5 Tips for Choosing the Right Athletic Material

When it comes to athletic wear, choosing a suitable material can make a big difference in your performance. Here are five tips for finding the best fabric to support your exercise routines.

For workout shirts and pants, look for moisture-wicking fabrics that pull sweat away from the skin to help it evaporate more quickly and keep you more relaxed.


Cotton is a soft, breathable fabric that feels great against the skin and can keep you cool during intense physical activity. It also has a non-itch feel and is easy to wash.

A natural, biodegradable fiber, cotton accounts for around 90% of the global production of textiles and clothing. However, in the 1940s, polyester replaced cotton as the dominant fiber.

While cotton has some benefits, it is also known for its drawbacks: It absorbs a lot of moisture and is slow to dry. This makes it less than ideal for activewear if you sweat or work out in humid weather.

Fortunately, cotton technology innovations have allowed cotton fabrics to be formulated with moisture management properties that help your body stay dry during intense workouts. Some of these materials are even wicking and anti-microbial, making them an excellent athletic material choice for sportswear.


Polyester is a relatively newer material to the sportswear game, but it has a lot of benefits that make it an excellent choice for athletic wear. It’s cloth made out of plastic fibers, making it lightweight, durable, breathable and wrinkle-free.

The fabric is also non-absorbent so that it won’t soak up your sweat but let it naturally dry on the material’s surface. This is an essential factor in sportswear since absorbing all your sweat can make you uncomfortable during exercise.

The material is also resistant to odor and is highly fast-drying. This makes it famous for athletic shirts, shorts, and jackets. It’s also often blended with other fabrics, such as spandex or elastane, to add flexibility and stretchiness to the garment.


One of the most popular athletic materials, spandex, is a synthetic fiber that provides excellent flexibility and strength. It can stretch up to 700 percent before returning to its original size and dries quickly, making it the perfect choice for sportswear.

Spandex is also an excellent fabric for sewing sports bras, shorts and track pants because it’s breathable and stretches easily without becoming sticky or clingy. It’s also lightweight and dries quickly.

Another benefit of cotton spandex is its moisture-wicking, so sweat won’t linger on the skin and makes you uncomfortable during a workout. This makes it an excellent option for creating workout outfits that people love wearing all day.

A fiber made of segmented polyurethane, spandex owes its excellent elasticity to its rigid segments that react differently to being stretched than its flexible ones. They bond together to form stiffer, stronger strands of fiber. This structure prevents the fabric from losing its elasticity after repeated stretching like rubber.


Gore-tex is a waterproof and windproof material that creates a range of athletic wear. It is a popular choice for hiking and skiing, as it can help keep you dry from rain or snow while still keeping you breathable so that you don’t get too hot during your outdoor activity.

Initially created by Bob Gore in 1969, GORE-TEX is a synthetic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane bonded with fabrics in various ways to form a waterproof and windproof material. The material is then treated with durable water repellent, or DWR, which helps to prevent the fabric from absorbing excessive water.

While it’s primarily used in performance clothing like ski jackets, raincoats, and hiking boots, it is also commonly found in work gloves. The membrane is a flexible thermoplastic polymer stretched to form a microporous material with over 9 million pores per square inch.

Depending on the application, the membrane is bonded with the outer and lining fabric in a two-, 2.5- or three-layer laminate.

Polyester Blends

Polyester blends are an excellent choice for athletic wear. They are a great combination of the strength and flexibility of polyester with the natural feel and breathability of the cotton.

This makes them perfect for athletes as they won’t cling to the skin and will keep your body cool and dry when worn during hot weather. They also resist staining and fading, making them an ideal choice for various sportswear.

Another great thing about polyester blends is that they’re easy to wash. They won’t shrink, wrinkle or fade over time and are more durable than cotton.

Many different polyester blends are available, with the most common being 50/50. They’re typically cheaper than pure cotton and can be an excellent option for those who want to save money while still looking good. They’re often used in women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and sportswear. They’re also used in bedsheets and other soft furnishings. They’re an excellent choice for anyone who wants to create a high-quality athletic shirt without breaking the bank.

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