The Science of High-Performance Clothing Lauren March 20, 2015 Lifestyle Whether working a tough job or enjoying some strenuous exercise outdoors, performance wear is the ideal way to stay comfortable and dry. Advances in technology have made high-performance clothing better suited to a variety of different tasks. Modern performance attire helps the wearer regulate temperature, keeps them dry, and prevents odor and the accumulation of sweat, all while remaining comfortable and stylish enough to wear in a variety of different settings. These are some of the advances in clothing technology that make performance clothing so useful and versatile. Sweat and Odor Reduction Performance fabric that promises to pull sweat away from the body, reducing the appearance of sweat stains and the presence of odor, is called moisture-wicking fabric. While natural fibers like wool and linen traditionally do a better job of reducing the appearance of reducing the presence of sweat, most moisture-wicking fabrics are made of synthetic fibers fashioned into a special weave. The weave makes the fabric highly permeable, which means that air can pass through it, drying the sweat as it passes over it. In addition, garments with moisture-wicking capabilities are also often treated so that the sweat doesn’t soak into them. This means that a bacterium has less of a chance to take hold and, with it, unpleasant smells. Water-Proof Fabrics While removing moisture for the inside of clothes is one of the primary duties of most performance attire, many high-performance items are also designed to keep exterior moisture from sinking in. It’s fairly easy to design a piece of clothing that keeps the rain off, but it is significantly more difficult to make one that is permeable and comfortable while still being waterproof. Many high-performance items are treated with a laminate coating on the outside. This coating allows the garment to retain the look and feel of regular clothing while giving it the waterproof properties of a raincoat. Anti-Chafing Wearing the same item of clothing for too long, especially when performing repetitive motions, can lead to uncomfortable and embarrassing chafing of the skin. Many high-performance clothing items that come in direct contact with the skin have an extra inside layer that is designed to prevent chafing and keep the wearer comfortable. A thin layer of mesh or soft woven cotton is a great way to cushion the skin and keep an article of clothing from rubbing uncomfortably. Performance clothing is made to last a long time, and to endure harsh working and recreational conditions.