Companies that make your favorite briefs, panties, or other undergarments put quite a lot of effort into the components that make each type of apparel appeal to different uses and styles.

For instance, people who exercise a lot may want something that’s comfortable and absorbs sweat more than something intended to be worn more for casual use, like taking it easy at home or work. People who move around a lot may want something that moves well with them and isn’t confining, as opposed to something to wear while doing nothing more than chilling on the couch.

Underwear designers have a variety of tools at their disposal, which is good news for today’s shoppers who may want something fun and functional. Many standards of modesty have lowered over the years, which means people are a little more comfortable trying different styles rather than something plain and generic.

Plus, the concept of underwear has changed–though it still serves its basic function of concealment, insulation, and comfort. More people are buying them because some types look good and feel good, even if they may be the only people seeing it on a given day.

Some materials and fabrics have been used in underwear for years, others are new, such as more elegant fabrics that were previously used for nicer dresses or the fanciest of lingerie. Not only do these look good and feel good but cost as little as “regular” underwear as opposed to items that would have a premium price point in the past.

A representative from Knotty Knickers says this is good news for everyone. The company offers a subscription service that provides regular orders of high quality but affordable underwear to customers in North America.

“Our approach has always been that underwear shouldn’t be expensive, but it should be something you enjoy wearing, whatever the occasion,” said a company representative. “That’s why we always make sure we focus on being able to offer a wide variety of fun fabrics and designs, but still keeping our quality high and our prices low.”

Today’s customers want something that feels good and looks good. They want something comfortable that isn’t confining and works well with their life and lifestyle. Many don’t necessarily care whether it’s natural or synthetic fabrics, although each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

Some common raw components used to create underwear include:

  • Cotton. This natural fiber is one of the more popular ingredients in underwear. It’s soft, comfortable, and breathable. It doesn’t necessarily move all that well but does a good job of keeping heat and moisture from building up. No special methods are also required to wash and dry it either, making it a useful utility component.
  • Hemp. Settle down, stoners! Smoking someone’s undies will not end well for anyone. But in all seriousness, hemp is a natural and durable fiber that has plenty of commercial uses. It was used in textile and manufacturing for centuries but had the misfortune of being lumped in with its cannabis heritage when the U.S. and other countries began cracking down on pot products. But now that many of those restrictions are being lifted, many people are exploring its potential for use in all types of clothing. Hemp material used in underwear can make the items extra durable and flexible.
  • Silk. Not everyone knows that true silk is made by certain worms and painstakingly woven together to create something soft and lightweight. But it also can be pricey and requires more care than your average cotton briefs, like hand washing vs. throwing in the washer and dryer. But wearing undergarments with this soft substance can feel super luxurious. Sometimes it is even blended with other fibers–you’ll still have the softness.
  • Bamboo. “The stuff pandas eat” has some advantages. It grows fast and can be turned into yarn easily, making it more of a renewable resource than some other natural fibers. The finished product is oh-so-soft, comfortable, and recommended for underwater use–it dries fast.
  • Spandex. Fitness fans especially appreciate this type of fabric. Underwear made from Spandex has an elastic field that allows all sorts of movement.
  • Polyester. This artificial fabric is smooth, stretchy, and strong. It’s also quite affordable, which makes it common and useful. It can wick moisture from the body well rather than absorbing it like some natural fibers like cotton. This means it always can feel dry, which can be appealing after a long workout when you expect to be sweaty everywhere.
  • Nylon. Like polyester, nylon is synthetic and designed to be strong, flexible, and comfortable. Wearing nylon-based underwear with nylons can provide a smooth texture for the legs that some people enjoy.
  • Lace. Lace is lovely, but not necessarily the best thing for active use. It’s great for looking good but shouldn’t be used as workout wear. Modern lace used in apparel is often a blend of cotton, silk, and other materials.

The fabric of our undergarments can serve a number of purposes, from sustainability to comfort to attractiveness. With the right fabric and style combination, you’ll find a stylish, comfortable fit which suits your lifestyle and accentuates your natural beauty and body type.

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