In the military there are certain items of kit that are handed out like sweeties, whether you want them or not. One case in point is the anti-static t-shirt. This is a self-wicking t-shirt made from synthetic fabric that is designed to help draw sweat away from the body and keep the wearer either warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Opinions on these t-shirts are mixed to say the least- some love them others hate them, but one thing is certain there are a lot of them about! A quick count up in my collection revealed I had eight of these, some still in their issue bags. I don’t recall ever setting out to buy one, but I still seem to have a pile!
The T-Shirt is available in brown, black or olive green fabric:It comes in a plastic bag from stores:With a stores label stuck to the outside of the packet:The t-shirt is of a fairly regular design, but a close up of the fabric is useful:The t-shirt has a series of hollow filaments inside that draw moisture (i.e. sweat) away from the body and to the outside where it can evaporate off. This fabric is widely used for gym wear and is supposed to be more comfortable for the wearer than traditional cotton. It does have its downsides though as these filaments can build up deposits of sweat and gunk over time and this can be difficult to remove by washing, leading to a sweaty body odour smell emanating from the garment.
Soldiers’ opinions on the T-Shirt vary, some really like it:
I quite like the new issue t shirts, they keep you incredibly warm when worn as a base layer under a regular cotton t shirt and then with layers on top of that; I was quite happy in -11’C a few weeks ago with just the two old and new issued t shirts, a norgie and a combat jacket. Although the stench retention is a very real issue.. not that I have ever taken hygiene in the field seriously at all
Others are less keen:
I thought those issued desert wicking T shirt were utter garbage. The ones with the tiny little holes in them, colour of dodgy-curry sh1t the morning after. Seemed to retain underarm smell more than other ones too. Maybe it’s because I’m a smelly fcuker though, who knows?
As with most modern British Army uniform, these t-shirts are made in China, and instead of having a maker’s name on the label, they just have a contract number:I have worn these t-shirts myself in hot climates and I must confess that personally I did not warm to them particularly, I found that the type of fabric used rubs and chafes and after a full day wearing them you have quite sore nipples!