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Microfiber shorts, skirts, and trousers--Travelsmith?

Microfiber shorts, skirts, and trousers--Travelsmith?

Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:05 PM
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wow, I've been to Egypt in October when it was 90-100 F, so I cannot imagine it in summer. I only wore cottons (maybe lightweight linen, don't recall)--various loosely woven cotton fabric blouses (with short sleeves or simply camp-shirt style) and mid-calf length skirts. These were sort of the ethnic-style cotton fabric you may see in Indian clothing or what used to be sold (maybe still is) in Pier 1 and places like that. It sort of comes crinkly, so wrinkles blend in, at least it's not smooth.

I don't know what that fabric from Travelsmith is, you'd have to ask them (I notice they don't cite fabric content). I suspect it is polyester as that is what the industry term microfiber stands for (sometimes mixed with a little nylon for durability in some items). Generally, it's a very fine filament polyester, though, although you do find more items made of nylon nowadays -- it got popular a couple years ago.

I have a couple pair of nylon capris and I do take them because they are very lightweight, rollup to very little AND because they are warmer iof the weather is a little cool. I don't agree with your nephew (and I have a BS degree is textiles, actually) that nylon wicks anything or that it is cool. It's water-impermeable, basically.

I think the reason running shorts are nylon is because it is very lightweight and nylon is very durable and holds dye very well. They wash and dry very quickly. I suspect he thinks they wick moisture or feel cooler because they don't absorb the perspiration into the fabric and dry very quickly, but some cottons (especially heavier or woven) can stay damp for a long time. So it isn't that nylon wicks things, it just doesn't absorb it.

The good thing with the microfiber or lightweight nylon stuff is that it is easy to pack and wash and dry quickly, but I don't think it's cool. When I've seen Travelsmith's description of "micro-cordura" they don't say it's breathable, but lightweight, rugged twill (which is a weave like denim) and that they dry quickly.

Some newer synthetics are designed for wicking (such as Coolmax), but not just nylon in itself. I remember reading some technical info on that once, and I think the fiber itself has several bumps in it (it's not a smooth filament like nylon) which create extra space between fibers when woven. This is more similar to what natural fibers do that aren't chemically smooth like nylon, and that's why it is a polyester that wicks more than it would otherwise. something like that
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:12 PM
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the Rick Steve's website also has a reversible skort that they sell - black on one side and khaki on the other. He always endorses clothes that are good for travel - dry quickly and without too many wrinkles.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:17 PM
  #23  
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The microfiber pants from Travel Smith are 100% polyester. They are from the 90 degree" wear options.
The fabric reminds me of a brushed cotton and is the weight of a double thickness of a lightweight cotton shirt.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:18 PM
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Oh goodie, I get to be the voice of dissent here.

I have been a strictly natural fibers person for decades, both at home and when traveling. I was extremely sceptical about the synthetics made especially for hot weather, but I decided to try some zip-off pants (from Royal Robbins) for our first trip to Thailand and Cambodia. Very hot, very humid weather.

I absolutely LIVED in those pants. I washed them every night in the hotel sink (it took 5 minutes) and they were dry by morning. I can honestly say that they didn't seem any hotter or any cooler than lightweight cotton or linen, but they had the advantage of drying quickly when (sorry to be gross) they were wet with sweat.

I now own 2 pair and take them anytime I travel to a hot climate especially if I will be in the bush, jungle, climbing around ruins, etc.

Like suze, I dislike the coolmax I've owned because it pills badly and seems to hang on to body odors even through several washings. Ugh.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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PS elaine, the guiding principle for that kind of heat, as a friend of mine put it, is "You want clothes that touch your body as little as possible."
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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I am intrigued about Suze's blouse catching on fire, must be a store there! Come on tell us.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:31 PM
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I was planning to buy some of the coolmax shirts from Travelsmith. Thanks everybody for saving me some money- I'll stick to my cotton shirts for travel.

Marilyn- I went hiking today in my favorite Royal Robbins pants. I originally bought them for travel, but I find myself wearing them at home.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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padams, that's about the only time I wear them at home -- for hiking. If you ever get to the San Francisco area, Royal Robbins has a small outlet store in Berkeley and everything is at least 20% off the usual price, with sale items even more deeply discounted. You can stock up!
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 04:22 PM
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elaineanks for all the sharing and information.

I think I'll stick to cottons.

I hesitate to clog this thread with details of my summer trip (not Europe), but I'll just say that I'm lucky to have been invited along, with family.
It's not a complicated itinerary, a day in Jordan (Petra), an overnight in Eilat, a drive up to Jerusalem, a few days in Jerusalem. I am not in charge, just along for the lucky ride, and I expect the hotels to be quite nice (with laundry service.)

I'll post on the Middle East forum when I complete this.
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Old Apr 7th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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Elaine, I haven't tried microfiber clothing that is worn next to the body, but I did purchase a beautifully tailored navy blazer from Tilley's that I love. It has kept its shape, "breathes" just fine, and the fit is really superb for its price (about $225). The quality of construction is excellent.

On the other hand, I purchased a microfiber raincoat from Travelsmith that has been nothing short of a button-disaster. Every button has come off. That's every. single. button. I called the company for replacement buttons, and they graciously offered to replace the coat, but the problem is the buttons, not the coat! I guess my lesson was that quality is (still) the most important feature of clothing. If you do order something from Travelsmith, wash it and wear it before the trip. If you don't like it you can return it and you're just out the shipping.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 05:30 AM
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You know, I now recall years ago buying some sort of 'travel dress' from Travelsmith, don't recall the fiber content but it was obciously poorly constructed (crooked seams, etc) and I sent it right back.

As for shopping, I just ordered some cotton and linen skirts from coldwatercreek.com last night, here's hoping they work out.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 07:10 AM
  #32  
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There was a time (before I was born) when linen was expensive to purchase and wrinkled terribly... only the rich wore linen and looked wrinkled, but were still rich! Ha! In the past 20-years or so, the way linen is manufacted, it wrinkles little, if at all.

As to the creases or wrinkles you'd expect in cotton or linen items, it's a matter of how these are packed. If packing flat, dry cleaner plastic bags work, as does tissue paper. If rolling items, use the cardboard roller from paper towels. And fold items on their natural creases/seams.

If all else fails, and you don't have your own steamer, call the Butler to steam out the wrinkles. Even in the middle of the Serengeti or Masai Mara in Africa you can find a Butler - take my word, I've used him; but rarely as there are few wrinkles.

elaine - be prepared for HOT HOT HOT in Petra and Eilat. Best to spend your time in the pool/water in Eilat... you can't walk a block without feeling you're in the middle of the desert (you are) looking for an oasis; and have plenty of water and cool wraps for your neck in Petra... another desert and many places enclosed by high walls with little air flowing around. Jerusalem too will be hot, but except while on the street, everywhere indoors in air conditioned. Summer wouldn't be my choice for travel to this area... but for free, go for it! All of these places should be visited regardless the weather. Enjoy, with whatever you choose wear.
 
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