Monday, July 18, 2011

Keeping Cool on Court: Staying Cool on the Outside

The tennis styles of today are a combination of form and function – not only are they attractive, but they are crafted from high-performance fabrics that keep an athletic body cool and comfortable! Modern fabrics are “breathable” – meaning they keep you cool and dry, even when it is very hot outside. They also hold their shape – ensuring that the athlete looks good before and after a match! Here are the qualities for a variety of fabrics you might want to consider when choosing on-court attire.

Soft, cool and comfortable - cotton absorbs sweat and releases it quickly, allowing for breathability. As it is non-allergenic, cotton does not irritate the skin. It sometimes requires pressing, but it is durable and it wears well. Cotton blends easily with most other fabrics including synthetics like polyester and Lycra. Cotton-blends provide comfort, performance and they move well.

Clothing made from Lycra® provides many advantages: it is lightweight, breathable and comfortable, and it can stretch – up to 500% without breaking! Quick drying, this fabric also dyes well, and it is resistant to bacteria, UV rays and chlorine. There is no worry of static cling or pilling with Lycra® and it is very durable.

Rayon is a man-made fiber composed of regenerated cellulose which is obtained from wood pulp. Rayon is very versatile and it can be as comfortable as cotton. In fact, rayon can imitate the texture and feeling of silk, wool, cotton or linen. While rayon fabrics are very absorbent, they do not insulate body heat, making them ideal for sportswear.

Offering a great combination of comfort and fit, spandex is lightweight, soft and smooth. Its resistance to lotions, detergents, body oils and perspiration, make it a very good fabric for athletes. Similar to Lycra, it can be stretched to 500% without breaking and it snaps back to its original shape with continual stretching, which prevents sagging in many spandex- blend garments.

Many companies have their own versions of cotton-poly-blends that wick away moisture and keep athletes cool – look for fabrics with Luon®, Coolmax®, Silverescent® or Dri-Fit from Nike.

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