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Which Fabric Evaporates Moisture The Quickest?

1455 words - 6 pages

INTRODUCTION

How fast do different fabrics evaporate moisture? There are many different types of fabrics that are used for clothing. Generally, fabrics are broken down into two separate groups, natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics. Natural fabrics are fabrics that come from plants or animals. Synthetic fabrics are fabrics that are made from man-made materials.
Natural fabrics have been around for thousands of years. There were four great fibers in the fabric industry history. They were wool, cotton, silk and flax. They were easy to make, and were used so much because they were created from natural, renewable, and abundant sources. Most of them are still used a lot today.
Synthetic fibers have only been around for the last 100 years or so. The first synthetic fiber was rayon, developed in 1910. This fabric felt like silk. The next synthetic fabric, called the "Miracle Fiber", was nylon in 1939. Synthetic fabrics were different than the natural fabrics because the natural ones had some problems like shrinking and feeling itchy on the skin. Other common synthetic fabrics include polyester and spandex.
This experiment will test to see which fabric will evaporate water the quickest. Five different fabrics, including both natural and synthetic will be tested. Each fabric will be placed in the same amount of water, and then weighed at different times to see how much water evaporated. Also, each fabric will be watched closely to figure out which one becomes totally dry first. I believe that the synthetic fabrics (polyester and spandex) will evaporate moisture quicker than the natural fabrics. The synthetic fabrics are lighter and thinner than the natural fabrics (cotton, flannel, and wool).
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BODY
I chose this experiment because I participate in many sports, and am always running around and I sweat a lot! I figured that if I could wear clothing that evaporates water the quickest, I could stay dry. There are many companies that make athletic apparel, such as Nike, UnderArmour, Adidas, and Reebok. They sell their clothes based on a number of things, including style, price, performance and comfort. In some of their advertisements they talk about how they "wick" away moisture from the skin. Wicking is defined as "the process whereby the fibers in a cloth garment draw perspiration away from the skin and up to the surface of the fabric, allowing the moisture to evaporate quickly." I thought that if the clothing absorbs water from the skin, that it would be important for the water to get out of the fabric.
I chose five fabrics that are used commonly in clothing. Three of the fabrics are natural, and two of the fabrics are synthetic. The natural fabrics that I used are cotton, flannel, and wool. Natural fabrics usually absorb moisture and can become heavy and uncomfortable. The synthetic fabrics that I used are polyester and spandex. Synthetic fabrics are mad-made from chemicals, and are kind of like plastic, so they...

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