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Material Guide

Manhood Undies Guide to Men’s Underwear Materials

Once upon a time men had no real choice when it came to buying underwear. It used to be simple, loincloth or nothing, boxer or brief? Now the amount of choice can be almost mind boggling. But if it wasn’t already difficult enough to deciding what style to choose, you now have a wide range of materials in which to cover your manhood.

There is an amazing amount of choice of materials now in men’s underwear, and the various different materials can make a difference to the underwear you decide to wear. Some material are incredibly soft, others can help repel moisture or have antibacterial qualities.

But don’t worry, because as always we are looking out for both you and your manhood, we want you and your manhood to look good, and feel good. So our handy guide to men’s underwear materials should help you figure out your modal from your rayon.

Acrylic - A synthetic fibre known for its wicking capabilities due to its quick drying time. Acrylic adds strength and durability to fabrics.

Bamboo - Made from the pulp of bamboo grass, Bamboo fabric is light and strong. The fibres of the bamboo plant are naturally porous they absorb moisture and wick it away from the skin. This keeps you cooler and drier than synthetics or cotton. It is somewhat antibacterial, and is perfect for those with allergic reactions to other alternative fibres, like wool and hemp. Fabric made from bamboo fibres is extremely environmentally friendly because it doesn't require replanting or chemical fertilizers.

Combed Cotton – A natural fibre approximately 3/8 to 2 inches long, Cotton is perhaps the most popular fibre for fabric in the world.   Combed Cotton is an extremely soft and lustrous Cotton subjected to an extra production step in which short fibres are removed, and remaining fibres are straightened. As well as being soft, it is comfortable and breathes well.

Coolmax – A specially engineered polyester-based fabric that wicks moisture away from the body to keep you cool and dry. Coolmax is commonly found in athletic style socks and undergarments. COOLMAX® fabrics are also resistant to fading, wrinkling and shrinking.

Cotton - Cotton is a natural fabric made from the fibres of the cotton plant, cherished for its durability and comfortable softness. Though 100% cotton fabric is the time-tested classic, much of the cotton used in underwear has been blended with a small amount of spandex (elastane) that helps to retain the shape of the garment.

Elastane - Also known as Spandex, this synthetic fibre is known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, making it an ideal addition to lingerie fabric blends to yield a perfect fit. Elastane is frequently added to cotton to help the garment retain its shape.

Gossamer - A lightweight, sheer gauze-like fabric that is usually very see-through.

Jacquard - A decorative woven or knitted pattern sewn onto fabric, named after its inventor, Josie Marie Jacquard.

Jersey Knit - The same fabric from which t-shirts are made, jersey is both comfortable and durable, making it an ideal choice for a variety of undergarments

Latex - Latex is made with rubber and therefore tends to be skin-tight. It’s used in elastics to enhance elasticity and has similar qualities to Spandex.

Lycra Elastane - A registered trademark of the DuPont Company for their spandex fibre. What that means for you--a high quality spandex fibre that is woven into fabrics, such as cotton, to help them retain their shape.

Microfiber - A smooth, stretchy fabric made from extremely fine filaments. Known for its moisture-wicking properties, Microfiber can be any manufactured synthetic fibre (poly or nylon.) Fabrics made with Microfiber are light-weight and durable, matching the qualities of natural fibres.

Mercerized Cotton - Cotton that has been treated with sodium hydroxide to give it a slick texture and lustrous appearance.

Micro Modal® - Micro Modal® is the Microfiber version of Modal and is perhaps more ideal for intimate apparel due to its superior softness.

Modal - Once considered an “artificial silk,” Modal is a type of Rayon and is smooth, soft and breathes extremely well. An extremely luxurious fabric, it’s cool to the touch, absorbent and similar in texture to Silk or Cotton. Unlike Cotton, however, it is resistant to shrinkage and less likely to fade or pill and is more absorbent than Cotton.

Neoprene – Neoprene is from a family of synthetic rubbers, with a wide range of uses. It has commonly been used in wetsuits and competitive swimwear. It is used within swimwear manufacture in a variety of ways. Often a kitted fabric will be overlaid onto Neoprene foam cells for insulation, more recently it has been mixed with spandex for greater flexibility.

Nylon - A synthetic fabric made from petroleum product, also known as polyamide. Nylon was first developed as an alternative to Silk. It’s lightweight, durable, resistant to damage, and has low moisture absorbency.

Organic Cotton - Made from non-genetically altered plants, Organic Cotton is certified when grown without the use of agricultural chemicals. Organic cotton is cultivated using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems restore and maintain soil fertility, minimize the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers and build biologically diverse agriculture.

Organza - A semi-translucent, sheer fabric with a look and feel similar to Satin, Organza is a lightweight fabric blend of Nylon, Polyester, and Silk.

Pima Cotton - Pima Cotton is known for its durability and absorbency. It is regarded as one of the finest grades of cotton in the world, ranked behind Egyptian and Supima cottons. It features long, luxurious white vegetable fibres from the cotton plant grown in the southwest United States by the Pima Indians.

Piping - A decorative touch added to garments, where a narrow fold of fabric in a contrasting colour is sewn into the seam.

Polyamide - A family of synthetic fabrics made from strong, resilient fibres. Also known as Nylon.

Polyester - A synthetic knit fabric noted for its soft feel, and versatility of use. Polyester has superb strength, resilience and generally does not wrinkle. It is quick drying, maintains shape and is known for its ability to hold colour well.

Power Mesh - A lightweight, gauze-like fabric that maintains its rigidity as it stretches. Because of its durability and lightweight feel, Power mesh is often used to line bra wings.

Rayon - A man made fabric made from the natural fibres of cotton, wood chips, bamboo, modal, and a variety of other vegetable matters. Rayon is soft, absorbs moisture well, and has an attractive lustre, making it an ideal fabric for a variety of uses. Rayon has a soft and comfortable Silk-like feel.

Ring Spun Cotton - Reproduced on ring frame equipment, Ring Spun Cotton is fine and extremely soft.

Satin - A glossy fabric, Satin is made with Polyester, Acetate, Nylon and Rayon. Extremely soft, it is traditionally glossy on one side, and dull on the other. The long, interlaced yarns of the fabric have no visible pattern, creating a smooth shiny surface.

Silk - One of the finest textiles in the world because of its natural softness and radiant sheen. Silkworms create silk during the construction of its cocoon. Silk has the natural ability to regulate temperature, keeping you cool in hot weather and warm in cool weather.

Spandex - Spandex, also known as Elastane, is a synthetic fibre made from polyurethane. An alternative to Latex, it is lightweight, elastic, durable, and resistant to moisture. Spandex is known for its exceptional elasticity. Also known as Elastane and Lycra Elastane. It is stronger and more durable than rubber, making it an ideal addition to lingerie fabric blends to yield a perfect fit. Spandex is frequently added to cotton to help the garment retain its shape.

Soy Fabric - Soy fabric is an environmentally friendly fibre made from tofu manufacturing waste. Soy protein is liquefied and extruded into long, unbroken fibres that are then cut and processed like other spinning fibres. It's incredibly soft and feels similar to cashmere.

Stretch Cotton - Cotton fabric that has been blended with a small amount of Spandex (Elastane) that helps to retain the shape of the garment without sacrificing softness.

Supima® Cotton - Supima® Cotton is the highest quality Cotton. It is made from long fibres, and provides a higher quality fabric than other Cottons.

Viscose Rayon - Viscose is the oldest manufactured fibre, and is ideal for intimate apparel. It is soft and lightweight, and provides exceptional wicking capabilities. Fabrics made with Viscose Rayon are typically silk-like, and feel somewhat heavy against the skin.