Never Let Them See You Sweat
When it comes to choosing the best performance fabrics for an extended day on the course, synthetic fibers, such as polyester, are without question the best. But, that’s not to say natural fibers, such as cotton, don’t hold their own. “There are still some golf apparel companies that choose cotton over polyester or poly blends for their performance lines,” noted Gregg. However, he cautioned that cotton may not be the best choice for a performance line that caters to golfers. “It is key to have cotton in a mercerized line, but not necessarily in performance because even though cotton can be treated to absorb moisture as quickly as polyester, it is not possible for cotton to dry anywhere near as quickly as synthetics,” he said. “For performance products, drying speed is the crucial part of fabric wicking.”
There is a happy medium between the two. “Some companies will plate their performance fabrics with poly on the inside and cotton on the face, which will still sufficiently allow the moisture to be absorbed rapidly,” explained Gregg. However, when the moisture “is brought to the cotton surface, it will still slow the evaporation experience and also tends to make for a heavier piece of fabric.” So, until technology changes for non-synthetic materials, Gregg said the majority of Antigua’s performance fabrics will remain synthetic.
Gregg said performance fabrics are relatively inexpensive when compared with non-performance ones. “Since performance garments truly perform their advertised functions, it seems to make sense that anyone playing [sports] would benefit from these enhancements,” he said.
No need to convince Major Leage Baseball. In February, the organization announced it will finally doff its traditional wool cap—the first major overhaul since 1954—“in favor of a new polyester blend model designed to wick away sweat before it can stream down a player’s face” (Associated Press, ESPN.com).