From protective padding to breathable fabrics, the right gear can make all the difference for athletes. The right materials can help protect them from scrapes and bruises while keeping them comfortable as they compete for hours.
Breathable fabric, like the stretch woven fabric used in Endeavor Athletic’s apparel, wicks away sweat and won’t promote the growth of bacteria. This helps you stay cool and comfortable to perform best on the field or at the gym.
Sweat-wicking fabrics pull the moisture away from the skin and disperse it across a larger surface area. This minimizes the sensation of wetness and clinginess while helping your workout feel more comfortable. It also helps prevent heat stroke, which can occur when excess sweat accumulates, and evaporation cannot keep up.
This wicking process happens when water molecules adhere and cohere to one another. The negative sides of each molecule connect with the positive sides of others, which causes them to clump together into water droplets. This is a key feature of how moisture-wicking fabric works, which is why it’s so effective in athletic apparel like shorts, long sleeve shirts and leggings.
The wicking action of moisture-wicking fabric makes it lightweight and airy. When moisture evaporates quickly, it pulls your body heat, preventing it from rising too high and causing discomfort. In addition, the lightweight nature of the moisture-wicking fabric allows you to move freely without feeling constricted or hindered by your clothing.
Some of the most effective moisture-wicking fabrics are made from polyester, often blended with other materials to create stretchy, comfortable athletic wear that combines efficiency with style. Other options include polypropylene, similar to polyester, but it works well as an outdoor sportswear fabric because it is not prone to odors.
The right fabrics can help you stay cool and comfortable while playing or training. They can also boost your performance in multiple ways. From reducing the amount of moisture you feel on your body to minimizing muscle soreness after a game or workout, the fabrics you choose can greatly impact how well you perform.
The best athletic fabrics for high-intensity workouts and intense games are lightweight and breathable, keeping your skin cool and dry while in motion. Breathable materials are also flexible, allowing you to move freely and comfortably. Some fabrics are even designed to help you reach peak performance with added features like anti-odor and UV protection.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed to transport sweat away from your skin’s surface quickly. They do this by using tiny spaces in the material to pull the work out of your clothing, which can evaporate into the air and keep you dry. This type of fabric is especially important for athletes who sweat a lot during exercise.
The best sportswear fabrics for high-intensity training sessions and endurance sports are made with a blend of natural fibers and synthetic materials. Typically, cotton is more breathable than polyester but not as stretchy, while lycra and spandex are both lightweight and highly breathable with excellent stretching properties.
In addition to sweat-wicking fabrics, some activewear brands use UV-blocking fabric to keep harmful sun rays off your skin. UPF ratings tell you how much of the sun’s rays will pass through the material, and higher ratings mean that fewer rays will reach your skin.
Several factors affect a fabric’s UPF rating. For example, darker colors are generally better because they absorb more UV rays than lighter ones. The thickness and weight of a material also matter, as does its tension or stretch. And if the fabric has been treated with chemicals or dyes, this may also reduce its UPF rating.
A tight weave provides the most sun protection because it has fewer holes that let UV rays through. On the other hand, loose-weave fabrics offer less protection because they have more spots. In addition, tight-fitting clothing can stretch the fabric and expose gaps that let rays through.
There are two traditional ways to make fabrics UPF; some manufacturers also have their proprietary methods. The first is to coat the fabric with colorless additives that help block out the sun’s rays. This process isn’t eco-friendly, but it works effectively and can last up to 20 washes. Other methods of making fabric UPF involve adding a protective coating layer to the fabric’s surface during production.
Athletes must have specialized fabrics for outdoor workouts that protect them from the elements. This includes UV protection and rain-repellent material. The latter is important because it will prevent your clothes from absorbing water and becoming heavy. This way, you won’t be weighed down and can work out as hard as possible.
Rain-repellent fabrics are made from tightly woven artificial materials such as nylon and ripstop polyester. These fabrics are often brushed with a waterproof finish, which makes them more durable and resistant to water damage. The fabrics are also often breathable, which is essential for athletic wear because it will keep you cool and dry and reduce bacteria growth, which can cause odors.
These breathable fabrics are used to make protective clothing for athletes and are also useful in various other applications. For example, these fabrics are used to make outdoor cushions, raincoats, multilayer wound dressings and tree shelters. They can even be used to make furniture, such as chairs and bed stretchers. These fabrics are typically made from synthetic fibers because natural fibers such as cotton, regenerated fibers and rayons tend to absorb water. These fabrics can be treated with water-repellent finishes, but the best option is to use synthetic materials with built-in wet weather-wear capability.