Today’s topic is about testing of a fabric’s wickability.
The term of wickablity is important with performance stretch fabrics as it is the “ability of a fiber or fabric to disperse moisture, allowing it to pass through the surface of the fabric so that evaporation can take place” (http://www.textileglossary.com/terms/wickability.html). The quicker the moisture can be dispersed over the fabric and the more surface area the fabric has, the better its ability to allow the moisture to evaporate off of the fabric. This is especially true for fabrics that contain spandex, as they expose more surface space when the fabric is stretched out.
Pine Crest Fabrics, a wholesale stretch fabric supplier, has focused on stretch knits for over 30 years and has developed a very simple testing method for evaluating and comparing the wickability of stretch fabrics. Try it yourself! Simply cut the fabric into a 10” strip with a 1” width. Do this with each stretch fabric you are testing. Tape the one end of the fabric to the middle of a pen (or pencil), so that the fabrics hang down 10”. Fill a glass half full of lukewarm water (70 degrees Fahrenheit). Dangle the stretch fabric over the water so that the end of the fabric just touches the top of the water, then count the amount of seconds it takes for the water to travel up to the pen. If the water reaches the pen in under a minute, it has excellent wicking ability. If the water does not travel up the strip, then the stretch fabric has poor wicking. This simple test allows you to compare fabrics to determine which has a better ability to wick.
Please write to us if you have any other questions!