How Hybrid Seersucker Works

As the weather warms up here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re looking for ways to stay cool. We’re a fan of inventions, new and old, and in many cases blending them together which leads to our Hybrid Short Sleeve Shirt featuring a seersucker fabric.

When it came to shirting and suiting, seersucker has became a popular means of staying cool in the hot and humid air in India. In fact, its name originates from the Hindi words for sheer and shakar, which mean “milk and sugar” - a nod to the juxtaposed smooth and rough surfaces of the fabric.

Seersucker is made by applying un-even tension during the weaving process of yarns going down the length or warp of the fabric. Different colored yarns were used to signify the high-tension and low-tension yarns, resulting in its signature striped aesthetic, and rippled texture.

A Flat Plain Weave (Left) and Seersucker (Right) Fabric

In our our post about ventilation we discussed that fabrics can create a hot and humid micro-climate between our skin and the fabric surface.

Fabric inherently creates an air gap that traps moisture and heat.

Fabric inherently creates an air gap that traps moisture and heat.

When a fabric is flat, it lies closer to the skin, making a smaller air gap and increased skin contact which can become uncomfortable. Additionally, this flat fabric easily reflects heat and moisture back towards the body.

Heat emanates from our skin surface, but high amounts of skin contact and a tight air gap trap hot air.

Heat emanates from our skin surface, but high amounts of skin contact and a tight air gap trap hot air.

Seersucker, because of it’s rippled surface decreases skin contact which can reduce the “clammy” feeling in humid weather when fabrics absorb moisture. But in creating this gap it also increases airflow and circulation between the surface and the skin allowing hot air to move away from the body.

Undulating, raised surfaces of seersucker limit skin contact, and increase surface area for cooling.

Undulating, raised surfaces of seersucker limit skin contact, and increase surface area for cooling.

Finally, as moisture does accumulate on the surface of the fabric, we’ve reinvented the classic, all-cotton fabric, with a CoolMax moisture-wicking blend, and a touch of stretch to make this an incredibly comfortable fabric.