As the country begins to reopen, many of us are making plans for road trips, gatherings and getting re-acquainted with friends and family that we haven’t seen for awhile.
Summer has definitely been something to look forward to, but is your closet ready for summer? While cotton is one of the most popular fabrics for summer, there are other fabrics to consider and some to avoid.
Let's start off with what to avoid. It’s recommended to avoid synthetics, but why?
Most synthetics, i.e. polyester or nylon are made of plastic and aren’t breathable at all. Polyester can leave you with sweat patches since it doesn’t absorb moisture, it actually water-repellant. Instead of absorbing moisture, it allows perspiration to build up inside the garments and traps odors and bacteria.
Basically, when you’re sweating, the fabric sticks to your body and can cause skin irritation. Polyester blended with natural fibers is not much better.
What are we actually looking for when considering fabrics for summer? Great moisture absorption, light weight, breathability and comfort.
Plant-based fibers are great for handling summer heat and sweat. These fibers naturally have great moisture absorption and breathability – however some are better than others. Let’s explore the options!
Cotton is infamous for being a super thirsty crop. According to the Textile Exchange, an organic cotton T-Shirt requires 86 gallons of water to produce versus 2,168 gallons for a conventional cotton shirt. Growers of organic cotton rely more on rainwater and utilize less energy.
Cotton is great for the summer as it wicks away moisture and allows air flow through the garment. However, if you’re going to wear cotton, opt for organic cotton that isn’t blended with synthetics. Organic cotton is grown without harmful pesticides (that leak into soil and waterways) and is actually stronger than regular cotton.
Tencel is a luxuriously soft fabric made from eucalyptus trees that are sourced from sustainably managed tree farms and natural forests. Eucalyptus trees grow quickly, require little water, no toxic pesticides and grow on land (that’s typically difficult for other crops to grow).
Tencel is an excellent fabric to beat the summer heat. It’s soft and smooth like silk, cool like linen, yet more absorbent than cotton. It’s become quite the popular fabric for sustainable brands – and for good reason!
Naturally Hypo-allergenic– great for sensitive skin
- High moisture absorption– means your skin can breathe, especially on a hot, humid day. Tencel actually has 50% better absorption than cotton. It also dries extremely fast which is great for people who sweat a lot.
Anti-bacterial – due to its great moisture management qualities, Tencel is not a great fabric for bacteria growth. This means blocking body odors and keeping your skin feeling cool and dry.
Durable– pretty strong wet or dry. Tencel is actually stronger than cotton and linen.
Soft, smooth & silky– feels like rayon due to its lightweight, comfortable drape.
Longevity- Unlikely to shrink, misshapen or thin out over time.
- Machine Washable
Hemp is one of the most amazing plants ever – it literally has 1000s of uses. Hemp plays nice with other fabrics to create wonderful textures when blended.
- Naturally antibacterial – blocks mold & mildew. Great if you sweat a lot or have sensitive skin.
- Naturally blocks odors - save time and energy by washing your clothes less often (because they don’t smell)
- Hypo-allergenic – great for sensitive skin.
- Naturally blocks UV rays – great for skin.
- Sustainable crop and easy to grow almost anywhere. Grows quickly and uses only 1/20th the amount of water that cotton uses to grow and process.
- Super breathable and wicks away moisture – great for humid or sweaty days.
- Hemp is durable and 4x stronger than cotton.
- Adapts to weather – keeps you cool in the summer, but warmer in the winter.
Banana fabric is a luxurious, cruelty free alternative to silk that upcycles agricultural waste. After every banana harvest, the stems are discarded to make way for new growth.
The inner fibers of the stems are soft and smooth and commonly used for apparel vs the coarse outer layers used for home textiles.
- Soft and silky
- Breathable and airy
- Absorbs moisture well
- Keeps you cool on hot days
- Byproduct of the food industry
What's your favorite fabric for summer? It's time to diversify your closet with some new fabrics that will help you flow through summer in comfort.
Check out our dreamy collection of hemp, Tencel and banana fabrics here.