Of course this is only a few, and there are new and more sustainable options being developed all the time. But here’s a guide to the most popular fibres used in activewear fabrics today;
A very strong fibre with incredible biodegradability. It is obtained from the pulp of bamboo plants and can be processed into any type of fabric, but jerseys are most popular. Bamboo is a soft, wicking and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibres.
• Lightweight • Durable • Breathable • High elasticity • Absorbent • UV resistant • Anti bacterial • Hypoallergenic • Wrinkle resistant • Anti-static • Biodegradable
The most popular fibre in the world. Cotton is a soft, fluffy fibre that grows as a protective case around the seed of the cotton plant. We all know and love cotton because it feels great against our skin, which is why it’s such a common fabric for lifestyle garments, but unless it’s blended with other more technical fabrics it doesn’t tend to make for great performance garments.
• Lightweight • Durable • Breathable • Absorbent
Nylon is a polymer derived from petroleum and was created as an alternative to silk, which explains its soft and silky feel. It is one of the strongest fibres in the world and is shinier and stretchier than polyester. Nylon is often blended with other fibres to improve properties and lower cost.
• Strong • Durable • High elasticity • Wrinkle resistant • Easy to clean
Polyester is also a polymer derived from petroleum and is one of the world’s most widely used fibres. It is often blended with other fibres to improve properties. Polyester responds to the dyeing process much better than nylon. Dyes are absorbed well and polyester has good colour fastness. It is also cheaper than nylon and can be recycled.
• Durable • Holds shape • Fast drying • Wrinkle resistant • Holds colour well • Easy to clean • Recyclable • Hydrophobic • Anti-pilling
An incredible stretch fibre that is a key component of elastic fabrics. It can stretch to over 500% of its length and recover to it’s original shape immediately.
• Lightweight • Excellent elasticity • Pill resistant • Holds dye well • Wrinkle resistant • Anti-static