The Functional Fabrics in gym Apparel

“Waterproof”. I remember seeing this detail in an advertisement for gym wear on a billboard. I kept wondering how fabric could be waterproof. I had also always wondered, as a child, why athletes run in tight, spandex attires. Curiosity engulfed me about whether they are comfortable in such apparel.

Brands manufacture fitness outfits according to the demands of fitness and sporting activities. The ever-evolving technology has led to rapid changes in making fitness apparel. International sports and fitness brands use functional fabrics like Spandex and Nylon, to make fitness and sports apparel as opposed to cotton. This is evident in almost all fitness, sports, and gym wear. It is important to understand why this happens.

Fitness brands have been making improvements and embracing functional fabrics in their sports products. In this article, I will highlight the reasons why sports and fitness apparel make uses specialized and functional fabrics.

1.Quick Dry in Gym Apparel

The moisture-wicking property is quite essential in fitness apparel. During a sports activity, moisture should pass through the gym fabric from the body to the outer surface. This is to enable the fabric to take a shorter time to dry. The moisture in this case is perspiration during a workout or active session. This moisture-wicking ability is dependent on the construction of the fabric. Also, special chemicals are used to enhance the capillary movement of moisture in fabrics that are used in making fitness apparel. For instance, during Summer, the fabric will feel more comfortable the airier it is. Cotton fabric that has a long drying time will feel comfortable at the beginning of a workout. As soon as you start sweating, the airflow of the fabric will drop. This function is very well accomplished in Polyester Quick Dry fabrics. According to Researchgate. Net, this Polyester has low moisture regain the value of 0.42%. This enables it to dry quickly.

Many times I had felt uncomfortable during a gym session due to too much sweat getting in the way. This would not have happened if I was wearing attire with the moisture-wicking ability. If you do not want sweat forming in your workout clothes, consider moisture-wicking quality when shopping for fitness attire. Buy attires like this pullover made from soft stretch fabric with moisture-wicking properties.

This man sports gym short-sleeve T-shirt in the video is made of a quick-drying fabric that is very light, skin-friendly, and breathable. The workout shirt comes in six cationic colors, both bright and textured darks, to meet the multi-colored needs of the market. If interested you can click on the link to see more details of the product:

2.Anti-Pilling in Fitness Clothing

There is nothing as irritating as pilling on gym clothes. If you wear your fitness attire on a regular basis, you wouldn’t want it to start looking dull and worn out. Some fabrics have the defect of pilling. They form undesirable and irritating balls of fiber on the surface. Functional fabrics on fitness clothing are given a desirable anti-pilling quality. Enzymes and anti-pilling finish agents are used to treat these fitness apparel fabrics. This reduces pilling and makes them more comfortable

When anti-pilling finish agents and treatment are not used, the fibers on the fabric will rise to the surface. This creates scattered and unappealing balls, due to friction. Manufacturers use fabrics made from high-quality materials. These materials have improved strength and reduced susceptibility to breakage. This helps counter-pilling.

Functional fabrics like Polyester and Nylon used in fitness attire are Filament Yarn. This gives them better pilling resistance. They are easy to maintain and do not need much care for repeated use. This helps to prolong the shelf life of your favorite fitness wear.

The fabric of the short sleeves in the video above includes anti-pilling, and the plunging sleeves and open hem make this short-sleeve more flattering to the body, showing off the athletes’ bodies without restricting movement. If you wanna know more details, you can click this link;

3.Water Proof Fitness Wear

Traditional fabrics like cotton easily get penetrated by water. This makes them get stuck on the skin and become heavy when wet. The outermost layer of fitness wear should protect you from adverse weather conditions. Functional fabrics like Polyester are densely woven from artificial materials. They are waterproof to help keep the wearer protected from rain, snow, and wind. This quality helps them prevent the penetration and absorption of liquid water. Waterproof breathable textiles are quite ideal for sporting and workout sessions. These fitness functional fabrics keep you comfortable under all conditions. They also guard against being drenched in sweat as you work out.

These fabrics are specially constructed and treated to keep the wearer comfortable under all conditions. Waterproof and Breathable Fabric allows water vapor to diffuse through them, yet,  still prevents the penetration of liquid water. Water repellency is achieved by doing a chemical treatment. It safeguards from drizzle and mist so that the water can float off the surface of the fabric. The fabric should not simply have water repellency ability but should be waterproof. This protects from heavy rain and snow. To achieve waterproof ability, manufacturers coat the inside and outside of the fabric with Polyurethane(PU) and TPU. This acts as a water-resistant layer on the fabric. Varying degrees of waterproofing are preferred depending on the extremities of the weather conditions.

However, no fabric is 100% waterproof. It is advisable to go for waterproof attire with other qualities as explained here.

4.High Elasticity in Sports Apparel

Fitness wear for example Yoga gym Apparel needs to be elastic so as not to limit movement. Imagine the discomfort if you were to do Yoga or be at a gym and your gym clothes keep limiting your movement. Elasticity in fitness apparel is achieved by using Spandex. Special mechanical stretch yarns can also be used.

The degree of elasticity varies from one fitness activity to the other. Those who take part in Gymnastics and Yoga, for example, should be in stretchable fabrics. This helps with smooth movements and to withstand the strain when making movements. Spandex can stretch 100 times more than its original size. This makes it agile and comfortable for strenuous movement. To achieve high elasticity in other fabrics, Spandex is combined with another fiber in the fabric. This enhances the elastic property of that fabric. Stretch fabric has become popular with sporting and fitness brands. This is because it provides a better fit and shape, for better comfort at the same time.

Spandex, which is an anagram for the word expands, has exceptional elasticity. This increases the pressure comfort of an attire. The increased comfort enhances the ease of body movements.

This informational video. can help you in choosing fitness attire with different degrees of elasticity.

5.Anti-Shrinkage in Activewear

Nylon, Polyester, Spandex, and other functional fabrics used to make activewear are made to be shrink-resistant. They can only shrink if you invest time and energy to try and shrink them. These fabrics do not wrinkle when washed and do not lose their shape and size. With such fabrics, one is never worried about their workout attire becoming too small and shapeless after a wash. Cotton fabrics lose their shape after a wash or after being drenched in sweat during a workout session.

Nylon in its pure form does not shrink, neither does it expand. This makes it a perfect mix with other fabrics like Spandex in fitness apparel.

According to Everyday Health, comfort is much more important than looking fancy. When choosing workout clothes, settle on a comfortable outfit. Ensure it will not shrink and become too small, after the first wash. It is advisable to consider, among other qualities, the anti-shrinkage property. This sports jumpsuit for Yoga, Gym, and running has the desirable anti-shrinkage property.

6.Lighter Weight in Sportswear

Fitness wear should be smooth to the touch and light in weight. The weight of a fabric depends on the thickness of the threads it’s made of. It also depends on the density of the weave or knit, as well as its composition. Functional fabrics such as Polyester and Nylon are lightweight compared to other fabrics. This makes them preferred for sportswear since they ensure smoothness and lightness. These synthetic fibers are much finer so their fabric weight can be lighter. For example, a thicker polyester fabric feels lighter than heavyweight cotton fabric. Lightweight and fine yarn enable better fabric construction. This makes it lighter and more comfortable for the end-user.

Every gram shed off as you work out or take part in a fitness activity is vital. It could be a contributor to an effective workout session. In sports, it might be the difference of split seconds between the first and the second position. Lightweight functional workout attire is soft and light on the body. This makes it comfortable for long hours of activity.

7.Compression Properties in Gym Wear

Those in sporting or fitness activities wear tight, compression clothes, not for style, but for performance. Research has shown that the compression attires improve blood flow and circulation. This is because they have high quantities of Spandex which fits tightly to the body. This provides support to the muscles as you exercise. It helps the blood to flow faster back to the heart. This reduces fatigue and allows higher performance.

These fabrics are available in Polyester Spandex and Nylon Spandex blends. They have 15-30% Spandex content. Industries use Warp knit fabrics for this as they are more closely knit. Gym wear, Cricket innerwear, Cycling wear, Skating wear, Yoga wear among others are made using these fabrics.

8.Silver Coating in Workout Clothing

Functional fitness apparel coated with silver. This design protects the wearer in thermal environments. An insulating fabric should not only be comfortable but also provide thermal regulation. According to  NCBI, electrically conducting materials are coated on textiles that had already been manufactured with conventional fiber.  This coating provides thermal insulation which protects from cold and hot weather. Functional fabrics should stay cold during hot weather and warm during cold weather. Take a look at this men’s thermal one-piece compression suit.

An example of thermal silver-coated fabric is the fine bonded Polyester called Primaloft. It is used in making fitness apparel like skiing gear. The fabric is lightweight, durable, and maintains its insulating properties when wet. Also for better insulation, thermal fitness clothing is constructed with waddings or fleece. This helps keep you warm by maintaining the temperature in the layer of air between the skin and the fabric. This traps heat and keeps it from escaping, thereby keeping you warm during cold workout days.

In case the garment is unable to push sweat to the exterior, it increases the body temperature of the wearer. Depending on the season, the properties of the fabric are altered to suit the requirements of the wearer. During Summers, the fabric is kept light and loosely constructed. This allows for better breathability. During Winters, the fabrics are brushed on the inside to provide better insulation through the air pockets that keep you warm.

9.UPF 50+ in Athletic Wear

UPF means Ultraviolet Protective Factor. Sun protection clothing is manufactured and tested to ensure that they offer extra protection against harmful UV rays. According to

The Healthy.Com, a UPF 50 will allow only ¹/50 (2%) of the UV rays to get through whereas a regular fabric will only give a UPF of 5 to 8.  Functional fabrics used in fitness attire have UPF technology. This will protect you against harmful UV rays.

Fabrics used on high UPF clothing like Polyester and Spandex have high-density fiber. This makes it difficult for light to penetrate through them. A wide range of brands is designing clothing with built-in sun protection. This offers a reduced risk of getting skin cancer as you take part in your favorite outdoor fitness activity.

Attires like this outdoor athletic t-shirt with UPF 50+ protection provide permanent protection against harmful ultraviolet rays. It has improved functionality and makes you more comfortable and protected while doing outdoor sports.

In conclusion, the development of various functional fabrics for fitness helps to enhance the performance of the wearer. A deeper and proper understanding of the fabrics and their functionality helps the garment brands and end-users to make a proper choice on the type of fabric to use. This will also depend on climatic conditions and the endurance level of the fabric.


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3 thoughts on “The Functional Fabrics in gym Apparel”

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