In the past, the general consensus among industry experts was that cotton is a material that doesn’t absorb sweat, so it wasn’t a good option for Sportswear Fabric. However, of late, cotton sportswear is experiencing a revival, as it has better odor management compared to other materials. It’s breathable and doesn’t hold on to the byproducts of activity like foul smells and odours.
However, when it comes to rapid sweat absorbing, cotton still lags behind when compared to its more modern and technologically advanced competitors.
Calico is a sub-material of cotton. It’s an unprocessed version of cotton – essentially meaning that it’s made using exactly the same process, but the production is stopped before the cotton is fully processed.
This material is highly absorbent, which makes it a good choice for active wear clothing. Also, by using calico, you’ll be doing your bit towards the environment as it’s a great green alternative. Calico is also generally very cheap due to it’s unfinished nature, and the fact that it remains un-dyed and raw. The drawback of that is in the aesthetic aspects – as you’ll need to introduce colour into the material at a later stage in the process.
Spandex is another one of the most common types of materials used in sports and gym wear. This is due to its high stretchability, which makes the clothes agile and comfortable for strenuous movements. In fact, this material is known to stretch 100 times more than its original size, making it a favourite material for sportswear manufacturers all around the world.
This material is also known to absorb sweat, breathe and dry quickly – so overall it’s a great choice for cheap, feature-rich, malleable material. The only drawback is that it’s difficult to embroider on as the material does not hold stitch designs well.
Polyester is another common type of material used in sportswear. It’s essentially cloth made out of plastic fibers – making it light-weight, wrinkle-free, long lasting and breathable. It’s non-absorbent in nature, which means that your sweat isn’t absorbed by this cloth but left to dry on the exterior of the material on its own.
Another of the top reasons why polyester is a popular choice for top sportswear manufacturers is due to the high strength and durability it displays. High-strength polyester fibers can withstand the strong, repetitive movements made by athletes and last for longer than competitors, while remaining relatively cheap on the scale of comparable materials.
Polyester also has amazing insulating properties, making it a great choice for environments that can get a mix of hot and cold weather.