Did you feel the heat teasing us this past weekend? Not prepared! The temporary warm weather woke us up to start actualizing on what lies ahead for our head and neck this Summer. So, here we are another year trying to get our scarf fabrics right for that burning Summer heat! We don't know about you, but for us comfort equates effectiveness and efficiency in our daily lives. This is why it's important to wear the right fabric on our head and around our necks--the last thing we need to worry about in our daily activities is overheating. Although overheating is only a small part of the problem, a healthier scalp is more important to us. We can also report that it can be done without sacrificing personal style. You just have to know how your 411 on fabrics and apply that to your type of active style! Ok, chances are you probably have adapted to wearing what you wear every Summer and learned to live with it, but let us first tell you options exist that might just change the way you choose your scarves for different type of activities in your life.
There are a number of reasons why you would want to wear and invest in the right scarf fabric. 1. Manage body heat 2. Have a healthier scalp 3. Comfort in daily to-do things and/or more rigorous activities like sports. 4. Saving money in the long run. Some of those $5 scarves come with other issues at times. Protect the hair and neck skin from the sun and environmental impurities, which can also come from the chemicals and the process the scarf undergoes--sweat opens pores let's impurities in [from the environment and chemical washes from the scarf] and also weakens the hair. We will focus on scarves that breath and give some type of moisture control by absorbing and/repelling sweat--the below type of fabrics are some that will aid in that. Do note that some tech made sports scarves or head coverings are made to dry quickly after wicking moisture and use a polyblend. As far as the purity on the construction of the scarf in terms of dyes and chemicals, we suggest, buying from people that make their own scarves vs. mass produced where quality is hard to control by wholesalers and shop owners. You can also just ask your scarf shop if they know how the scarves they sell are made.
Aside the scarf, you also want your under headband and/or 'ninja' to be breathable and moisture wicking too, hence it is closer to your scalp. After knowing your info on certain scarf fabrics, the next step prior to buying is to check the label for fabric ingredients to include the below. We would love to tell you to focus only on natural fibers, but with technology advancement, one must also consider the benefits of those such in the case of sports headgear. Price point may be higher due to more laborious and research investments to make quality scarves, keep that in mind. Although a blend of natural with synthetic for everyday use would affordable, synthetic blends tend to obstruct the working purpose of the natural fiber fabrics. It's best to save-up and invest in one good piece[neutral color], which by the way will outlive you--just look at the Egyptian mummies, they used linen. Also, pay attention to the weight of the scarves--basically their thickness. There is no point in having the right type of fabric when it's thick! Fabrics with the below ingredients will also come in handy in cold seasons and of course will tell you all about that too later!
Lastly, we checked with popular scarf sellers to make sure the options are there for you, and we can say they are! Below are some of the most common fabrics used in scarves and that you will see in labels. Now, put away your pashminas[well, keep one in the office for those air-condition blasting days] and set aside your polyesters for special event days. Now, go and have yourself and happy breathable Spring and Summer!
Linen - A strong natural fiber textile made from the flax plant that is highly breathable, moisture absorbent, body heat regulator but quickly wrinkles and doesn't stretch.
Cotton - Made from the cotton plant, moisture absorbent, wicks moisture away from the skin, soft, comes in many variations[like the common jersey], durable and wrinkles easily on its natural state. Works best when it is not blended with other fabrics such as polyester, but good with other natural fibers such as silk.
Silk - Made from silkworms, regulates body temperatures, absorbs more moisture then cotton, very durable and dries quickly,
Bamboo - Made from the cellulose of the bamboo plant, moisture absorbent, environmentally safe [but remember that the chemical washes do also apply], dries quickly, soft, and anti-bacterial.
Rayon - A semi-synthetic made mainly from wood pulp that goes through a lengthy chemical process, breathable and more moisture absorbent than cotton. Stay away from rayon blends that have nylon, polyester and acrylic. Opt for blends with cotton and silk.
Tencel - A sustainable fabric also knows as Lyocell is made from vegetable or wood cellulose, more moisture absorbent than cotton, very durable, doesn't wrinkle easy, soft, light, breathable and biodegradable.
Modal - A semi-synthetic based from beech trees fibers that goes through a lengthy chemical process. It's very soft, more moisture absorbent than cotton, biodegradable, low shrinkage and breathable. Opt for blends with cotton and silk.
Viscose - A semi-synthetic made from wood pulp that goes through a lengthy chemical process, also known as 'rayon', moisture absorbent and biodegradable. Opt for blends with natural fibers.
Polyblends - Synthetic-tech gear uses polyblends with high technology to manage both bodily and external forces during Summer. If you're a sports person and/or training don't discount poly-tech blends, but do get your garments from trusted shops that have invested in research and development.
*Additional: Wearing scarves a bit loosely adds fabric breathability. Also, because the above fabrics are also highly absorbent, it will pick up oils from the body and hair.
Written by Mariana