How does the fabric achieve moisture wicking function

Moisture wicking textile products is a fast developing category of functional textile products in recent years, especially in sports, leisure, outdoor and travel apparel products have become the highlight of the leading market and consumption.

Table of Contents

Moisture wicking fabrics may seem complicated, but they are not a completely high-tech and difficult topic. It can be designed from moisture-wicking and moisture-conducting class fibers, fabric tissue structure and so on.

In order to achieve the relevant functions simply and quickly, the moisture wicking fabrics on the market at present are mostly thin fabrics, with single-sided fabrics and double-sided fabrics or multi-layer structured fabrics.


The moisture wicking performance of fibers depends on their chemical composition and physical structure form. The gaseous moisture evaporated from the skin surface is first absorbed by the fiber material (i.e. moisture absorption) and then exhaled via the material surface; while the liquid moisture on the skin surface is adsorbed, diffused and evaporated (i.e. exhaled) by the capillary effect generated by the pores (capillaries, micropores, grooves) inside the fiber and the voids between the fibers.

The former refers to the conduction of liquid-phase water along the surface of a single fiber or fiber aggregate in the form of infiltration, while the latter refers to the capillary core absorption of liquid within the fiber aggregate or in the pores of a single fiber.

Among them, infiltration is the basis and prerequisite for core wicking. The infiltration of fibers can be characterized by measuring contact angle, infiltration force, spreading speed and other indicators, and the core absorption of fibers can be characterized by 2 indicators: core absorption height and core absorption speed.

The result of both actions leads to moisture migration, the former one is mainly related to the chemical composition of fiber macromolecules and the latter one is related to the physical structure morphology of fibers.

Moisture wicking fibers generally have a high specific surface area with numerous radical pores or grooves on the surface, and their cross-section is generally of a special heterogeneous shape, using the capillary effect to enable the fibers to rapidly absorb moisture and sweat from the skin surface, by diffusion and transfer to the outer layer with hair.

Development of moisture-absorbing and moisture-conducting fibers

The first domestic products that introduced the concept of moisture wicking or moisture absorption and quick drying were functional textile products developed based on the characteristics of natural fibers.

In order to improve the cotton fiber is easy to absorb moisture but not easy to dry the characteristics of the uncomfortable feeling, people began to consider whether the yarn or fabric tissue structure changes, or even through the finishing of the way to speed up the moisture conduction and evaporation, so as to achieve the effect of moisture absorption and quick drying, the year had a popular polyester-covered cotton products is a typical example.

After that, with the development of fiber technology, moisture-conducting and quick-drying (domestic customarily called moisture-absorbing and quick-drying) products based on differentiated synthetic fibers as the main raw material have started to enter the market.

Chemical moisture wicking fibers mainly use fiber cross-sectional deformation (Y-shaped, cross-shaped, W-shaped and bone shaped, etc.) to form grooves on the fiber surface, and with the core of the grooves to absorb moisture and sweat on the surface of the skin, and instantly discharge it out of the body, and then the fibers on the cloth surface will spread the sweat and evaporate it quickly, so as to achieve the purpose of moisture wicking and body temperature regulation, and keep the skin dry and cool.


In the weaving process, through the jacquard process design, reasonable arrangement of fabric thickness, jacquard and elasticity area, can meet the human body breathable, lifting and elasticity needs at the same time, so that the fabric itself has a certain moisture wicking function.

Fabric organization

To develop single guide wet double-sided knitted fabric by structure method, the fabric adopts single-sided add yarn jacquard organization, rib change organization or double rib change organization, the inner layer adopts hydrophobic fiber such as fine denier polyester, polypropylene, etc. knitted honeycomb or mesh and other dotted tissue structure, the outer layer adopts hydrophilic fiber such as cotton, wool, viscose, etc. knitted high density tissue structure, increase the differential capillary effect of inner and outer fabric, also can realize single guide wet function.

Single guide wet

In addition, the use of multi-layer structure fabric development moisture wicking fabric is generally the inner layer of polypropylene, polyester and other special fine silk, the middle layer of cotton yarn moisture absorption layer, the outer layer of high strength, good permeability of the fiber composition, can use double ribbed composite organization for knitting, the same can achieve the knitted fabric sweat, breathable and soft feel.

Pan Pan

Pan Pan

Hi, I'm Pan Pan, the founder of BoloTex , I've been running a factory in China that makes Print Fabric for 10 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to Fabric from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

Start Your Business By  small MOQ  With Custom Print Fabric

FABRIC: 200+ 

MOQ:100 Meters Per Design

DLIVERY : 5-12 Days 

MATERIAL : Polyester, Cotton,Acetate,Silk ……

DESIGNS : Millions available

Try to import Hot Selling Fabric From China

Subscribe to get 《the Top fashion drawing guide》

This guide collects all kinds of fashion drawing patterns by 200 years of historical records, whatever by handwriting or computer graphics