Best Fabrics for Hot Weather

Find out the best cool fabrics and materials to wear during hot and humid weather. Summers can be short in many locations, and you always want to soak up every minute of it you can, but sometimes it just gets too unbearably hot outside to enjoy the season. Wearing the best summer fabrics, designed for hot, humid weather can help you enjoy the great outdoors during even the warmest summer months.

From shirts to dresses, stay cool this season with the most breathable fabrics and light materials that are perfect to wear when the weather gets hot.

What Are The 9 Coolest Fabrics for Summer?

1. Cotton

Cotton is one of the coolest fabrics for summer and hot weather. Not only is it cheap and hugely available, but it is also great for the heat. Cotton is soft, lightweight, breathable, and soaks up sweat, allowing heat to escape the body and for you to stay cool. It comes in countless styles and colors, meaning you can find a cotton garment to fit pretty much any need. There are also a variety of cotton blends that have different qualities. Cotton gets pretty wrinkled, but a cotton-polyester blend will keep you from having to iron. Cotton does have some downsides however. If you are sweating a lot, cotton tends to soak up moisture so it could become heavy and wet, it may also show moisture stains by your armpits or collar if you wear it in light colors.

woman holds a stack of neatly folded shirts

2. Linen

Linen is another top choice for a breathable fabric for hot weather conditions. It is also very light and is loosely woven which allows heat to escape from the body. It absorbs a lot of moisture and dries quickly, keeping you cool and dry. It tends to be stiff, but that also means that it is not sticking to your body. Linen also wrinkles pretty often, but a lot of people like it, and view it as a part of the style and look of linen. Mulberrys offers dry cleaning for your summer clothing as well as high-quality linen cleaning for your household items such as bed sheets and pillowcases.

Shirts and pants displayed on a clothes rack

3. Rayon

Rayon is a man-made fabric blended from cotton, wood pulp, and other natural or synthetic fibers. It was invented as a cheaper alternative to silk (which also makes silk a good summer fabric). Rayon has very thin fibers, which allows it to breathe more than other fabrics and gives it a lightness that prevents it from sticking to a body in hot weather. Since it is so comfortable and cooling to wear, rayon is an especially good fabric for sportswear and summer dresses. While a great and breathable fabric for hot weather, rayon can shrink when washed in warm water. You can hand wash in cold water, but it is recommended to dry clean rayon to avoid shrinkage or damage. Mulberrys provides dry cleaning and laundry delivery services to ensure your summer fabrics are handled with care. You can also check out our guide for some tips to avoid shrinkage.

Charcoal sports jacket is neatly folded

4. Denim/Chambray

Denim is made from very tightly woven cotton, so it is a breathable material that absorbs sweat just like cotton. But, denim tends to be a heavier fabric, which is why some people prefer chambray for summer clothing. Chambray is often described as imitation denim, so it has all of the same benefits as denim but is a lot lighter in weight.

Torso of woman in white sweater holds stack of jeans

5. Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from durable plastic fibers. It’s commonly used for workout clothes because of its sweat-wicking capabilities when compared to other fabrics like cotton. Over the years, clothing manufacturers have improved polyester’s water-resistant properties with more advanced thread structures that draw sweat away from the body and out towards the fabric’s surface. This makes polyester a top pick for gym-goers as well as a perfect summer fabric for fun under the sun—plus, it dries fast with little downtime when wet.

While polyester is a great fabric that stays cool in the heat, its plastic threads are created through a petroleum-based mixture, which can be irritating to sensitive skin. When not used in clothing, polyester is blended into a variety of other fabrics and can be found in sheets and towels.

Woman runs outside in pink t-shirt and black workout shorts

6. Nylon

Similar to polyester, nylon is a lightweight synthetic fabric commonly used in athletic wear. Nylon’s structure is designed to move sweat away from the body, which makes it among the best fabrics for hot, humid weather. The fabric is stretchy and light, lending itself to sports jackets, running shorts, sports bras, and shirts that keep you cool in the heat. Nylon is also a staple material in some high-performance athletic shoes. Equal parts flexibility and durability allow the shoes to stand up against harsh weather conditions but remain easy to clean. Mulberrys provides shoe shine and repair services to make your shoes like new.

Man stretches outside in white shirt and black shorts

7. Silk

Silk is woven with natural fibers harvested from silkworm cocoons, resulting in the ultra-soft, luxurious material we know today. This process can be expensive, resulting in higher production costs and more lavish fabric. The delicate and breathable fabric is great for summer weather, yet retains warmth in the winter.

The only drawback is that silk doesn’t absorb sweat well and can leave noticeable stains on the underarm area. Still, it is a popular choice for elegant attire. Some brides wear silk wedding dresses, which offer a classic, romantic look. Should your dress be ruined with sweat stains or mud, Mulberrys is equipped to restore and preserve wedding dresses through our wedding dress cleaning services.

Yellow silk blouse hangs against a white backdrop

8. Micromodal

Micromodal is comprised of a rayon base and includes fibers from hardwood trees. The result is a semi-synthetic fabric that feels supple and light against the skin. This makes it a great alternative to cotton when deciding on a summer fabric for those hot days. With similar properties to linen and silk, micromodal is most often made for undergarments like undershirts and underwear. Noted for its softness, breathability, and resistance to shrinkage, micromodal is a comfortable fabric that’s easy to clean.

Besides clothing, micromodal has multiple household applications, including blankets, carpets, and drapes. Its moisture vaporizing material is great for outdoor activities in humid areas. Micromodal is easy to clean and can withstand high-temperature settings in the wash.

Two hands present purple underwear

9. Merino Wool

Merino wool is not the first material that comes to mind when thinking about the best fabric for hot, humid weather, but its absorbent fibers help to regulate body temperature and keep you cool. It can actually be one of the best materials for hot weather, especially for those summer evenings when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.

Merino wool is unique, as it is one of the only fabrics that trap pockets of air to keep you insulated but can regulate your temperature to keep you comfortable in the heat. This makes it a cool fabric for summer activities, such as hiking, where the rise in temperature can increase your body heat throughout the day. Merino wool is durable and does not trap body odor, which makes it a top choice for hikers. It’s more expensive than some alternatives but makes a great addition to your summer wardrobe.

Neutral colored sweaters hang on a clothes rack

Keeping Your Summer Fabrics Clean

Summer also seems to be the season of stains: grass, dirt, and ketchup galore. Don’t ruin one of these great summer fabrics with a stain, read this summer stain guide and take them to Mulberrys for our wash and fold laundry services as soon as possible so we can help you continue to stay cool during the summer.

Visit Mulberrys Garment Care to experience high-quality dry cleaning for all of your hot weather clothing. We offer environmentally-friendly dry cleaning and free pickup and delivery from our locations in Minneapolis and San Francisco. Click here to get a 20% off coupon for your first dry cleaning order!

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