Many people know the feeling. The kids are running around on the football field, while you are freezing while cheering on from the side-line. It can sometimes be a cold experience. But what is the best way to keep warm? We visited a team of football-loving children and their parents to talk about exactly that.
The outdoor football season has been extended thanks to many artificial turf fields and most teams now play outside all year round. Even though the field no longer gets hard from the frost, it can still be cold to run around the field – and not least to stand still on the side-line as a spectator. It is therefore important to be dressed appropriately.
In the city of Viborg in Denmark, five football-loving boys, a coach, four parents, a little sister – and us from DILLING – met up on a football field. We really wanted to hear how they stay warm during the cold season. For us, the obvious choice would be to dress in wool from head to toe, but apparently that is not the most common.
What are the players wearing?The kids on the football field are wearing a beanie, mittens, a light jacket, shorts, football socks and then a base layer underneath. Most of them are wearing a base layer of polyester, but 7 year old Victor is wearing a base layer of wool. His mom tells us that Victor also used to wear thermal underwear made of polyester, but this has been replaced. Victor is wearing wool underwear, because it is more breathable. He doesn’t become moist, and I think that is really nice, as he is sometimes replaced during games. Then he doesn’t get cold on the bench, she explains.
What are the spectators wearing?On the side-line the picture is pretty much the same. Only Victor’s mom is wearing a base layer of wool. The others have heard about the properties of wool, but they still use polyester garments for both their children and themselves, when they are active. They do not think that wool is as common in the sport shops, even though they have noticed that there has been a broader selection available lately. And this is interesting for us here at DILLING, because it could indicate that more and more people are becoming aware of wool. Victor’s mom has a good suggestion for why that is: I practically live in my wool underwear when it is cold. When I go running, I’m also always wearing wool. I don’t feel trapped and it’s nice that wool regulates my temperature. During the winter I wear it as a base layer, but during the summer I run simply wearing a wool t-shirt, if the weather allows that.
So, most of the people here at the football field are wearing polyester. Not because they believe it is better than wool; it is just what they are used to buying and it is the most common in the sport shops. But Victor’s mom has become a fan of wool – and it is our experience that when you have started wearing wool, you rarely go back to wearing synthetic materials.
Polyester (textile made from plastic) is still the most common material for sport garments. We think that this is a pity, because merino wool have some amazing properties that polyester can’t compete with.
Did you know that…
- Wool regulates body temperature?
Merino wool can help keep both your child and you warm when it is cold, and cool you down when it is hot. Polyester can also keep you warm for sure, but if you stand still afterwards during a break, you will be cooled down quickly. If it is hot, polyester can give you the feeling of being trapped, since the fibre does not have the breathability of wool.
- Wool absorbs moisture?
Merino wool can absorb up to 33% of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet. This is a huge advantage with varying intensity levels, since you do not become wet, and thus cold, during breaks. Should the wool become wet, it still isolates and keeps you warm. Polyester does not. Polyester can wick quite a bit of moisture away from the body, but if the fabric become wet, it becomes cold to wear. Although, it is fast drying.