Its getting close to reality and closer to a store near you. What am I talking about? Cotton clothing from UnderArmour, the brand that was not showing much love to my beloved natural fiber before. (A past blog post does more background.) But they are officially launching the Charged Cotton line and it will be shipping soon for March sales.
Wired magazine says the about face was led by the reality that their target customers (people in their late teens through 30s) have an average of seven cotton T-shirts for each synthetic shirt in their wardrobe. Yep, it’s the best way to grow the brand to use cotton fiber and then put a bit of UA spin to it by combining the vast majority of cotton with five percent elastane, which is the fiber that provides a stretch fabric. The result is comfort, wicking & dryability.
The production process starts with alternating yarns of hydrophobic and hydrophilic cotton. The hydrophilic part is responsible for cotton’s moisture absorption, which can extend to 25 times its weight in water. But the inclusion of a hydrophobic yarn, which contains molecules that reject water, helps athletes stay as dry as when they first put on the garment. “That’s what causes the sweat to wick away from the cotton and dry quicker,” Stafford said of the hydrophobic yarns.
Heather Mitts, a defender with the Atlanta Beat of the Women’s Professional Soccer league, explained to Wired.com that the cotton products she used to wear while training were too heavy. Not so with Charged Cotton: “You don’t really notice that you’re wearing cotton.”
I’m going to have to check the line out next time I’m at Sports Authority or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Wonder what the sales people will think when I mention how I have a bunch of cotton farmer friends…. and imagine the glaze over when I ask about the hydrophobic and hydrophillic yarns. I think I’m going to like this!