About Snug Fitting Base Layers
The inner layer is usually made of the close-fitting shirts, trousers and underwear, all of which go underneath the middle and shell layers. The pieces of clothing that make up the first layer are made from a wide variety of materials each one of which has its pros and cons. These will be discussed in this article.
The most popular materials used for first layer clothing are synthetic particularly polyester and polyester blends. This is because the fabric is well known for its soft, easy-to-care-for and, most importantly, reliable wicking properties. It is also one of the lightest fabrics known to man as well as wrinkle- and abrasion-resistant than most other fabrics.
Of course, there are demerits to polyester fabrics. These are usually vulnerable to staining and, thus, tend to have short life spans once stained. Add in its easy accumulation of odours when worn multiple times and manufacturers are still finding ways to make the fabric better. Other synthetic materials include nylon and spandex. Nylon increases abrasion resistance while spandex adds stretch – and perhaps, a touch of sexiness.
Yet another common but less used material than synthetic fabric is wool, which we all to be made from sheep. In base layers, wool almost always pertains to merino wool, which is premium wool known for its ultra-soft, ultra-fine fibres.
It is a luxurious material used for other items like rugs and blankets because of its lightweight and yet insulating properties. Merino wool is also machine-washable coupled with stain- and wrinkle-resistant properties, thus, its reputation as one of the best natural fibres.
Base layers are also made from silk but not just any silk – it’s treated silk. This means that the silk fabric was treated with chemical processes to improve on its wicking property. The result is a moisture-resistant fabric that as smooth as, well, silk on the skin and as lightweight on the body as possible.
Which of these materials is the best material for a base layer? Well, it depends on your personal preferences and your budget. For the most part, merino wool inner layer clothes are more expensive that polyester blend and treated silk clothes for obvious reasons.