Unique
Clothing

Episode:
06
Item:
AIRism

Unique clothing changes the rules. And changing the rules changes our lives.
Here’s another story of a masterpiece, manufactured by UNIQLO to this day.

AIRism Cotton Crew Neck T-Shirt

Stretchy, dry, and cool to the touch—a T-shirt blending comfort and functionality. With the appearance of cotton, this versatile innerwear can be worn as a base layer or on its own. Available in a range of pleasing colours.

AIRism Drape T-Shirt

A relaxed silhouette and oblong neckline, with draped shoulders and hem. The summery colour palette makes this T-shirt an ideal style accent.

Innerwear: clothes worn against the skin. The heat returns each summer in full force, making functional innerwear an essential part of life. Japan, where the four seasons are striking, has a long history of innerwear designed for summer. In those hot and humid months, innerwear that readily disperses moisture, keeping the skin nice and dry, is essential. That’s what led UNIQLO to release AIRism in 2012, as a solution to summer.

AIRism is manufactured differently for men and women. The fabrics have different textures and sweat-wicking mechanisms, features we’ve been perfecting since the fabric was born. This high-tech textile offers a type of comfort not to be found in cotton. Over the years, AIRism has evolved into a new standard suitable for every season. This innerwear revolution is spreading across the globe.

The Differences in AIRism for Men and Women

It began in 2008 with Silky Dry, men’s warm-weather innerwear designed to feel like wearing air. At the time, the men’s innerwear market offered only cotton or cotton-poly blends. A synthetic innerwear that wicked moisture and dried fast would overturn the notion that innerwear had to be cotton. To this end, the textile innovators at Toray Industries created a new kind of polyester made from amazingly soft thread. The superfine fibres not only felt comfortable and light; they proposed a new approach to hot weather, since a layer of AIRism cools you down. The flattering silhouette also gave men new style options. From workwear to activewear, AIRism works with your body in a variety of situations.

To heighten its functionality, the men’s fabric has been continuously perfected. Ten years of innovation has resulted in thinner fibres, a seamless design, a smoother touch, increased stretchiness, a lighter product, and improved moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and deodorising properties. Thinner thread translates into increased comfort, but it can also impact strength and dyeability. By confronting these technological challenges, AIRism continues to evolve.

In 2007, ahead of Silky Dry, UNIQLO released a women’s innerwear for summer called Sarafine. Since those early days, the basis for the fabric has been BembergTM from Asahi Kasei, a brand of cupro also used as a lining for top-quality suits. BembergTM is made from cotton linters: short fuzzy fibres surrounding the seeds of the cotton plant. Details like these are a large part of what makes this material “breathe.”

Specifically, this means dispersing heat when it’s hot and regulating warmth and moisture in the cold. Women’s fashion emphasises layers, which can trap heat. In humid areas, moisture is another factor. UNIQLO’s answer is a product that feels cool but not cold to the touch, while managing to be moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and heat-generating all at once.

Most of all, it has a silky smooth texture. Viewing a cross-section of BembergTM through a microscope, you’d see perfectly rounded fibres that glide across the skin. The high moisture content imparts smoothness and an elegant sheen while preventing static electricity. Meanwhile, incorporating nylon helps the thin fibres stand up to daily wear; enhancing its tenacity.

UNIQLO’s products are constantly evolving. Adapting to men’s and women’s different needs has led to increased quality on all fronts. Plus, new products that add value can change what people expect from clothing. The line between innerwear and outerwear has become less distinct, making AIRism viable for tops. Following a renewed interest in natural fibres, AIRism Cotton was developed by weaving the inside and the outside separately using two threads. These materials are responding to the needs of the era.

History of AIRism

2007

Debut of Sarafine, functional innerwear developed for women’s skin.

Sarafine Camisole

2008

Debut of Silky Dry, giving men quick-drying innerwear designed to combat sweat.

Silky Dry Crew Neck T-Shirt

2012

Both are redeveloped into AIRism, made using cupro with much thinner fibres than Silky Dry and 30% skinnier than Sarafine.

2013

Men’s comfort is improved by flattening seams.

2013

Women’s gains deodorising properties.

2013

Men’s and women’s AIRism released.

AIRism
Tank Top

AIRism
V Neck T-Shirt

2014

Men’s stretchiness increased by 80% (side to side) and 10% (up and down).

2015

Men’s high-breathability mesh type.

2016

Men’s seamless type.

2017

Men’s jersey fabric lightened by nearly 10 g.

2019

Women’s UV-blocking type.

2020

Men’s AIRism Cotton. UV-blocking collar is made seamless.

2021

Women’s AIRism Cotton.

2022

Men’s mesh type updated. UV-blocking dry technology improved.

2023

Ten years since the release of AIRism. Men’s moisture-wicking, quick-drying, deodorising properties fortified. Women’s silk blend (apx. 6% silk) released.

Toray Industries, Inc.

Vietnam

Men’s AIRism uses ultrafine fibres developed in partnership with Toray Industries and produced at their Vietnam factory. Made from cationic dyeable polymers, these ultrafine fibres (just one-twelfth the thickness of a human hair) require careful handling.

Shenzhou International Group Holdings Limited

China

Shenzhou, China’s largest knitwear manufacturer. Women’s AIRism uses a special blend of naturally derived cupro produced by Asahi Kasei and micronylon that is spun, dyed, finished, cut and sewn at Shenzhou.

Getting the Most out of AIRism

Different Functions

AIRism is engineered to suit the different needs of men’s and women’s bodies. Say you’re heading off to meet a client. The summer sun is blazing, but with AIRism innerwear, it’s all good. The men’s fabric has especially strong moisture-wicking, quick-drying technology. Women who wear AIRism under their sweaters or shirts at work don’t have to worry about feeling stuffy—the moisture is wicked away.

*Functionalities vary by product.

What is "AIRism Cotton"?

Made using AIRism fibres, the AIRism Cotton Oversized T-shirt has won fans all over the world, transcending borders. Weaving the inside and the outside using two different threads creates a cotton outer surface, with AIRism against the skin. The result is AIRism softness and performance with all the style possibilities of cotton.

Suitable for All Seasons

Isn’t AIRism just for summer? In fact, it keeps you comfortable in every season, including fall and winter. Whether it’s at work or school, out shopping, or on public transit, everyone’s had the experience of sweating in an overheated space. AIRism disperses moisture, keeping you comfortable and dry all year long.

Good Sleep

It’s said we release about one cup of sweat while sleeping. That’s why breathable clothes are essential to good sleep. People sweat throughout the year, from hot summer nights to frigid winters, wrapped up in a blanket. AIRism pyjamas and innerwear help to ensure a good night’s sleep. Sweet dreams.

Layering AIRism and HEATTECH

More and more people are layering AIRism and HEATTECH. When you’re on the move, combine AIRism mesh with a HEATTECH top, or AIRism innerwear with HEATTECH leggings, and you’ll feel nice and dry while fending off the cold. That’s because the warmth of HEATTECH and the texture of AIRism balance out the climate in your clothes. Layering gives you the best of both worlds.

The latest AIRism for an active lifestyle

AIRism is ideal for exploring new cities or a workout at the gym. Don’t forget your quick-drying T-shirts and the stretchy easy shorts and boxer briefs. Thanks to a low profile, they’re a breeze to pack. The clean lines of the AIRism Cotton polo look great with a jacket, for business casual on the go.

Because AIRism is lightweight, it’s convenient for exercise before or after work. The chic colours will blend easily into your everyday wardrobe.

AIRism helps you to coordinate your outfit for that morning yoga class in bright pastels to soothe the soul. Toss a set of innerwear into your bag for a post-exercise change. Bra tops and matching leggings are available in a range of colours that look great everywhere from the city streets to the great outdoors. Thin and light, these items were made to support active days off. And you’ll still have room inside your bag for a book and some tunes!

Advanced functionality and a nuanced colour palette make AIRism a winner. The popular AIRism Cotton T-shirt pairs nicely with a jacket. Endlessly useful.

(L→R)
Canvas Tote Bag £34.90 (Coming Soon)
Trainers £34.90
Crew Pile Line Socks (Three Pairs) £12.90
Knitted Cap £19.90

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Release dates vary depending on the product.
All listed prices, current as of February 9th, include sales tax and are subject to change.

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