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Wicking fabrics for sports/travel clo…

Linda_C._Fairbanks | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I’m trying to find CoolMax or any of the other wicking type fabrics used by TravelSmith or any of the sports clothing manufacturers. So far I have Rose City Textiles as an online mail order source with lots of colors and types, but they require a 5 yard minimum order. And there’s one other mail order company, no website which is based in Oregon, I think. Unfortunately they had, at last check, only black and white. Any ideas?


  1. TJ | | #1

    I have bought CoolMax at Seattle Fabrics when I was there. They had lots of colors. They have a catalog (206-525-0670). When trying to find their website address, I also located this list of sources:


    You might just do a web search for CoolMax; it's a weird enough word that any hits that come up are likely to be useful.

    What are you going to make???
    Good luck!

    1. Elona_Masson | | #2

      *Linda, you can get wicking fabrics like Malden's Bi-Polar from The Rain Shed in Corvallis, OR (541-753-8900). They are knowledgeable and have lots of stock, a good catalogue, and cheap swatches. Delivery from them can be slow sometimes. I have also had very good luck with Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics in Nampa, Idaho (www.owfinc.com). Their selection is a little smaller, but their prices are lower--and the service, even during the holidays, is lightning fast! By the way, TJ, have you found that your Coolmax pills

      1. Stephanie_Corina_Goddard | | #3

        *Boy, oh, boy does Coolmax pill! I purchased mine from Green Pepper. Three different colors and each one has a completely different sheen and texture but they all have one thing in common: lots of little fuzzy balls.

        1. Elona_Masson | | #4

          *Exactly my experience, Stephanie! What a pain, because the stuff looks great when new, and dries really fast. About five years ago, I made my husband a backpacking t-shirt out of--I think it was called Thermaxx, from The Rain Shed. It is his favorite hiking shirt, and it has worn very well, without a great deal of pilling, in spite of its age and heavy use. I don't think that fabric even exists anymore; at least, I don't recall seeing it in The Rain Shed's newest catalogue. Betcha the last word or two will be cut off thi

          1. Carol_Stoner | | #5

            *Rocky Woods in Loveland, Colorado, sells leftover rec fabrics from Patagonia, Eddie Bauer, etc. They have a website; as I remember it is http://www.rockywoods.com. They will send you samples if you tell them what you're looking for. I live in Denver and drove up there the other day to shop for wicking fabrics. They had a number of different knits of different weights, even wicking woven poplins and wicking woven seersucker! They also had lots of other knits and prices were very good.

          2. Leslie_Bonner | | #6

            *I agree with the comments on the pilling with the Cool Max. Honestly, I bought T-shirts from a travel catalog for a trip to Africa and after a couple of washings they looked really bad. I think the 100% cotton T-shirts were just as cool. Leslie B.

          3. Ann_Siegle | | #7

            *I agree about coolmax pilling - but it really depends on what you're doing with your coolmax as to whether you're likely to care that much about it. For just travel, you might care, but for sports, probably not. Coolmax with Lycra does not pill if you can find that. PowerDry from MaldenMills might work for winter clothes. Question, did you order your tees from TravelSmith? The ones that pilled? Mine have been washed several times and look pretty good. I even wore them sailing and after scuba diving, where they're really likely to get beat up and still felt nice enough to wear under a suit jacket this week.

          4. Elona_Masson | | #8

            *Ann, my Coolmax tees were from Early Winters, and they really pilled, even with gentle care and hand-washing. I take it that your Travelsmith tees did not? Were they all Coolmax or the cotton/coolmax blend?

          5. Ann_Siegle | | #9

            *No, my travelsmith coolmax tees have held up well -and they're all coolmax. Ones I bought from DuoFold, however, pilled like crazy. I have read that PowerDry from Malden Mills is guaranteed no-pill, and it works the same way as coolmax.

          6. Elona_Masson | | #10

            *Good to know, Ann!

          7. Ana_Maria_Bossi | | #11

            *Regarding the Travel Smith cool max products. I bought a ton of shirts and underwear for a trip that our whole family took. 6 months later the whole batch pilled and looks awful. They weren't cheap either. Travel Smith said too bad. I will never buy cool max fabric again.There's got to be a better fabrication that wicks off moisture. Time will tell.

          8. Elona_Masson | | #12

            *Uh-oh. No joy in the coolmax dept, huh? Who manufactures Coolmax anyway? It looks as though they are overdue for some customer complaints.

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