What are rapid dry shirts and do they work?

In recent years the advent of rapid dry or moisture management material has become very popular for embroidered logo apparel.  We sell a lot of these types of shirts-mostly in polo shirt styles but use of this material in t-shirts, sweatshirts and other garments are gaining in popularity.

We still get questions from customers about how rapid dry material works and if it does really work or is it a “marketing gimmick”.

Moisture wicking clothing has many applications in today’s busy lifestyles. Numerous people are using this type of clothing to increase their comfort. These new garments wick, or absorb, sweat caused by exertion, exercise, or hot climates by pulling it away from the wearer’s skin.


NIKE Dri-fit Polo

There are a number of terms you have maybe heard to describe a moisture management material.  They include, moisture wicking, rapid dry, dri-fit, drytec, dryblend, climatlite are some of the more popular but they all basically mean the same thing.

To achieve a moisture wicking characteristic, the manufacturers apply a topical treatment to a garment made from hydrophobic fibers, such as polyester, to give it the ability to absorb sweat. The hydrophilic (water-loving) finish or treatment will allow this type of garment to absorb residue, while its hydrophobic (water-hating) fibers will help it to dry fast, keeping the wearer more comfortable.

That all sounds pretty technical so let me simplify it for you.  Essentially what happens is the fibers move moisture away from the wearer’s skin allowing air to circulate more freely thereby drying the material faster.

So the next question is does it work.  The answer is an unequivocal yes.  And that is from personal experience.

I enjoy playing golf and in the summer here in Minnesota it can be really humid and sticky.  If I am wearing a cotton shirt and start to sweat, I will have to endure a wet, uncomfortable shirt for the remainder of the round.  But if I am wearing a rapid dry shirt, it really does stay dry when I start to sweat and that keeps me comfortable for the rest of the day.

The great thing about rapid dry shirts is that there is really no disadvantage to wearing them.  They are very stylish, durable and comfortable even if you aren’t sweating.

If you haven’t tried any, you should.  I think you will be surprised.

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5 Responses to What are rapid dry shirts and do they work?

  1. Mal says:

    Hi Jeff

    Thanks for sharing this article with me. I was wondering how “moisure wicking” worked with polyester shirts (which I understood to be moisture resistant) so this info is really great. I will share this with my partner and get him to re-assess the polyester shirts he had problems with in the past…


  2. Hello

    what will be the best fabric for rapid dry.
    what should be the fabric percents

    50% cotton and 50% polyester,,, can you please tell me what will be te best fabric / combination.

    Kind regards,


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