Men’s Underwear Fabrics

Earlier, cotton was the only fabric used in making undergarments. However, with changing preference and technological advancements, the underwear industry for men has seen a lot of innovation in terms of fabric. There are a plethora of options in this category. Some of the fabrics mostly used are cotton; nylon, modal, rayon, polyester, and silk. These are blended with spandex in the right proportion to ensure quality, comfort, and durability along with ample flexibility. Lycra, elastane are specifically used to add stretchiness to the fabric of the undergarment . A brief discussion about the various fabric options in the underwear category for men is described below.

Considered as the king of fabrics, the natural fiber is one of the most used fabrics in men’s underwear industry. This was, in fact, the only fabric used in making the underneath apparel for a very long time. However, the last couple of decades has seen a plethora of options in this category.

Properties of cotton

Cotton is very soft and lightweight. Thus, the underneath clothing made up of this fiber is comfortable. The fabric has tiny pores that allow breathing well. Keeping the ventilation and air circulation to the next level, cotton underwear provides a comfy feel down there. Cotton has high absorbency and is moisture resistant. Thus, it can keep dry even during the hottest day of summer. The fabric is stronger when wet than dry. Moreover, it can withstand heat, detergent and even bleach. This ensures the durability of the underneath article. However, it is more prone to shrinkage if not treated properly .

Best wearing condition

The undies crafted in high-quality cotton is perfect for all occasion, event and season. However, the fiber is slow drying, so, washing it is sometimes inconvenient during winter. Fabrics like silk and wool is a preferred option for this season. Use of cotton underwear should be avoided while exercising as they may lead to abrasion. Nylon is a better option on such occasion.

Nylon underwear

Nylon is the best alternative for cotton. It is a generic designation of the family of synthetic polymers. Derived from diamine and dicarboxylic acid, the polyamide fiber is the second most used fabric in underwear industry for men.


The strength of the nylon makes the undergarments made of this fabric durable. The tenacity of nylon is not gone even with age. The color retention property of nylon provides it an edge over cotton. The fabric retains colors of the clothing even after multiple washes. The smooth texture of the fabric has excellent abrasion resistant. This is the reason why it is used in swimwear and swim costumes. The heat conductivity of the fiber depends on the constructions. However, it still disallows the heat to pass through it, thus, keeps the wearer warm during the cold season. Nylon has low absorbency and hence dries quickly. This makes the nylon underwear perfect for those who suffer from the sweaty crotch.

Best wearing condition

Nylon underwear is best for hitting the gym or for other rigorous exercises. These undies dry easily and reduce the possibility of crotch rot due to moisture retention. This is even a preferred option for the water adventures and beach outing. The swimsuit crafted in nylon keeps manhood cozy and abrasion-free when taking a plunge into the water.

Modal underwear

There is no fabric softer than modal in the undergarment category for men. In fact, this material is around fifty percent more water absorbent than cotton. Modal is a type of rayon and the second generation regenerated cellulosic fiber.


Modal is the softest fabric in the world. This pretty much explains its significance in the men’s underwear industry. The undies made of this fiber can keep cozy all day long. Despite the soft and silky feel, the material wears resistant and strong. This is one fabric that has very high wet strength, thus, it can even withstand machine wash and can be tumble dried. Even after multiple washes, the material stays absorbent, soft and supple. Modal is often blended with cotton and other synthetic fibers. It even allows easy dyeing.

Best wearing condition

This is a perfect option for summer wear. The lightweight fabric can keep dry and cozy during the hot and humid weather. It can be used for everyday use. However, avoid wearing them during workouts and other athletic activities. Even though the wet strength is an alluring property of the fabric, this is not an apt option for the bikini season. Nylon and polyester are some of the preferred options for the fun-filled season.

Rayon underwear

Rayon has many properties similar to cotton and other natural fibers. This was a commonly used fabric in summer clothing for both men and women. It is now being used in making underwear for men as well


Just like cotton, rayon is comfortable, airy and moisture absorbent. Thus, the undies made up of this fabric are a perfect choice to deal with excessive sweating and problems related to it. What makes it versatile is the fact that it can be easily dyed in vivid colors. This has made the introduction of some jazzy and lesser used shades possible in the intimate category for men. The fabric has moderate strength but is soft to the skin and abrasion resistant. Thus, it is practical option to reduce sticking and squashing of the manhood during the day. The shrink resistant material makes the underneath article durable, and sustain multiple washes. Rayon underwear materials to be washed by hand and should not be clubbed with other clothes in the washing machine [20].

Best wearing condition

The lightweight fabric is an apt option to beat the heat of summer. The thin material provides top-notch ventilation and keeps everything breezy down there. The material stretches easily, so, it is not a recommended option for all day use. Moreover, it won’t provide the much-needed warmth during winter.

Polyester underwear

Polyester includes naturally occurring chemicals. It is often blended with natural fibers such as cotton that helps bind the fibers together.


Polyester provides a smooth and synthetic feel. The skivvies made of this material feel very soft against the skin of the wearer. The fabric is resistant to wrinkle, mildew as well as abrasion. This is why it is used in making men’s swimwear. The fabric keeps the package isolated and away from the body even when drenched. Polyester is extremely strong and does not stretch or shrink. Thus, these undergarments last longer than usual undies. Moreover, it can be machine washed and dried.

Best wearing condition

As mentioned above, it is an apt option for the bikini season. The swimsuit crafted in polyester will facilitate all sorts of water adventures. The material has high absorbency; hence, it is not a recommended option for the hot season.

Silk underwear

The smooth and soft texture of silk provides luxurious feel down there. A filament fiber formed from the protein secreted by silkworms is known for its shiny look, softness as well as insulating power.


The silky feels and sleek style of the fabric make it a perfect material for making the novelty underwear. The extremely soft texture keeps the wearer comfortable. Insulation is a unique property of silk. It is very absorbent and not a good conductor of heat. It traps the heat and prevents it from leaving the clothing. Thus, it creates an insulating layer in between the cloth and the body of the wearer. Silk is durable and has the greatest pull strength as compared to all the natural fibers.

Best wearing condition

As silk is a bad conductor of heat, thus, it is the perfect option for winter. The insulating layer will prevent the heat from escaping the body and will keep warm. Silk doesn’t provide as much support as cotton and other materials. Hence, it is not a suitable option for all day use and is meant for special occasions.


Elastane fibers are made of polyurethane and commonly known under the trade names Lycra and Spandex. Elastane is often used in applications where a permanent elasticity is necessary as it has the ability to provide the desired elasticity in knitted fabrics with a low percentage blend. High elasticity even in low concentration blends. In sportswear, almost all garments have a blend containing elastane since it enables freedom of body movement by reducing the fabric resistance. The use of elastane blends results in difficulties when recycling garments since it is necessary to separate the different fibers. Elastane is considered to be an environmentally unfriendly fiber because of its production where non-organic and hazardous solvents are used.

Comfort is the most important property for underwear. Men tend to prefer cellulosic-based fabrics in underwear. Synthetic fabrics are often perceived as sportier as and cooler than cellulosic-based fabrics and are highly associated with sporty, good breathability, high quality, and good support, comfortable and stay dry. India is moving from plain cotton underwear to designer vest with advanced fabrics that serve the purpose of active wear and follows some trends and style. The new emerging trend in the innerwear industry is the variety of fabric that is used for the underwear. People prefer these fabrics due to comfort as well as the fit of the same. Stretchable underwear of perfect fit and style are available in the Indian market and manufacturers are planning to expand by looking at the growing segment of the innerwear market. With some of the modern technologies being incorporated in the innerwear segment, the future of this industry looks promising.

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