Women’s Guide to Breathable Tropical Fabrics

Women’s Guide to Breathable Tropical Fabrics

If you are living in a tropical country, the struggle to find a comfortable weather friendly fabric is a common challenge. There are also a few things that you should consider when choosing clothes for the tropical weather such as the quality of the fabric and its level of comfort when worn. And such a quality is seen in breathable fabrics!

 Generally, we believe that finding the right outfit for the hot weather should not be a battle as you can still beat it the tropical heat with comfortable and fashionable clothing. As mentioned, breathable fabric is a good choice of clothing material in tropical weather as it can help your body cool down and let you move around freely. With that, we have composed a practical guide to breathable tropical fabrics. See it for yourself and see how you can spice up your wardrobe.

What are breathable fabrics ?

What are breathable fabrics


 The term “breathable” in breathable fabric is used to describe the moisture transmission vapor rate (MTVR) (also referred to as water vapor transmission rate) of the fabric which measures how fast or slow heat passes through a square meter of fabric in 24 hours. The MTVR is a critical factor in the clothing industry as it brings comfort to wearers especially those living in tropical weather.

Generally speaking, breathable fabrics are ideal in hot weather as it absorbs heat quickly, wind penetrates through the fabric.

Types of breathable tropic fabric


Cotton made clothing is a must have in the tropical weather. Cotton is one of those light fabrics that will cool you down in hot weather. It is made of soft fiber that allows good airflow in the fabric and makes the heat bearable to wearers. Think of it as a built-in fan inside your shirt! 

Imagine using a bath towel to dry yourself. It absorbs water like a sponge and dries it quickly which is due to the space in the fiber that allows heat to evaporate quickly. And that is the reason why you feel cool in your cotton shirt during the summer.


Linen entails coolness and freshness. It is made of faux plant fibers that are light woven which allows maximum breathability. It is a “stiff” fabric which is less likely to cling on to your skin and dries quickly when it gets wet from perspiration. Linen is also one of the oldest fabrics!

Linen is an absorbent. It is capable of absorbing moisture and yielding it again. Due to its molecular structure, it can absorb at least ⅕ of the weight before giving the impression that it is wet. There is no wonder linen is highly absorbent and acts as an excellent cooling system. 


Blends are combination of cotton, polyester, spandex, nylon and rayon which are synthetic fibers and they are excellent heat absorber. Blended fabric are commonly used in athletic wear. They can resist the heat well, so you don’t have to worry about fading while drying it in the sun.

 The best thing about blended fabric is that they require little to no cost in maintenance. (even ironing). It is also machine washable, so it is a real time saver! If you are an outdoor person, blended fabric is a good choice.


Rayon is a cheaper alternative to silk. It has thin fibers which allow higher breathability and very light on the skin which prevents it from sticking. Rayon is also a highly recommended fabric in sportswear and summer dresses. 

However, you should be careful with rayon as it can be a sneaky devil at times. It is still a synthetic fiber which means that they are likely to repel water than absorb it. Remember, you need a fabric that absorbs water rather than repel it!


Denim, shall we say chambray? This type of fabric is always listed as one of the breathable tropical fabric. Little did we know that it is uncomfortably hot in the skin. It will lead you to sweat more and experience discomfort. You must be a brave soul if you are parading in the heat wearing those chambray.

On the other hand, there are also thin denims that are soft and comfortable on the skin. If your fashion idea involve the use of chambray, perhaps thin soft denim is the way to go.

 Final Thoughts on Breathable Fabric 

Moreover, it is always advisable to wear lightweight and breathable fabric in the tropical weather. Whether it is a dress or a top, breathability should always be your prime concern in choosing clothes. These types of fabric are comfortable, moisture free and can be suitable in all types of climate.  

The breathability factor should always be your main concern when buying or choosing tropical clothing. Remember that you want a fabric that gives good airflow and you do not want a fabric that repels water. With this is mind, breathable and lightweight clothes are the best in tropical weather.

Sweating is a healthy reaction to heat. It can cause discomfort. It can make you feel irritated. Yet, an easy and simple solution can help eliminate discomfort. You can start by following the tips to breathable tropical fAfrica.

With this guide to breathable tropical fabric, you can now assess yourself if you are using the right fabric that is suited in the tropical weather.