The Coolest Fabrics: The Best and Worst Materials for Warm Weather

In the summer people wear shorts, tanks, and sandals to try and keep cool. Beating the heat is about more than just style choices, it is also about the fabric. The materials clothing is made from can affect heat and sweat absorption, determining how cool or hot the wearer stays.



Best Fabrics for Summer


Fabric made from cotton consists of natural fiber threads interlocking in loops. These loops allow air to pass through easily, making the fabric highly breathable. Lighter weight cotton clothing, is one of the most breathable fabric choices, making it perfect for the summer.


Linen is very lightweight and breathes well, making it ideal for warm weather. This is likely the reason it has been used for centuries. Being a light, natural fiber allows it to absorb sweat and dry quickly to keep people cool.



Worst Fabrics for Summer


A highly durable fabric, polyester is one of the most widely used man-made fabrics. Durability is a good quality to have, but this durability makes the fabric heavy and less breathable, not so ideal for summer. It can also be water resistant, causing it to hold sweat and create areas of irritation.


Rayon is lightweight, making it preferable to polyester, but it is still a synthetic fiber. It can repel water and cause sweat to pool in uncomfortable areas. It can also take longer to dry than natural fibers.


The simplified answer is to stick with natural fabrics. Synthetic fibers don’t offer the same benefits as natural fibers do when combating the heat. Blended fabrics are a good middle ground for those who do not see all natural as the best option. A blended fabric can keep you cool while also wicking sweat, which is ideal for active clothing. But when choosing blended fabrics for summer, opting for those with 80% or higher of cotton or linen with keep you the coolest.

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Cotton-Blend Tops