rayon from bamboo. Combed cotton is a super soft, strong, high-quality fiber that will hold up through the most intense sweating and at least a year’s worth of washes. Bamboo is a soft yet durable material that makes for the perfect form-fitting T-shirt.
Synthetic fabrics retain the smell of sweat and aren't as comfortable as natural fibers, so you should avoid wearing these in work or social settings.
Synthetic materials work well for exercising because they keep sweat away from your body, producing a cooling effect.
However, natural fibers also absorb sweat and odor, preventing B.O. If you're concerned with odor, go with a natural fiber.
To Prevent Yellowing
To protect against sweat marks and yellowing, Thompson Tees also come with a patented sweat proof underarm barrier that absorbs underarm sweat and releases it as vapor.
The Hydro-Shield technology is embedded directly in the shirt, so it won't wear off after a few washes. Thompson Tees also help protect against odor. The light breathable material combined with powerful Hydro-Shield technology make Thompson Tees perfect for everyday use.
Next time you’re out in the virtual or physical retail world, up the ante for your clothing. Opt for shirts that use natural sweat-blocking materials that will keep you looking and smelling fresh all day long. By investing in quality materials, you’ll gain a quality product that pays for itself with time.
To see how the Thompson Tee measures up, try one risk-free today and take 20% off with code TEES20!