PurposePolyester multifilament is used to produce the face and back layer of warp knitted spacer fabric (WKSF) and these two layers are connected by polyester monofilament as a middle layer. This fabric has unique and extraordinary characteristics, and different possibilities of fabric structure and the middle layer thickness are tried to find out the moisture management properties. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachThis study investigates the influence of fabric thickness and structure on moisture management properties.FindingsPolyester monofilament quickly up takes the water molecule from the water reservoir and transfers it by capillary action. The gravitational force and the availability space between the two outer surface layers restrict the movement of water molecules, although the pressure develops to push the molecules from the water reservoir. As a result, all the spacer fabric samples attain the equilibrium state very quickly. WKSF and the hexagonal net structure prove to be better in vertical wicking.Originality/valueThe liquid movement is quick in the front side of the spacer fabric, and the rate of wicking is higher in open structure than in the closed structure. It confirms that the hexagonal net structure produces high pore size on fabric and it reaches maximum wicking values. Fabric thickness does not have much influence on the vertical wicking properties of all fabric samples, and the rate of liquid movement produces a similar trend. In in-plane wicking, the polyester monofilament in the middle layer of spacer fabric plays a major role rather than the outer surface layers of fabric.