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Best fabric for athletes? Cashmere? - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Wool is the original performance fabric and will be the best natural fabric for your purposes. Marmot and many other sport clothing manufacturers carry wool base and mid-layer clothes.

But really, if you don't like technical fabrics, talking about the properties they offer is meaningless.

The ultimate fiber for you would actually be a cashmere/spider silk blend.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by zjpj83 View Post
I would never wear something dry-clean only to exercise, but up to you.

I wash my cycling wools in the machine...most are blended a bit to make this possible just don't dry them (also wool doesn't pick up odors like synthetics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
I don't like synthetics. Or bike-specific clothes. Partly the distance ( 500 miles really isn't that much at 15+ mph average ) is because I love cycling, but the other part is I'm prone to cabin fever, and being outdoors makes me happy. I also hike, camp, and kayak ... but cycling is something I can do from my front door, so it's how I spend most of my leisure time. So, I want to have clothes I can wear doing any of these, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood in the evening.

You may not like bike specific clothes but you should look at a pair of Ibex merino knickers (or shorts but since you are layering with wool...it sounds like you are doing it in the cold)...I'd probably go with the bibs over the plain elastic waistband. They are beyond awesome and having a proper chamois makes riding so much more comfortable.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by BH1 View Post
Let me answer your question with another question. Do you really think Style Forvm, which is about classic mens clothing, is the right place to ask a question about athletic wear?


Well.. he's not asking about atheletic wear.

He's simply asking about the properties of various fabrics that are used much more often in classic mens clothing than they are in athletic wear.

If he was aking which brand makes the best technical underwear or most breathable outer shell, that'd be one thing, but what he's asking is stricktly speaking about the properties of various materials, materials that I would say you are most likely to find competency on here, as opposed to some sports related forum.
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silverfox View Post
Well.. he's not asking about atheletic wear.

He's simply asking about the properties of various fabrics that are used much more often in classic mens clothing than they are in athletic wear.

If he was aking which brand makes the best technical underwear or most breathable outer shell, that'd be one thing, but what he's asking is stricktly speaking about the properties of various materials, materials that I would say you are most likely to find competency on here, as opposed to some sports related forum.

And nobody on here is stupid enough to test the properties of those materials in such cases. I have cashmere, I have alpaca, I don't run marathons with that stuff right next to my skin. It would be stupid, requiring lots of time and effort to handwash stuff if I did that regularly, or plenty of cash taking them to the cleaners so they can have their lifespan shortened.

Stuff like this is what synthetics are for.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Silverfox View Post
Well.. he's not asking about atheletic wear.

.

Sure sounds like he is. He is just asking about pre 1970s or so stuff. I'm guessing he would be better off with a history book but people did used to wear wool etc for sporting wear.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
And nobody on here is stupid enough to test the properties of those materials in such cases. I have cashmere, I have alpaca, I don't run marathons with that stuff right next to my skin. It would be stupid, requiring lots of time and effort to handwash stuff if I did that regularly, or plenty of cash taking them to the cleaners so they can have their lifespan shortened.

Stuff like this is what synthetics are for.

I don't think anyone has made the argument that most people will use exotic wools for athletic activities. Or that this would at all be a sensible use of time and money for most.

Be that as it may, it's not a ridiculous notion to think that someone on styleforum who wears cashmere and pashmina a lot would know how their wicking capabilities are compared to each other.

I wouldn't expect the average person on SF to know this, but I'd say the odds of finding someone with that kind of knowledge of exotic wolls is much greater here than on some exercise-forum.
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
If you were really serious about biking you'd wear vicuna.

+1! Now that is for real athlethes. Just make sure it is baby vicuna, everything else is for plebs.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
But can anyone tell me if any of the other exotic wool or wool-like fabrics are going to do a better job of wicking sweat and being comfortable under a wide range of conditions than cashmere?
As a former bicyclist who did approx 400mi/week, I will answer. Are the following better (property wise) for the money: Quivut: NO. Alpaca: NO. Angora: NO. Vicuna: NO. You will be just fine with the cashmere if you like it.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
And nobody on here is stupid enough to test the properties of those materials in such cases. I have cashmere, I have alpaca, I don't run marathons with that stuff right next to my skin. It would be stupid, requiring lots of time and effort to handwash stuff if I did that regularly, or plenty of cash taking them to the cleaners so they can have their lifespan shortened.

Stuff like this is what synthetics are for.

You are incorrect...wool is the shit.

That being said...merino and cashmere are the way to go and all of those other materials are stupid.

I roll with some of these: http://www.ibexwear.com/shop/product...-bike-knickers which are not 100% wool but instead make careful use of synthetics that makes them stretchy, washable, and a bit more wind resistant in the right places.
Merino jerseys are great too. I have an old merino sweater that I started wearing for winter riding (and even for a run) that got some snags/holes...it turned out to be perfect. I machine wash it every few uses (I usually have something under it) and it is fine.

Would love a thrift store cashmere or something...but the issue is that you need pretty long sleeves for the riding position but you don't want a lot of bulk...I might try sewing an XL like you would take in a t-shirt from the sides
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BH1 View Post
Let me answer your question with another question. Do you really think Style Forvm, which is about classic mens clothing, is the right place to ask a question about athletic wear?

I hoped so, yes. I found this site when Google suggested this thread as a good match for a question about cashmere quality. It goes on for four pages, with lots of detail on where the best fabric comes from, how it's made, how production affects quality, etc. Seeing as how people in here have probably worn alpaca and angora and mohair, while I haven't ... people here are at least in a better position to know this stuff than I am.

So, if no one in here is going to answer a really basic question, where can I find the answer? Most athletes in cold places would rather spend $300 on a North Face fleece jacket then on a few sweaters, so they can't help me. I'd rather benefit from other peoples' experience if that's possible...
post #26 of 39
The best undergarment I've ever worn is the ones used by the Norwegian Army. It's basically some kind of mesh shirt made of wool, which does the job of wicking sweat and warming up cold air between the layers better than anything I've tried. Can be worn under anything. It's not cashmere though

http://www.brynje.no/super_thermo_shirt.html Really the best undergarment for any condition you can buy.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
I hoped so, yes. I found this site when Google suggested this thread as a good match for a question about cashmere quality. It goes on for four pages, with lots of detail on where the best fabric comes from, how it's made, how production affects quality, etc. Seeing as how people in here have probably worn alpaca and angora and mohair, while I haven't ... people here are at least in a better position to know this stuff than I am.

So, if no one in here is going to answer a really basic question, where can I find the answer? Most athletes in cold places would rather spend $300 on a North Face fleece jacket then on a few sweaters, so they can't help me. I'd rather benefit from other peoples' experience if that's possible...
You could probably piece together the answer for yourself from the info in that thread. In short, cashmere is warmer per unit weight than merino wool. This almost certainly means that it has a capacity for absorbing water before it saturates. That does not necessarily mean that absorbed moisture will evaporate any faster from cashmere than from merino.

I believe alpaca and vicuna are even warmer than cashmere per unit weight which would imply an even higher water absorption capacity. That said, while cashmere is somewhat more rare and 2-5x more expensive than merino, alpaca and vicuna are several multiples more than cashmere and quite a bit more rare. If I were you, I would stick with the cashmere you have since finding alpaca or vicuna is likely to be difficult and pricey. I do not know what the characteristics of angora are and mohair is not what you want.
post #28 of 39
Cashmere for sports sounds crazy to me!
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by afc345 View Post
The best undergarment I've ever worn is the ones used by the Norwegian Army. It's basically some kind of mesh shirt made of wool, which does the job of wicking sweat and warming up cold air between the layers better than anything I've tried. Can be worn under anything. It's not cashmere though

http://www.brynje.no/super_thermo_shirt.html Really the best undergarment for any condition you can buy.
It says that it's made of polypropylene.
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dah328 View Post
It says that it's made of polypropylene.

He may have gotten a garment in the same design, but a different fiber than the ones he owns.

But fiber doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of performance gear. the properties of this stuff depends a lot on the often complex weave- for example, a wicking shirt will often have a weave that uses thicker and looser thread on the outside than the inside, with the finer stuff drawing water off the skin, and then the thicker stuff on the outside, with more absorption capacity, draws the water away from the inside to the outside, where it can stay away from the skin and then evaporate. Keeps the stuff driest on the inside and helps the moisture evaporate faster. There are other methods, and there are also shirts that don't do that at all, and are just plain mesh. I have cheaper mesh shirts and I have a nicer one or two- the cheap ones feel like a synthetic sticking to your skin. The nice one? I've worn it for 2 weeks straight canoing and never had it feel uncomfortable. Both are made out of exactly the same stuff, run of the mill polyester. But the weave of the fabric and texture of the fiber (which can be altered with synthetics, unlike natural fibers) can make a very large difference.

That polypro shirt looks like a wicking waffle knit- meaning it'll pull the moisture away from the skin and has the little waffle pockets to lock in warm air. And polypro, as a fiber, tends to keep you pretty warm.
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