Must have summer fabrics to beat the heat

Before you read ahead for summer fabrics, let us discuss on what I look for in a fabric when I think on summer friendly fabrics, that way it would make more sense on discussing why have below fabrics found a place in this list.

Majorly the breathability of the fabric – not necessary on the fabric used alone but also the way it is twisted into yarns and woven into a fabric. If it is heavy and tightly woven it will restrict the airflow and keep you warm compared to a lightly woven one. But breathability alone does no good. For people in humid climates, sweat or moisture absorption is important. The fabric should absorb the body sweat – but then there are two ways of absorbing :

1) A fabric absorbs moisture/sweat and clings to your damp skin, thus moisture is in contact with your skin and can cool it via evaporation.( you might have noticed this when wearing cotton shirt :- dampness in armpit area)

2) Then there is a fabric that will quickly wick away the sweat from your skin and trap it in outer layers of the fabric until it evaporates. It will make you feel dry in humid climate but then the cooling feeling that one gets with cotton is not possible in fabrics that trap the moisture.

If you think of a regular work day and some heavy travel under the sun then the first category of fabric is the best choice.

Let us look at some of the best summer and skin friendly fabrics. Here I am going to show you some types of fabrics and their uses in summer.

1) Cotton :summer fabrics

Serves in: hot and humid both climates.

What makes it summer friendly?

It is a loosely woven fabric which makes the spaces between yarn weave quite wide and that is what makes a fabric breathable, which means it allows air to pass through. Also it absorbs sweat.

Trends to try :

You can go for cotton pants at workplace, It looks comfortable, elegant and chic at the same time. Also if you happen to notice Indian hand looms you will find variety of cotton fabric mixes and there is a lot to try – from Rajasthani Bandhini to Kalamkari cotton fabric.
Seersucker: a cotton blend fabric is again amazing to beat the heat in style.

2) Chambray:

summer fabrics

Serves in: Preferably Hot climate to keep you dry. Does not wick away sweat as well as cotton.

What makes it summer friendly?

Chambray looks like denim, Yes it JUST looks like denim but denim heats up.
The denim weave is diagonal one. In case of chambray – weave is crisscross which makes it breathable and light. It gets softer with every wash- basically it becomes my favorite after every wash.

Trends to try :

This light and durable fabric has a very trendy look to it. A chambray dungaree, Jacket, dress is a must.

3) Rayon:

summer fabrics

Serves in: Dry climate

What makes it summer friendly?

This is a man-made fabric but with natural fibres, thread being thinner than that of cotton it is lightweight. But it does not absorb sweat well and hence not a good option in humid weather.

Trends to try :

Rayon with floral prints is very much in the fashion, A rayon tunic or frilly dress/frock is perfect to beat the heat.

4) Linen:

summer fabrics

Serves in: Dry as well as Humid climate.

What makes it summer friendly?

Just a look at this fabric and I am transported to a summery location, under the coconut trees. The feel of this fabric is amazing. It is lighter than cotton and equally breathable. This fabric does not wear out with multiple use or sun exposure. I have noticed my linen trousers and shirt they really resist all the heat allowing you to enjoy your afternoon pool party or a beach walk.
And hey with my second look at linen fabric I am also transported back to my childhood, Munching on all the colourful candies in summer vacation as Linen comes in cool pastel, candy colours it goes well with the summer spring theme. Linen tends to wrinkle easily but spritzing some water and easing out the wrinkles with hands is all you need to get it back in shape.

Trends to try :

Anything in linen is a must have. Or should we say everything in linen is a must have. Linen trousers, shorts, shirts, tunics, dress, jacket. You grab on one piece of this fabric and you will end up stocking on them.

5) Khadi :

summer fabrics

Serves in: Dry as well as humid climate

What makes it summer friendly?

Frankly I like it’s texture more over any other fabric. I would anytime opt for khadi over synthetic fibre. The weave makes it breathable and some startch can make it stiff. The coarse texture of fabric makes the product look so rich – Everything from the history of this fabric to its making, texture and ethnicity, and the term India’s signature fabric is perfect. Khadi can keep you cool in summers and warm in winters, so grab one soon. There is no end to its versatility.

And hey, I was glad to see Levi’s Khadi denim collection : This blend just made denim so summer friendly. Do check it.

(Note that India celebrates Khadi day on 19th September every year)

(Also note : Khadi is the only material allowed to be used in making Indian flying flag)

(Also do note : Khadi means handwoven fabric, Khadi silk is, thus, silk yarn handwoven into silk fabric)

6) Jute:

summer fabrics

Serves in: Dry and humid weather. One of the best summer fabrics!

What makes it summer friendly?

So having lived in a Boarding school and Hostel in a NON AC room, surviving summers is not easy. But then there is always a jugaad students come up with. We would cut open a jute sack and hang it on the window, spray some water and there you go – Your very own AC cool room.

summer fabrics

The open weave of this fabric lets air and light flow and if dampened with water helps in cooling.

This fabric is versatile and it is eco-friendly and recyclable and economical and after knowing all the “ands” I am sure it has become your favorite fabric too! It has a natural golden color and it just makes the overall look of this fabric so ethnic and rich. The only issue you might face with this fabric is its rough coarse texture. But hey there are a variety of blends that make it soft so don’t strike it out from your must have list instantly.

Trends to try:

Jute pleated pants/work trousers and a Jute Kurti. Do check out the jute kurtis by brand Jashn.

7) Madras :summer fabrics

Serves in: Humid weather – best option.

What makes it summer friendly?

Now this is a common fabric in every south Indian home. The plaid print is trendy. This fabric is very skin friendly and absorbs the sweat well.

Trends to try:

Skirt, dress or a shirt.

So what do you think of the above mentioned different types of fabrics? I hope this explanation of different types of fabric with pictures is helpful. Let us know what you think of these summer fabrics the comments below.

 

 

 

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