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Please help me understand fabrics!

(29 Posts)
PaperdollCartoon Fri 21-Apr-17 20:35:27

I suffer from being hot pretty much all the time. Summer is a pain in the arse in an office, especially whilst trying to look professional and not like a sweaty mess.

I know cotton is the nicest and coolest. Polyester is a no go. But what about rayon or viscose? Or silk? Do they breathe? Are there other fabrics I haven't thought of?

I need to buy some new work clothes, can anyone please advise me what I should be erring towards?!

TheFirstMrsDV Fri 21-Apr-17 20:40:00

might help ink{\]]m}

TheFirstMrsDV Fri 21-Apr-17 20:40:29

Try again

PaperdollCartoon Fri 21-Apr-17 20:41:59

Amazing, thank you. Definitely on a hunt for cotton. I'd forgotten about linen.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 21-Apr-17 20:45:32

Cotton, linen and silk are all very good for hot weather, but silk shows any damp marks very easily. Bamboo is very breathable, and so can be good for underwear and sheets etc.

70ontheinside Fri 21-Apr-17 20:53:03

I would stay away from rayon or viscose, as well as silk.

Woven cotton or linen is the way forward. Either in very dark or very light (pastel, white), so that it doesn't show sweat stains.

Functional fabrics (for running/hiking) might be another option, but it might be hard to find office compatible clothes.

PaperdollCartoon Fri 21-Apr-17 21:13:08

Yes I've heard good things about bamboo, I wonder if there's much about that isn't sportswear?
An additional problem is created by the fact I have a lot of old self harm scars on one arm. In my current company I'm fine showing them, and just cover for clients, but hopefully getting a new job where I will need to build up belief in me again before baring all. I think some really good quality long sleeve white cotton tshirts styled up might be my best bet? Unless anyone has seen any smart, long sleeve cotton tops of other varieties?

LanaorAna1 Fri 21-Apr-17 21:16:45

Word of warning re tencel: lovely and soft it may be, made of plants it may be, but boy does it show sweat.

The worst colour,on t'other hand, for sweat visibility is grey marl.

Viscose is made from plants and is, believe it or not, a natural fabric, but I find thin viscose, of which there is too much around, a bugger for creasing. Ghost dresses are brilliant in the heat, however.

PaperdollCartoon Fri 21-Apr-17 21:37:39

Yes viscose confuses me, as both natural but not really natural as it's so processed. I'm fine with it in winter (when I'm also hot!) but summer I wasn't sure.

Cheers for the heads up on tencel. I thought it was a sort of cotton?

picklemepopcorn Fri 21-Apr-17 21:39:42

Ive wondered about viscose too. I think it's pretty cool in those wide legged trouser type things.

auberginesrus Fri 21-Apr-17 21:40:11

Some lovely linen blend tops in Monsoon at the moment (don't look like they would be too creasy)

BusterGonad Fri 21-Apr-17 21:40:14

And viscose tends to shrink no matter how you wash it, I always size up in viscose!

picklemepopcorn Fri 21-Apr-17 21:45:38

I never know whether to wash it as a synthetic or a cotton.

BusterGonad Fri 21-Apr-17 21:49:45

I've washed it in synthetic, hand wash both at 30 and on a cold wash. No luck. It always shrinks one size.

Therealslimshady1 Fri 21-Apr-17 22:14:05

Silk is a dream.fabric

It feels cool when the weather is hot

And it feels warm when the weather is cold!

Difficult to remove stains/wash

But best fabric in the world

I have a silk summer skirt from Reiss which I have washed 100 times and 10 years on it is still going strong

Polyester/acrylic are nasty, and retain BO!

Linen is a fab fabric too that improves with wear/age

Haffiana Fri 21-Apr-17 23:17:02

Bamboo is a type of viscose but with better marketing. Both are excellent hot weather fabrics.

Dulcimena Fri 21-Apr-17 23:29:57

Silk is a warm fabric, I love the look and feel but can't wear it in high summer. Great for the rest of the year though. Cotton silk mixes can be lovely and light.
Viscose jersey is better than woven viscose for creasing and shrinking ime. Woven however is cooler to wear.
Linen creases like mad.
Tencel/lyocell is a type of viscose that ime behaves better in every respect than things labelled "viscose".
Cotton is king in summer.

EBearhug Fri 21-Apr-17 23:40:44

It depends also on the weave - I have had clothes in silk velvet, silk satin, slubbed silk, silk jersey - they all behave a bit differently.

It's also worth looking at mixes, like cotton and viscose, or linen and viscose.

I've only seen sportswear, socks and bedsheets in bamboo. I do like my bamboo socks, nice and soft.

LadyOfTheCanyon Sat 22-Apr-17 04:53:39

This is no help at all but I just wanted to say that the words wide legged trousers has made me come over all summery.

FrustratedFrugal Sat 22-Apr-17 07:54:04

Silk cotton is the best fabric mix in my opinion. I used to live in the tropics. I also like regular lightweight cotton.

picklemepopcorn Sat 22-Apr-17 08:13:48

You don't see raw silk much anymore, do you? I found that very durable and easier going than that fine, stain magnet silk.

If I say wide legged trousers often enough, do you think it will get warm again, lady? I am large of thigh and pear shaped. They are my summer salvation. Otherwise it's floaty frocks with horrid bike shorts underneath.

Semaphorically Sat 22-Apr-17 10:58:01

Viscose isn't really one fabric, it's one process of making fabric (from plants, in a vey environmentally unfriendly fashion).

So things labelled viscose will vary wildly in performance depending on the quality and type of viscose.

As PPs have said, bamboo is a type of viscose, tencel is a type of viscose, lyocell is a type of viscose. I find all of them make me warm and sweaty to an extent, but the better quality ones are less prone to creasing.

It's a bit of a minefield and difficult to tell just by looking at it - I have some lovely viscose things that I don't overheat in too badly and don't look like I've slept in them, and I have some awful viscose things that make me into a sweaty, crumpled mess.

Viscose does drape beautifully as a rule, but I find it doesn't last very long - it seems to pull and pill quite easily, even good quality viscose.

thedevilinablackdress Sat 22-Apr-17 11:32:52

Linen shirts would keep you cool and easy to roll the sleeves up or not as you feel like it.

AFierceBadRabbit Sat 22-Apr-17 12:48:54

When I think work + breathable + natural fabrics I think Uniqlo.

Also good choices of long, mid and short sleeve if you're concerned about scars.

Crunchybadger Sat 22-Apr-17 20:44:57

I'm a bit obsessed with bamboo, got a load of gym stuff (feels lovely) from but not tried their summer clothes yet.

Might try some as the sweaty buckets look I tend to rock isn't really doing me any favours.

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