Wicking chemistry allows liquids to flow through narrow spaces (like the tiny holes between fibers in your shirt).
We apply wicking chemistry to many of our baselayers and trail running, climbing and other active styles to influence the way water moves through garments during high-intensity activities. This technology allows sweat and moisture to rapidly move from the skin to the surface of the garment where it can evaporate into the air. Wicking is a form of capillary action—where liquid can flow through narrow spaces (like the tiny holes between fibers in your shirt) due to the action of surface tension and adhesion forces overcoming the force of gravity. Wicking treatments further improve the efficiency of this phenomenon in synthetic clothing.
In warm climates, this means that the body stays cool by more efficiently conducting sweat—the body’s natural cooling mechanism. In cold climates, this means that the body stays warmer by keeping fabric next to the skin drier.
How we care for garments that feature wicking additives is important to the longevity of the product. Wicking chemistry is severely impeded by waxes and softeners found in some laundry products, like dryer sheets and fabric softeners. We can help maintain our garments’ wicking capability (and lengthen the life) by avoiding these additives in the laundry process.
Where We Are
We work closely with innovation partners to improve both the performance and environmental impact of supply chain chemistry inputs, including wicking chemistry. One partner in our innovation portfolio is Beyond Surface Technologies, which offers a biobased wicking chemistry. We invested in BST in 2015 through our Tin Shed Ventures® fund.
We strive to have all chemistry and auxiliary finishes be manufactured safely and with low environmental impacts.