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 heads and/or around our necks. Although overheating is a problem, maintaining a healthy scalp is important too. To aid this, we just have to know a few basics on fabrics.
Aside managing body heat, there are also a number of additional reasons why you would want to wear and invest in the right fabric for a Summer scarf: 1. Have a healthier scalp as mentioned. 2. Saving money in the long run. 3. Protect hair and neck skin from the sun and environmental impurities, which can also come from the chemicals and dyeing process fabrics undergo. If you can go that additional step in choosing organic fabrics and natural dyes, do so!
Start off by accessing the type of activity you will be doing, this will determine what fabric to choose. The basics are: Choose scarves that breath and give some type of moisture control by absorbing and/repelling sweat. Do note that some tech made sports scarves or head coverings are made to dry quickly after wicking moisture and use a polyblend, but straight polyester is like wearing a plastic bag on your head or around your neck. If you wear a headband and/or 'ninja' under your scarf, the above basic rule applies too. Be sure it's also breathable and moisture-wicking too, specially because it is closer to your scalp. Another basic to keep in mind is the weight of the fabric or thickness. Again, depending on your activity circumstances, thinner or thicker fabrics might be more appropriate.
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 which are made out of among some, tech-infused polyester. Price point may be higher due to more laborious and research investments to make quality scarves, keep that in mind. Also note that although blends can be affordable, plain non-tech infused synthetic blends tend to obstruct the working purpose of the natural fibers. It's best to save-up and invest in one good piece [neutral color for versatility], which by the way can outlive you--just look at the Egyptian mummies, they used linen.
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.
Written by Mariana Aguilera