Tropical Island Clothing – The clothes you choose for your vacation

Details and Characteristics of Tropical Island Clothing

tropical island clothingThe clothes we choose for our vacation or travel must not only be functional and practical, but also fashionable. When choosing tropical island clothing it is important to take into consideration the following:

  • fabric used – the type of fabric will determine the comfort and durability and ease of care of a particular fabric. The Pros and Cons of various fabrics are discussed below. The fabrics include: cotton, linen, polyester and cotton-polyester blends.
  • weave of the fabric – fabrics are woven using different densities and designs. Each combination will have an effect on the breathability of a fabric, it’s durability, the amount of UV light getting in, and a number of other factors discussed below.
  • lightweight – in tropical countries it is best to buy clothes that are light in weight. These will allow more air to pass through the fabric and will not make the wearer feel hot.
  • machine or hand washable – choose clothes that can be easily hand washed or machine washed, as you will have a limited wardrobe during your travels and you may want to change clothing 2 or 3 times on a very hot day
  • quick drying – chose materials that dry quickly, such as light cotton fabrics, polyesters, and cotton-polyester blends
  • wrinkle free – chose cotton-polyester blends or polyesters if you don’t like wrinkled clothes. An alternative of course to use cotton based clothes and carry your own small travel iron.
  • active wear – if you are involved in a lot of sports or outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, then it might be good to look for cotton-polyester blends and take along a few extra changes of polyester clothing when you need to
  • special treatment to the fabric – if you want to increase the UV protection of your clothing, or pick something that is water resistant, flame or wrinkle resistant, then make sure that you look for this when you shop. There are many stores that offer these specialized properties.

Pros & Cons on Fabrics for Tropical Countries

Cloth is made from a wide variety of fabrics, some organic and some synthetic. This site will only discuss the most popular fabric used today. New clothing fabrics are being developed every day and they are slowly being introduced for sale. These newer fabrics are used in clothing for sports (e.g. spandex, lycra), fashion and for specialty clothing for the military, fire fighters, space exploration, handling of dangerous chemicals, etc. This site will promote clothing only for everyday wear and for sports with a focus on travelers to hot tropical countries. The Pros and Cons will be presented for each fabric discussed.

Fabrics made from wool, spandex, lycra, elastene, leather, nylon will not be included in this list as they are not suitable for hot climates. Fabrics such as spandex, lycra, elastene are often blended into fabrics such as cotton and polyester and can greatly increase their ability to stretch and return to it’s original shape without any permanent damage to the fabric. These fabrics are ideal for sports activities or hiking.

I am reluctant to promote Rayon/Viscose fabrics as it has been reported that this fabric is produced using highly toxic carbon disulfide [source] and that the fabric can emit toxic substances that cause skin irritations, headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest and muscle pain and insomnia to be hazardous to you health.

cotton plantFabric – Cotton

Cotton is a soft natural plant fiber from the cotton plant which is spun into yarn or thread and made into fiber, to make soft, breathable textiles)

COMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, vests, jackets, hats and uniforms

PROS

  • Cotton allows air to circulate and your skin to breathe
  • Feels cooler than other cloth fabrics, even in a hot climate. Cotton absorbs the sweat from the surface of your skin
  • Easy to care for. Machine or hand washable and dries relatively quickly if it is lightweight cotton
  • Does not harm the environment if discarded, as it will break down unlike synthetic fabrics
  • Is hypoallergenic

CONS

  • Cotton absorbs sweat and will remain wet from sweat until you dry it. If the temperature drops the shirt will feel cold on the skin and will not dry.
  • It wrinkles easily and must be ironed often
  • It will shrink slightly over time

Fabric – Linen

Linen is derived from the stalks of flax plants.

linen clothCOMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, casual button down shirts, hats

PROS

  • Easy to care for.
  • Very durable
  • Breathes well as linen fibers are large and clothing styles feature more open weaves
  • Low maintenance
  • Machine washable

CONS

  • Linen absorbs moisture and like cotton does not dry quickly (not suggested for sports or long hikes)
  • Prone to shrinking
  • Wrinkles very easily

Fabric – Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from chemicals to imitate a natural product.

polyester clothCOMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, backpacks, active wear, hoodies, vests, jackets, hats and uniforms

PROS

  • Polyester is very durable and not as easy to tear as cotton
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Resistant to stains
  • Resistant to shrinking
  • Do not lose color after many washes
  • Absorbs less than one percent of moisture by weight and dries quickly
  • Is non-allergenic and doesn’t promote the growth of bacteria
  • Blends easily with other fabrics
  • Comfortable to wear

CONS

  • Polyester is a synthetic man-made fabric made from chemicals and can be harmful to the skin and cause allergic reactions (e.g. itching, rashes and blisters for some people)
  • Does not breathe as well as cotton, and thus holds moisture and heat close to the skin causing excess sweating and discomfort, especially in hot climates
  • Sticks to your skin if you sweat or are wet
  • Does not accept dye easily
  • Usually not sustainable / long-lasting
  • Will burn quickly and stick to your skin rather than be reduced to ashes

Cotton-Polyester

Fabric – Cotton Polyester Blends

The most common Cotton Polyester Blends are 65-70% cotton to 30-35% polyester, but also popular are 50%-50% blends

COMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, hoodies, vests, jackets, hats and uniforms

PROS

  • Cotton and polyester blended cloth retains color well, even after much washing
  • Is durable
  • Stains are more easily removed
  • Does not sag as does pure cotton clothing
  • Does not shrink when washed repeatedly
  • Is tear resistant

CONS

  • Cotton and polyester blended cloth is more flammable because of the polyester content
  • When rubbed over time the cloth will pill up or leave small balls on the surface of the cloth
  • Does not breathe as well as cotton cloth and will stick to your skin if you sweat

Protective clothingSpecial Protective Agents for Cloth

The addition to chemical treatments to a fabric can greatly enhance their usability. These treated fabrics all have very tight weave, thus making it difficult for UV rays or water to pass through. At the same time this does not allow for the easy flow of air and will increase temperature between fabric and your body, thus inducing more sweat.

These treatments include:

  1.  UV protective fabric
  2.  Water resistance
  3.  Wrinkle resistance
  4.  Flame resistance

Style is also Important

People want the receive the best quality clothing product that will give them the greatest comfort but at the same time be very attractive. It is also important that the product be easily matched with the outfits they will use on holiday or in town. Special posts have been written to help you choose the right clothes for your travels in the tropics or at home during hot weather. These posts include: Surviving in Tropical Climates, Summer Clothes for Kids, Hot Weather Clothes for Women, Hot Weather Clothes for Men, Summer Hats for Kids, Summer Hats for Men and Summer Hats for Women.

 

Details and Characteristics of Tropical Island Clothing

tropical island clothingThe clothes we choose for our vacation or travel must not only be functional and practical, but also fashionable. When choosing tropical island clothing it is important to take into consideration the following:

  • fabric used – the type of fabric will determine the comfort and durability and ease of care of a particular fabric. The Pros and Cons of various fabrics are discussed below. The fabrics include: cotton, linen, polyester and cotton-polyester blends.
  • weave of the fabric – fabrics are woven using different densities and designs. Each combination will have an effect on the breathability of a fabric, it’s durability, the amount of UV light getting in, and a number of other factors discussed below.
  • lightweight – in tropical countries it is best to buy clothes that are light in weight. These will allow more air to pass through the fabric and will not make the wearer feel hot.
  • machine or hand washable – choose clothes that can be easily hand washed or machine washed, as you will have a limited wardrobe during your travels and you may want to change clothing 2 or 3 times on a very hot day
  • quick drying – chose materials that dry quickly, such as light cotton fabrics, polyesters, and cotton-polyester blends
  • wrinkle free – chose cotton-polyester blends or polyesters if you don’t like wrinkled clothes. An alternative of course to use cotton based clothes and carry your own small travel iron.
  • active wear – if you are involved in a lot of sports or outdoor activities such as camping and hiking, then it might be good to look for cotton-polyester blends and take along a few extra changes of polyester clothing when you need to
  • special treatment to the fabric – if you want to increase the UV protection of your clothing, or pick something that is water resistant, flame or wrinkle resistant, then make sure that you look for this when you shop. There are many stores that offer these specialized properties.

Pros & Cons on Fabrics for Tropical Countries

Cloth is made from a wide variety of fabrics, some organic and some synthetic. This site will only discuss the most popular fabric used today. New clothing fabrics are being developed every day and they are slowly being introduced for sale. These newer fabrics are used in clothing for sports (e.g. spandex, lycra), fashion and for specialty clothing for the military, fire fighters, space exploration, handling of dangerous chemicals, etc. This site will promote clothing only for everyday wear and for sports with a focus on travelers to hot tropical countries. The Pros and Cons will be presented for each fabric discussed.

Fabrics made from wool, spandex, lycra, elastene, leather, nylon will not be included in this list as they are not suitable for hot climates. Fabrics such as spandex, lycra, elastene are often blended into fabrics such as cotton and polyester and can greatly increase their ability to stretch and return to it’s original shape without any permanent damage to the fabric. These fabrics are ideal for sports activities or hiking.

I am reluctant to promote Rayon/Viscose fabrics as it has been reported that this fabric is produced using highly toxic carbon disulfide [source] and that the fabric can emit toxic substances that cause skin irritations, headaches, nausea, vomiting, chest and muscle pain and insomnia to be hazardous to you health.

cotton plantFabric – Cotton

Cotton is a soft natural plant fiber from the cotton plant which is spun into yarn or thread and made into fiber, to make soft, breathable textiles)

COMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, vests, jackets, hats and uniforms

PROS

  • Cotton allows air to circulate and your skin to breathe
  • Feels cooler than other cloth fabrics, even in a hot climate. Cotton absorbs the sweat from the surface of your skin
  • Easy to care for. Machine or hand washable and dries relatively quickly if it is lightweight cotton
  • Does not harm the environment if discarded, as it will break down unlike synthetic fabrics
  • Is hypoallergenic

CONS

  • Cotton absorbs sweat and will remain wet from sweat until you dry it. If the temperature drops the shirt will feel cold on the skin and will not dry.
  • It wrinkles easily and must be ironed often
  • It will shrink slightly over time

Fabric – Linen

Linen is derived from the stalks of flax plants.

linen clothCOMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, casual button down shirts, hats

PROS

  • Easy to care for.
  • Very durable
  • Breathes well as linen fibers are large and clothing styles feature more open weaves
  • Low maintenance
  • Machine washable

CONS

  • Linen absorbs moisture and like cotton does not dry quickly (not suggested for sports or long hikes)
  • Prone to shrinking
  • Wrinkles very easily

Fabric – Polyester

Polyester is a synthetic fabric made from chemicals to imitate a natural product.

polyester clothCOMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, backpacks, active wear, hoodies, vests, jackets, hats and uniforms

PROS

  • Polyester is very durable and not as easy to tear as cotton
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Resistant to stains
  • Resistant to shrinking
  • Do not lose color after many washes
  • Absorbs less than one percent of moisture by weight and dries quickly
  • Is non-allergenic and doesn’t promote the growth of bacteria
  • Blends easily with other fabrics
  • Comfortable to wear

CONS

  • Polyester is a synthetic man-made fabric made from chemicals and can be harmful to the skin and cause allergic reactions (e.g. itching, rashes and blisters for some people)
  • Does not breathe as well as cotton, and thus holds moisture and heat close to the skin causing excess sweating and discomfort, especially in hot climates
  • Sticks to your skin if you sweat or are wet
  • Does not accept dye easily
  • Usually not sustainable / long-lasting
  • Will burn quickly and stick to your skin rather than be reduced to ashes

Cotton-Polyester

Fabric – Cotton Polyester Blends

The most common Cotton Polyester Blends are 65-70% cotton to 30-35% polyester, but also popular are 50%-50% blends

COMMON USES – t-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts, hoodies, vests, jackets, hats and uniforms

PROS

  • Cotton and polyester blended cloth retains color well, even after much washing
  • Is durable
  • Stains are more easily removed
  • Does not sag as does pure cotton clothing
  • Does not shrink when washed repeatedly
  • Is tear resistant

CONS

  • Cotton and polyester blended cloth is more flammable because of the polyester content
  • When rubbed over time the cloth will pill up or leave small balls on the surface of the cloth
  • Does not breathe as well as cotton cloth and will stick to your skin if you sweat

Protective clothingSpecial Protective Agents for Cloth

The addition to chemical treatments to a fabric can greatly enhance their usability. These treated fabrics all have very tight weave, thus making it difficult for UV rays or water to pass through. At the same time this does not allow for the easy flow of air and will increase temperature between fabric and your body, thus inducing more sweat.

These treatments include:

  1.  UV protective fabric
  2.  Water resistance
  3.  Wrinkle resistance
  4.  Flame resistance

Style is also Important

People want the receive the best quality clothing product that will give them the greatest comfort but at the same time be very attractive. It is also important that the product be easily matched with the outfits they will use on holiday or in town. Special posts have been written to help you choose the right clothes for your travels in the tropics or at home during hot weather. These posts include Surviving in Tropical Climates, Summer Clothes for Kids, Hot Weather Clothes for Women, Hot Weather Clothes for Men, Summer Hats for Kids, Summer Hats for Men and Summer Hats for Women.

 

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