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Do base layer fabrics wick/absort in one direction? (Specifically Supplex Nylon)


Mr_Orange
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I bought this pair of base layer tights made from Supplex Nylon. The material is very comfortable and the cut fits very well. The problem is that the seams in the interior are are badly sewn (almost like they're untrimed and floppy) and you can really feel them. However, i noticed that when i wear these tights inside out, it feels smooth and perfect.

My question: is a material like supplex nylon designed to be worn in one direction? Does it wick or absorb moisture in one direction? Is it the same with polyester and wool?

I have a pair of LD comfort base layers (popular with motorcycle riders) and i know that one is specifially designed to wick in only one direction (does a really good job of it too). If you wore it backwards, you'd be trapping moisture between the skin and fabric. Here's a video demonstrating this:

So are other base layer fabrics the same way?

Another reason i ask is because i want to make some of my own apparel soon and I wonder if i have to be conscious of how certain materials have an 'inside' and an 'outside'.

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Never been on backpacking light but Backcountrypost is an active site.

http://backcountrypost.com/forum/

My gut feeling is that most or all single layer uniform material will function equally well in either direction-just driven by moisture gradient and heat. I also strongly suspect materials like Gore Tex that employ a pore size barrier will also work in either direction but those are usually employed with other materials that would make using it in reverse somewhat awkward.

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Thanks. Sorry this forum isn't more active.

I guess it's just that LD comfort material i mentioned then. It really does work very very well in one direction. You can soak the whole shirt, put it on, take it right off, and your skin will feel dry.

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the only way that a fabric will "wick" in one direction is if its a two layer hybrid fabric, where the outer layer can absorb more moisture than the inner layer, essentially driving the moisture away from the skin. you don't see this very often though.

If its a single layer blend, like most fabrics, it doesn't matter if its worn inside out or right side in.

I personally look for base layers and shirts with flat seams. It will eliminate the issue you're having. However if just flipping your thermals inside out will make them more comfortable, do it. I'm sure that they will perform just as well.

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I would say, definitely yes. Some materials are used and designed with an "outside" and an "inside" in mind.

Ditto, +1 to Mountainnut's advice on checking for flat seams on all next to skin layers.

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Ordered mines online so I couldn't tell ahead of time what seams it ahd.

This is what i got: http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/swatch-cycling-tights.html

I don't think the nylon they used is that advanced so it should be fine either direction. I've already worn it for a day in reverse and it seems pretty good.

That LD comfort is a 2 layer construction. They go into that in the videos. And it really does work very well. I'd highly recommend it. The only thing is it's more of a midweight than a lightweight baselayer so it's pretty warm. I wish they could do one in a lighter weight.

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Ordered mines online so I couldn't tell ahead of time what seams it ahd.

This is what i got: http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/swatch-cycling-tights.html

I don't think the nylon they used is that advanced so it should be fine either direction. I've already worn it for a day in reverse and it seems pretty good.

That LD comfort is a 2 layer construction. They go into that in the videos. And it really does work very well. I'd highly recommend it. The only thing is it's more of a midweight than a lightweight baselayer so it's pretty warm. I wish they could do one in a lighter weight.

Where i live (mountain west), this really isn't an issue because of the dry climate here. I never have any problems with single layer fabrics, and i tend to use merino wool in the winter (transfers moisture while still providing some insulation), and normal poly stuff in the summer. No matter what, there will be some sweating in certain areas when i'm working hard, and synthetics can't absorb as much moisture as wool, so because of that factor, it will dry faster when its aired out.

Something to remember is that the rate at which a garment can dry (and this will correlate to wicking) is determined on the humidity level in the air around you. If the relative humidity outside is pretty high, it doesn't matter what special type of fabric you wear, it won't transfer moisture quickly to the air.

Lastly, if i know i'm going to be sweating a lot (running/biking in the summer), i'll just wear loose fitting synthetic shorts and a t-shirt/tank top.

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