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How To Stay Cool: The Best Fabrics for Hot and Humid Weather

How To Stay Cool: The Best Fabrics for Hot and Humid Weather

As temperatures rise, typically above 80°F, fashion trends lean toward vibrant attire and breathable fabrics to combat the heat. Choosing the appropriate fabric for hot and humid weather becomes crucial to stay cool and fresh.

While white tank tops may immediately come to mind as ubiquitous spring and summer wardrobe staples, there are alternative cooling fabrics for hot and humid weather, ensuring you stay cool as a cucumber.

What are the comfortable fabrics for hot and humid weather?

Discover the best fabrics for hot and humid weather. While summers may be brief in some areas, making the most of every moment becomes challenging when the heat becomes overwhelming. Embracing top-notch summer textiles tailored for hot, muggy weather can enhance your outdoor experiences even amidst scorching temperatures.


How To Stay Cool: The Best Fabrics for Hot and Humid Weather

Cotton stands out as one of the best fabrics for hot and humid weather. Not only is it economical and widely accessible, but it also excels in heat management. Offering a blend of softness, lightness, and breathability, cotton effortlessly absorbs perspiration, facilitating the release of body heat and ensuring your comfort. With its extensive range of styles and colors, cotton garments cater to diverse preferences and occasions. Nowadays, there is a variety of cotton types to choose from. One of them is Pima cotton, renowned for its superior softness.

Additionally, various cotton blends offer distinct advantages. For instance, a cotton-polyester blend minimizes wrinkles, sparing you the hassle of ironing. However, cotton does have its drawbacks. In situations of heavy sweating, cotton's moisture absorption may result in a damp, weighty feel, and light-colored garments may reveal moisture stains around the armpits or collar.


Polyester, a synthetic fabric crafted from robust plastic fibers, is renowned for its exceptional moisture-wicking properties, making it a favored choice for workout attire, particularly in comparison to materials like cotton.

Over time, garment producers have enhanced polyester's ability to repel water by employing advanced thread structures that effectively draw moisture away from the body and toward the fabric's surface. Consequently, polyester stands out as a premier selection for fitness enthusiasts and serves as an ideal summer fabric for outdoor activities, boasting quick-drying capabilities that minimize downtime when wet.

Despite its effectiveness in keeping cool during hot weather, polyester's plastic composition, derived from a petroleum-based blend, may pose discomfort for individuals with sensitive skin.

Beyond clothing, polyester is frequently integrated into various fabric blends and finds application in products, such as sheets and towels. Nowadays, we also have recycled polyester, made from recycled plastic bottles, woven into fabrics that make activewear more comfortable and fashionable with a heart.

How To Stay Cool: The Best Fabrics for Hot and Humid Weather


Modal, a variant of rayon, represents a notable upgrade in both quality and often, cost, within the realm of semi-synthetic fibers. In contrast to standard rayon, modal boasts a considerably softer texture and heightened absorbency, effectively warding off the discomfort of moisture buildup and potential odors on the skin.

Notably, modal shares a similar sheen with rayon but distinguishes itself with a silkier touch. Its enhanced durability compared to traditional rayon stems from a production process that involves stretching the fibers, yielding a finer, more breathable material. Consequently, modal garments endure wash cycles with greater resilience and resist shrinking, a common issue with rayon.

This fabric enjoys particular popularity in intimate apparel and underwear, often blended with spandex to enhance stretch. Additionally, modal-cotton blends are favored for spring and summer t-shirts, especially in lighter hues, delivering a refreshing coolness and comfort.


Much like polyester, nylon emerges as a lightweight synthetic textile widely embraced in athletic apparel. Engineered to wick moisture away from the body, nylon proves particularly adept for hot and humid climates, earning its reputation as one of the premier fabrics for such conditions. Its inherent stretchiness and featherweight quality render it ideal for a range of sportswear, including jackets, shorts, sports bras, and shirts, ensuring comfort and coolness amidst sweltering temperatures.

Baleaf takes pride in having recycled nylon, made from recycled fish nets, among its list of fabrics, offering a more sustainable superior comfort and style.

Merino Wool

When considering the best fabric for hot and humid climates, merino wool might not be the initial choice that comes to mind. However, its absorbent fibers play a crucial role in regulating body temperature and promoting coolness. Surprisingly, merino wool can emerge as one of the top contenders for warm weather, particularly during balmy summer evenings when temperatures dip.

Merino wool boasts a distinctive ability to trap air pockets for insulation while adeptly regulating body temperature, ensuring comfort even in heat. This unique feature renders it an excellent choice for summer pursuits like hiking, where fluctuating temperatures challenge comfort levels. Notably durable and resistant to trapping odors, merino wool stands as a preferred option among hikers. Though it may come at a higher price point compared to some alternatives, its versatility and performance make it a valuable addition to any summer wardrobe.

How To Stay Cool: The Best Fabrics for Hot and Humid Weather


Tencel stands out as an incredibly versatile fabric, seamlessly adapting to a diverse array of clothing styles ranging from activewear to flowing dresses. With absorption properties surpassing cotton by 50%, Tencel excels in breathability and odor resistance, making it an optimal choice for activewear. Its soft texture and enhanced breathability prevent excessive heat retention, rendering it ideal for bedding material and promoting airflow, and imparting a refreshing coolness.

Moreover, the soft and breathable attributes of Tencel make it an excellent companion for workout sessions, effectively aiding in moisture management to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your routine.

What are the other factors to look for in fabrics for hot humid weather?

Consider the texture of the fabric as a crucial factor. Imagine warming something with your hand: you'd cover the surface fully for better warmth. Conversely, for staying cool, less contact area means feeling cooler. Textured knits, while subtle, have less fabric against your skin, enhancing cooling.

Additionally, the garment's silhouette influences comfort. Choose pieces that cut away from the body, especially in humid conditions, to maximize airflow and keep cool.

Stay Cool and Fresh in the Best Cooling Fabrics for Hot and Humid Weather

Keeping cool during the balmy days of spring or the scorching dog days of summer can be challenging, but it's certainly achievable. It begins with understanding the appropriate fabrics to wear. Fortunately, numerous lightweight and breathable options can help you stay cool even on the hottest of days.

At baleaf, we provide a diverse range of fabrics in our All Women's and All Men's collections, ensuring comfort and coolness when the temperature soars.

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