Bamboo vs Dri Fit vs Charged Cotton vs Cotton | What is the best workout t-shirt fabric?

Is Bamboo The Best T-Shirt fabric for Workouts?

What are your t-shirts really made of and what are the pro's and cons of each when choosing athlete clothing for your exercise activity and social wear.

We consider performance, comfort, the environment and social wear aesthetics.

1. PERFORMANCE BAMBOO

There are now many bamboo fabric blends on the market, renowned for comfort and reducing the impact on the environment with eco friendly sustainable production possible.

The performance bamboo blend we have developed contains organic bamboo spandex with the longest bamboo fibres for soft feel and no harsh chemicals are used in the production process. The natural bamboo fibres have properties to ensure comfort and performance during any workout activity. The elastane in the fabric ensures it retains its shape and allows a relaxed feel even when worn neatly fitted.

This ensures the softest light weight feel and 4-way stretch along with breathability, moisture wicking, anti bacterial/low odour & UV protection.

It can be styled in any colour and the texture aesthetically appears like a normal social wear t-shirt to ensure your activewear is stylish enough to wear out.

Being a natural fibre, bamboo does not like heat, so clothes dryers and high heat irons are not suitable for use on these shirts and some basic bamboo blends have reports of shrinkage.

PRO'S

  • Breathability
  • Moisture Wicking
  • 4-Way Stretch
  • Does Not Change Shape
  • Low Shrinkage
  • Durable
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Soft Feel - Does not irritate sensitive skin
  • Low Odour
  • UV Protection
  • Eco Friendly 

CON'S

  • Unable to use in Clothes Dryer
  • More expensive than generic fabrics
  • Not as widely produced and not many choices in styles
  • Some other bamboo blends shrink and do not retain shape

2. DRI-FIT

This fabric has been trademarked by the global brands. It contains varying mixes of cotton, polyester and spandex.

Renowned for being workout fabric, it has moisture wicking, it feels light and stretchy and is a staple workout tee fabric for many.

The standard material does not offer UV protection, some report breakouts and skin rashes and does not offer any eco friendly benefits.

Aesthetics are designed for workouts, but may not be of a standard and style to wear socially.

PRO'S

  • Breathability
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Stretch
  • Soft Feel
  • Durable
  • Does not change shape or shrink

CON'S

  • Utilises Polyester (Plastics)
  • Standard does not have UV protection
  • Some report skin irritation
  • Styling limited to workout use

3. CHARGED COTTON (TransDry)

Another workout fabric trademarked by the global brands. There are variations that contains cotton/polyester and sometimes spandex.  It has been chemically treated to give it moisture wicking properties.

There have been reports of shrinkage and durability issues with some of the most recent updates to the blend. 

Each of the global brands display large logo's and may not be suited for those after a higher class look for social wear.

PRO'S

  • Breathability
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Stretch

CON'S

  • Shrinkage Reported
  • Durability 
  • Styling limited to workout use

4. COTTON

The most commonly used fabric for t-shirts for social wear. Modern blends now contain spandex to allow it to stretch. It is a heavy feeling fabric that soaks up sweat and gets even heavier. Does not breath well or allow the body to cool. Recommended for light activity only.

Some organic cotton shirts are available but rarely are in an athletic fit or with elastane for workout use.

Cotton is more susceptible to shrinkage, shape change and hardening after multiple washes. 

PRO'S

  • Cheap
  • Wide choice in styles

CON'S

  • Heavy
  • Susceptible to shrinkage, shape change and hardening
  • Not breathable
  • No Moisture Wicking
  • Limited choice in eco friendly spandex blends


Conclusion

There is no shortage of choice in workout t-shirts.

We hope to have helped inform you of the choices in fabrics and their properties, so depending on your priorities you can find the perfect choice for your use.

We developed our Active Series Bamboo T-Shirts for versatility with performance, comfort, minimising impact on the environment and with social styling.