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Apr
22
comment The physics of a drying shirt
Wicking creates a flow from wet areas to dry areas in hydrophilic materials like the fabric of your shirt. This force can be strong enough to counteract gravity. That explains wax flowing up a candle wick and it's the reason water doesn't run right to the bottom edge of a wet shirt. The water flow paragraph includes this concept ("tends to spread out") without mentioning its proper name, which you correctly identified as wicking. However, the force responsible for the lower sleeve's wetness is gravity. In the absence of gravity, wicking would spread the moisture evenly through the shirt.
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