When the kids are running around the football field and you are freezing on the side-line cheering, it can be a chilly experience. So, what exactly is the best way to keep warm? We visited a team of football-loving children and their parents to find out.
Thanks to the introduction of artificial turf fields, many teams have been able to extend their outdoor football season, so they can play all-year round. Whilst the field may not suffer from the same hard frost, it can still be very cold when running around, and even colder if you are stood on the side-line spectating. Therefore, it is very important to dress appropriately.
In the city of Viborg in Denmark, five football loving boys, four parents, a little sister, and a coach, gathered with us from DILLING in a football field. We wanted to hear how they stay warm throughout the colder months. For us, the obvious choice would be to dress completely in wool, but apparently this is not the most common decision.
What are the players wearing?The children on the football field are wearing beanies, mittens, light jackets, shorts, football socks, and a base layer underneath. Whilst most of their base layers are made of polyester, 7-year-old Victor is wearing one made from wool. His mother says that Victor used to wear a polyester thermal, but now he wears a wool one. Victor is wearing woollen underwear because it is breathable, doesn’t feel wet when he sweats, and keeps him warm when he is substituted to the bench on the side-line.
What are the spectators wearing?Similarly, on the side-line it is only Victor’s mother who is wearing a woollen base layer. Although the other parents have heard about the superior properties of wool, they still dress themselves and their children in polyester sportswear. They have noticed that woollen sportswear is more available, but they don’t think it is a common material for sports shops to stock. This is interesting to us at DILLING as it suggests more people are aware of woollen sportswear being available. Victor’s mother tells us why woollen underwear is so great I practically live in my woollen underwear when it is cold. I wear it when I go running as I don’t feel trapped and the wool regulates my temperature. In the winter I wear it as a base layer, but in the summer, I simply wear a wool t-shirt on its own.
So, most people at the football pitch are wearing polyester, but not because they think it is better than wool, because they are just used to buying it and it is the most popular in sports shops.
Polyester is still the most common material for sportswear, but we think this is a pity as merino wool has some amazing properties that polyester can’t beat.
Did you know that…
- wool regulates your body temperature?
Merino wool helps keep both your child and you warm when it is cold, and cool when it is hot. Of course, polyester can also help keep you warm, but if you pause and stand still, you will quickly cool down. In the heat, polyester also makes you feel as though you are trapped as the fibre does not have the same breathability as wool.
- wool absorbs moisture?
Merino wool can absorb up to 33% of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet on the skin. This is extremely important when you ae going between varying intensities of activity as you won’t become wet and cold during breaks. If the wool does become wet, it will continue to insulate and warm you, whereas polyester doesn’t. Polyester can also wick moisture away from the body, but if the fabric gets wet it will make you cold. However an advantage of polyester is that it dries fast.