What Fabrics Are Best for Sportswear - a Simple Guide

What Fabrics Are Best for Sportswear - a Simple Guide


When choosing custom sportswear, the type of material should be one of the most important considerations—as the look and feel of a product can make a huge difference. So how does each material meet these industry standards? let's see.

Sportswear Fabrics
When choosing custom sportswear, the type of material should be one of the most important considerations - as the look and feel of a product can make a huge difference.

So how does each material meet these industry standards? let's see.


In the past, the general consensus among industry experts was that cotton was a non-wicking material, so it was not a good choice for sportswear. Recently, however, cotton sportswear is enjoying a renaissance due to its ability to manage odors better than other materials. It is breathable and does not retain by-products of activity such as unpleasant odors and odors. 

However, when it comes to quick sweat absorption, cotton still lags behind its more modern and technologically advanced competitors. 


Calico is a sub-material of cotton. This is unprocessed cotton - essentially meaning it is made with the exact same process, but production ceases before the cotton is fully processed. 

This material is highly absorbent, making it ideal for sportswear. Also, by using calico, you are making your own contribution to the environment as it is a great green alternative. Calico is also generally cheap due to its unfinished nature and the fact that it remains undyed and raw. The downside to this is the aesthetics - because you need to bring color into the material later in the process.


Spandex is another material most commonly used in sports and fitness apparel. This is due to its high elasticity, which makes the garment flexible and comfortable during vigorous exercise. In fact, the material is known to stretch 100 times its original size, making it a favorite material for sportswear manufacturers around the world. 

The material also wicks sweat, breathes, and dries quickly - so overall it's a great choice for an inexpensive, feature-rich, malleable material. The only downside is that it is difficult to embroider as the material does not hold the stitch designs well. 


Polyester is another common material in sportswear. It's essentially a cloth made of plastic fibers - making it lightweight, wrinkle-free, durable, and breathable. It's inherently non-absorbent, which means your sweat won't be absorbed by the cloth but will dry itself on the outside of the material. 

Another major reason polyester is a popular choice for top sportswear manufacturers is its high strength and durability. High-strength polyester can withstand the intense repetitive motions of athletes and outlast competitors while remaining relatively inexpensive on a scale of comparable materials.

Polyester also has amazing insulating properties, making it an excellent choice for environments where hot and cold weather may occur.

Superfine fiber

Microfiber, as the name suggests, is a material made of fine, thread-like fibers with a linear density of up to 1 Neil. This means that microfiber threads are 100 times thinner than human hair. It is a completely man-made material, made from a blend of polyester and polyamide. 

This mixing process makes it an expensive material to use on a large scale - so any resulting product tends to be more expensive. 

You are likely to see microfibers used in the production of sportswear, towels, and sportswear because the material is highly absorbent and non-abrasive.


Synthetic sportswear was originally conceived as a replacement for sportspeople tired of rubber and plastic sportswear that could cause overheating.

Synthetic materials can be used not only in clothing but also in other sports equipment such as knee and elbow pads. The material is breathable and quickly wicks sweat to keep you cool while exercising. 

The disadvantages of synthetic sportswear are mainly related to the way it is made. It is produced using chemical synthesis, which produces non-renewable by-products that are not good for the environment. 

Bamboo fiber

If you want super soft yet moisture-wicking workout clothes, go for bamboo. Bamboo pulp produces a natural fabric that is lightweight and has antistatic properties. Bamboo fiber also has moisture-wicking properties, making it completely odorless sportswear. It also provides amazing UV protection, so wearing it in the sun for extended periods of time won't cause any problems.

In general, bamboo fibers can be used in almost all applications where cotton is used. Some manufacturers may even prefer this type of fabric over cotton because of its remarkable properties that benefit the production and manufacturing process.

For example, bamboo fiber is very breathable and more elastic than cotton. It is easy to weave this fabric into other high-count fabrics, and the resulting garments are often thinner than cotton while maintaining similar or higher stretch.


The first commercially viable synthetic fibers were used to make women's stockings. But it is now widely used in sportswear manufacturing for a variety of trench coats, sportswear and sportswear.

Nylon is stretchy, fast drying, and mildew resistant. It is also very breathable. The fabric allows cool air to reach the skin and draws sweat from the skin to the surface of the fabric, where it evaporates safely - keeping you comfortable and temperature-controlled.

So, are there many options?

In short, yes. 

When considering which fabric is best for activewear, the first thing to keep in mind is the needs of the consumer. Different sports require specific types of clothing. For example, sports such as football and basketball require loose and comfortable clothing. On the other hand, activities such as biking or running can be dangerous if you are wearing loose-fitting clothing, as loose-fitting pants can easily get caught in the pedals of the bike. Winter sports such as skiing require materials that properly insulate the body from the elements.

If you need any help or guidance on which fabrics are best for your business and production, or if you want custom sportswear, please contact us.

Rainbow is a professional custom streetwear manufacturer, that mainly produces and sells casual men's and women's clothing, street fashion brands and sportswear, featuring casual, avant-garde, comfortable, and stylish brand features. We have 9 years' experience in foreign trade export. Focusing on the European, American and Oceanian markets, it has been exported to more than 30 countries and regions such as the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc., and has been widely recognized and praised by customers, and has good cooperation with many world-class brand customers. relation.