Tue, Nov 09, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Be wary shopping for sweat-resistant clothes: watchdog

DON’T SWEAT IT:The Consumers’ Foundation said that more expensive shirts did not necessarily perform better than cheap, non-brand shirts

By Shelley Huang  /  Staff reporter

The Consumers’ Foundation yesterday said inspections of sweat-resistant clothing showed wide differences in quality among products and that paying more did not necessarily mean the product was more effective in keeping the body dry.

Sweat-proof shirts commonly found on the market are generally made of polyester, polyamide, nylon and acrylic. They claim to keep the body dry by absorbing sweat instantly.

While some non-brand shirts can be bought at traditional market stalls for NT$100 or NT$200 apiece, shirts sold under well-known brand names at pricey department stores can go for up to NT$2,000 or even NT$3,000 in certain cases.

In September, the consumer watchdog purchased 12 types of men’s sweat-proof T-shirts from department stores, sports equipment stores and T-shirt shops across the country. The shirts sampled by the foundation ranged in price from about NT$100 to as much as NT$1,000.

The foundation tested the shirts for the speed at which wetness dispersed throughout the fabric, an indicator of the fabric’s ability to keep dry, and found that only two types of shirts, both made in Taiwan, effectively dispersed water.

The foundation also found that the Xsweat 3814 T-shirt, manufactured in Taiwan and retailing for NT$350, displayed no ability to keep the wearer dry as water droplets remained on the surface of the fabric.

People who purchased shirts such as the Xsweat 3814 might just as well have purchased a regular T-shirt that cost less, foundation secretary-general Hwang Yu-sheng (黃鈺生) said.

Hwang said that more expensive shirts, such as the Kappa crew neck T-shirt, manufactured in Vietnam and priced at NT$616, did not necessarily perform better than cheap, non-brand shirts costing as little as NT$125 in the wetness test.

“Our tests show there is little correlation between price and quality,” Hwang said.

When consumers shop for sweat-resistant shirts, he advised shoppers to check for labels such as “Coolplus” or “Coolmax,” as the names indicate that the clothing is made of moisture diffusion fibers, which can absorb sweat from the skin to keep the wearer dry.

Shirts with washing instructions that advise against using fabric softener is also another way of telling whether the shirt has moisture-diffusing properties, as shirts made from moisture diffusion fibers should not be washed with fabric softener, the foundation said.

Shoppers should also be wary of salespeople who spray water onto shirts as demonstration of their effectiveness because new shirts that have never been washed are more effective at dispersing water.

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