How to Select the Right Moisture Wicking Fabric for Your Job
Comfortable work clothing is more than just a preference - it can also keep you focused, alert, and safe.
The clothes you wear on the job are important for your comfort, maneuverability, and – most of all – your safety. Protection from arc flash and flash fire is critical, but do you really have to compromise comfort for performance and style?
Thankfully, the answer is "no." High-performance flame-resistant (FR) apparel combining moisture wicking technology with performance-based modifications can boost your feelings of comfort and confidence at work.
Here is everything you need to know before selecting your next item of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Moisture wicking technology involves the use of specific clothing fibers designed to pull moisture off the skin and transport it through the fabric to keep you comfortable, cool, and insulated.
A PPE garment with moisture wicking fibers can:
- Pull moisture off of your skin so you don’t feel wet and damp
- Transport moisture from the interior of the fabric to the exterior of the fabric quickly to keep you feeling comfortable
- Spread moisture on the exterior of your garment to help you feel dry
This combination of actions is called vertical moisture wicking. The faster a garment can wick moisture away from your body through the garment fibers and spread it on the outside surface of the garment, the drier and more comfortable you’ll feel.
In heat and humidity, a well-designed moisture wicking shirt will pull moisture off of your skin and it will dissipate quickly, helping you stay dry. In the winter, the same shirt will become a base layer, but it won’t get soaked with moisture, making you feel cold. Instead, it will pass moisture through the shirt fibers to your next layer of clothing, keeping you insulated and dry (learn more about moisture wicking fabric and how it works).
Your moisture wicking garment should be created specifically for your needs on the job. Consider these simple but effective design elements:
- Dual-certified protection for both arc-flash and flash-fire
- Flat seam construction for improved comfort
- Tag-free back collar to eliminate scratchy labels
- Arm mobility designed to accommodate overhead reaching and side movements
- Seamless underarms to eliminate seam pull, chafing, and shirt rise
Choosing an FR garment with moisture wicking technology is an important step to protecting you from the dangers on the job.
Choosing FR apparel with moisture wicking capabilities will:
- Help prevent heat stress
- Help prevent loss of concentration
- Help prevent loss of focus and ability
If you don’t have to spend your time worrying about the functionality of your FR apparel, you can improve your job focus and performance (see 3 Ways Moisture Wicking Flame Resistant Fabrics can Improve Workplace Safety to learn more).
- Always look at the shirt tag to verify a blend of synthetic and natural fibers
- Look for an FR garment that offers permanent moisture wicking technology
- Look for a tag with a 55/45 blend of fibers for optimal moisture wicking
The clothes you wear on the job, matter – for your comfort, performance, and for your safety. With all of that on the line, shouldn't you choose FR gear with advanced moisture wicking technology?
Interested in learning more lineman training and fitness tips, and how to layer FR clothing to optimize on-the-job performance? Download our eBook now: Lineman Safety & Performance Guide. Learn how you can climb stronger, work safer, and prevent accidents.
Check out the rest of our content about Personal Protective Equipment here.