In today's health-conscious world, there has been a steady increase in the demand for high-quality technical fabric that provide today's athletes with clothing that offer comfort and breathability during those long and difficult training sessions and competitions. But with so many athletic wear brands claiming to be "technical" and "breathable", how can you tell which ones are offering the real thing, and which brands are just taking you for a ride? The easiest way to tell is to have these different products undergo the Water Drop Test. And this is how you do it:
1. Get a shirt you want to test, and place it on a hanger, with the inside part of the shirt facing out.
2. Get a medicine dropper filled with clean water.
3. Place a few drops of water on the shirt, and see what happens.
If the water drops form beads once they contact the shirt, or even roll down the surface of the shirt, then this shirt fails the test.
If the water is instantly absorbed upon contact, then the shirt that you're testing is truly a breathable shirt.
A breathable shirt is designed to absorb sweat away from your body, drawing it to the outside surface where it evaporates in the air, particularly if the wearer is engaged in some form of movement or physical activity. For a shirt to be able to do this, it's inside part must be highly absorbent so it can blot out the moisture on the wearer's skin. Also it should be porous enough to trap the moisture in the outside surface, to allow the air to dry it out quickly. If the shirt is not absorbent, the sweat just beads inside the shirt, and is just spread around, producing a slick and sticky feeling.
So the next time you want to be really sure, just add water. Then you'll know.