Fabrics - Cutting-Edge Cotton

A Look Into How Cotton Is Becoming A Performance Fiber

Zip JacketCotton has long been loved for its comfort. As a performance fiber, however, it missed the mark. Until now. New technologies and finishes are turning this classic fiber into a high-performing textile.

For example, Storm Cotton redefines the fiber for outerwear. Its water-repellent finish forms a durable shield against wet weather. Fabric treated with Storm Cotton allows air to flow back and forth, giving the user breathability, yet water does not penetrate the fabric. The merchandising team at Heritage Sportswear (asi/60582) has embraced the revolution. Earlier this year, the supplier added the Bermuda Sands Tyvola jacket. "It has amazing ‘keep dry' abilities, making it a great jacket for the golf course," says Cindy Sims, spokesperson for Heritage. The garment has been so well-received that other performance cotton styles for men and women are planned for 2013.

Par One Inc. (asi/75912) offers a Puma Golf TransDRY Piqué Polo, made of 100% pima cotton piqué with moisture-wicking properties that are inherent in the yarn. According to Cotton Incorporated, TransDRY technology begins by treating cotton yarns with a special process to make them repellent. Blending the right amount of repellent yarns with absorbent cotton yarns yields a fabric that dries up to twice as fast as regular cotton and does not become over-saturated and uncomfortable during exercise.

Another athletically inspired innovation is Charged Cotton, a line of performance apparel by Under Armour introduced last year that features moisture-wicking cotton technology. Consisting of alternating hydrophilic (moisture-absorbing) and hydrophobic (moisture-repelling) cotton yarns, Under Armour Charged Cotton pushes out sweat when it comes in contact with the fabric.

As a result, moisture spreads across the surface area of the clothing, speeding evaporation and helping athletes keep cool. Charged Cotton also offers the stretch and recovery integral to training. Industry sources for UA Charged Cotton apparel include FP Services (asi/53475) and International Golf Group (asi/62817).