We all have that old faithful Saturday morning, super-soft, cotton t-shirt that’s been with us for years that we just can’t seem to part with. Ever throw it on under your work clothes and realize halfway through the day that it’s become an uncomfortable mess? Why can’t we be friends with our favourite comfy shirt in the workplace?

The answer is simple: water absorption. Cotton is one of the most absorbent fibers around, meaning it’s going to absorb both your perspiration and any humidity in the air.

So in the summer, your cotton t-shirt absorbs water, turning that light, comfortable fabric you loved into a hot, sticky swamp. The water gets trapped and starts to absorb heat, which prevents our bodies from cooling down through the evaporation of sweat. The result? More perspiration and more heat!
In the winter, water gets trapped and is constantly stealing heat from our body, losing it to the cold air. The result? We add another layer to stay warm… and then another layer… and maybe another. Now you have additional weight added and you’ve sacrificed comfort. You start feeling like you’re the Michelin Man and you can’t move!

The body needs to dry to effectively regulate its temperature. Simply adding a moisture-wicking layer underneath can go a long way to ensuring you’re comfortable. You’ll minimize the need for additional layering in the winter, and avoid becoming a hot, sticky mess in the summer.

Additionally, if you’re working in an arc flash environment, studies have shown that moisture next to skin can boil in an arc flash, regardless of the calorie protection one is wearing. How can you avoid making a bad day even worse? A moisture wicking shirt with Flame Resistance protection will remove that moisture to eliminate the risk, but it also adds extra calorie protection, keeping you much safer!

So the next time you go to throw on that old cotton t-shirt under your work gear, think of this – an undershirt with moisture transfer technology is the gold standard in all seasons. Whether you’re in a bucket working on power-line in the middle of winter or on an oilfield in July, comfort means staying dry.

Eric Huard

Market Segment Manager, Personal Safety

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