Manufacturing of underwear and the development in technology and synthetic fabrics over the decades has seen a revolution in the design and production of underwear for men and women. We are now seeing fabrics like never before. Fabrics that are finer than the human hair, softer than silk, extremely resistant to wear and offer moisture wicking properties, as well as being anti bacterial.
Much of this development has been fueled by the demand for such fabrics, but also as a way to find alternative solutions that have a smaller impact on the environment due to the harvesting of natural fibers.
Below are some of the most popular fibers and fabrics used in the manufacture of underwear and their qualities.
Bamboo is fast becoming a popular choice of fabric for both male and female underwear as it is used for pants, bras, tops and socks because it offers great properties. Most notable is the fact that Bamboo is silky to the touch and has antibacterial properties, as well as being significantly more absorbent that cotton. For this reason alone it make it a great choice for sports underwear as it will wick moisture away from the skin very efficiently.
For those of you that are ardent lovers of cotton then the latest combined cotton, cotton modal and mercerized cotton fabrics will appeal to you. Produced with slightly longer fibers that make the fabric finer and more resistant, they are also mercerized. This is basically where the cotton is treated with caustic soda to enhance its resistance, while also creating a shinier finish. Often the cotton is blended with Modal to produce a cotton modal fabric. Modal is an extract from wood cellulose that is soft and supple like silk. The result is added softness and comfort that is unparallel, as well as being very absorbent.
So far the fabrics we have looked at all strive to provide a natural feel that is as close as possible to cotton itself. However, there are many other synthetic fabrics used in the manufacture of underwear such as microfibers and that are preferred by many over the natural feel of cotton or fabrics that mimic cotton.
Microfiber consist of yarns of synthetic fibers polyester and polyamide that is finer than silk and very fine in its finish. Consequently it provides a very fine, soft and lightweight feel. Additionally, fabrics called Micromodal also exist and these are 40 times thinner than human hair, giving it a skin on skin feel.
So, as you can see, there are many types of fabrics available for the production of underwear, each with its own unique qualities.