With the warmer months approaching it is important to have the right wardrobe to keep yourself feeling cool, calm and collected. We all know how hot Chicago’s summer can get so this year, be smart about your purchases and grab the fabrics that will keep you the coolest. Lighter fabrics with the most absorbency and breathability are necessary for 90 degree weather that is soon to come. There are a few classics that are summer must haves in everyone’s closet. Gingham, Seersucker, and Linen are all light, airy, fabrics sure to keep you looking and feeling cool all summer.
Seersucker is a lightweight cotton fabric that is ribbed and gathered/puckered. It is a slack-tension fabric, which means some of the yarns are held at slack or looser compared to the warp yarns. This creates the puckers and determines it’s weight, it is a great summer fabric. The puckers allow the fabric to hover above the skin creating more air circulation to keep one cool. The crinkled surface texture of the fabric allows it to never need ironing and is great for a summer suit, dress, blouses and pants.
Gingham is a classic cotton with a checkered pattern, usually white and one other color. It varies from medium to lightweight providing the wearer with cool, breathability. There is no right or wrong side of the fabric because the fibers were woven together creating the same pattern on the back as the front. The size of checks range from very small to very large and it is a pattern that is considered to provide a youthful relaxed feel. It is a plain weave that is associated with American countryside and is normally made into aprons, picnic blankets, tablecloths and more recently, men’s shirting.
Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world dating back to about 5000 B.C. It has a more apparent luster than cotton feels cool to the touch. Linen is made from the flax plant and is strong with little elasticity so it wrinkles extremely easily. As time goes on, linen becomes whiter rather than discolored. It is exceptionally absorbent but also has the qualities to dry very quickly because of this trait, it has the ability to keep one warm in the cool weather and cool in the hot weather. Linen is a sustainable fabric in which it is a product that does not leave any waste and has very little impact on our environment.