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Yitai Knitting

We are dedicated to developing and manufacturing knitting fabric from the very beginning.

Choosing the right underwear fabric can mean the difference between a comfy pair of undies and a clammy pair of butt crawlers

Choosing the Right Underwear Fabric

Choosing the right underwear fabric can mean the difference between a comfy pair of undies and a clammy pair of butt crawlers. The right fabric also makes a difference in how your clothes fit, feel and perform. There is so much to choose from out there that it can be overwhelming and confusing. So we're going to keep it simple, there are four main types of underwear fabrics; cotton, modal, nylon and polyester/elastane blends.

Natural fibres are made from organic materials like plants and animal hair. They are usually breathable and soft against the skin. The most common natural fibre used for underwear is cotton. Other natural fibres such as hemp, silk and wool are more expensive and typically only found in higher-end lingerie and nightwear.

Of all the natural fabrics cotton is the best for underwear, it's durable, easy to look after, and can withstand many washes. It's the perfect base layer for underwear, thongs and knickers, and can be paired with other fabrics such as silk and lycra for extra comfort and stretch. Cotton doesn't attract odours in the same way as synthetic fibres, however, it does absorb sweat so it's important to change your underwear regularly.

Another popular natural fibre is cellulose, it's often combined with cotton and elastane to create underwear fabrics that are a little more durable, but still have that soft feel against the skin. The cellulose is made from tree bark, so this is a sustainable choice for underwear as it's a renewable material. The downside is that cellulose tends to shrink in the wash and doesn't stretch very well so it's not ideal for panties, but works well for bras and camisoles.

Synthetic fibres are made from a combination of chemical processes and oil as raw materials. They are the most widely used for underwear and come in a variety of blends. Polyester is a good choice for men who want underwear that can move with them, as it's a very stretchy fabric. It's also heat and colour-resistant, dries quickly, doesn't crease as easily as cotton, and is very durable.

Nylon is the other most commonly used synthetic fibre for underwear and has similar properties to polyester, however, it's more breathable. It's the go-to option for athletic and sportswear, as it moves with the body, wicks moisture away from the skin and is quick drying. It's also very resilient and abrasion-resistant.

The best synthetic fabric for underwear for most people is a mix of polyester and elastane, this gives you the benefits of both fibres. The elastane helps the fabric to have some stretch, so it's more comfortable and doesn't crease or shrink as easily as cotton does. It's also a bit lighter and more breathable than pure polyester. The pictured underwear is our Cool Sensation in 81% polyamide and 19% elastane. This is our most popular and best-selling men's underwear. The new Active Mesh boxer brief is now available in the same mix of fabric.