What is sports fabric?
Sports fabric is any fabric that is specifically designed to be worn for exercise or as part of a sport's kit. The type of material you choose can affect many factors; the thickness, warmth, durability, style, as well as the way it enhances your performance. Sportswear fabric is technical fabric, in that it has absorb sweat rapidly and move it to the surface where it can evaporate and dry. The idea is that you can wear sports fabric during your activities and remain cool, allowing you to excel. This includes everything from running to swimming.
It's important to find a fabric that is both form fitting to offer support but also stretchy enough so you can move freely without restriction. Wearing loose fitting garments for exercise and sports isn't practical, as you need to be as streamlined as possible, but you could say that basketball jerseys are an exception. Aside from exercise, sportswear is also a fashion in itself, consisting of tracksuits, jackets and hoodies that can be worn as everyday apparel. Thicker, more textured jerseys, like the Diamond Jersey or Quilted Stretch Jersey are great for outerwear or a more warming top in colder climates.
Popular sportswear fabrics include
- Airflow sports stretch
- Florence net
How is it manufactured?
Each individual sports fabric is manufactured in its own way, consisting of different fibres, yarn thickness and a knitted, woven or mesh-like construction. These factors will determine the look and feel of your finished sportswear material; whether it’s smooth, textured, brushed, stretchy, transparent. Sports fabric for swimwear is mainly made from Lycra, where there's a strong stretch that goes back to its original form instantly, keeping the swimmer streamlined but without any movement restriction. Combining polyester with other materials like elastane or cotton, give each sportswear fabric a distinct handle.
Purpose of Sport fabric
The main purpose of sports fabric is to allow sportspeople to perform their activities in total comfort whilst wicking moisture and perspiration away from the body. Depending on the intensity of your workout, you will want to pick the right sportswear fabric. For example cotton is super absorbent, meaning it's fine for low intensity activities but not anything more strenuous because it would end up sodden. All sports materials are breathable, but due to the individual manufacturing processes, this will vary slightly between them.
Because there are so many different choices when it comes to sportswear fabric, there are also many properties associated with them. Here are just a few favourites:
- Breathable – the construction of the fabric allows air to enter and escape, helping to regulate the body temperature and prevent excessive sweating.
- Moisture wicking – the construction of the fabric produces a larger surface area, meaning more moisture can be absorbed and moved to the surface where it can be evaporated quickly.
- Durable – with exercise comes strenuous movement, so the fabric must be able to stand the test of time without fraying or piling.
- Stretchy – it's important that the fabric is flexible and ready to support any activity, moving with the body and springing back into its original form.
Advantages of Sportswear fabric
Fabric for sports is specifically designed for workouts and other forms of exercise. This means the textiles are long-lasting, strong and perfectly suited to deal with perspiration and bacteria. From leggings and swimsuits to vests and cycle shorts, you can make your own unique sportswear to be worn all year round. Both cooling and heat retaining, these textiles are so versatile and help to enhance your sporting performance.