5 Tips for Choosing the Right Athletic & Performance Knit Fabric

Category: Sport 39

Whether you’re a sports enthusiast, a beginner, or just a casual jogger and leggings wearer, the fabric you choose for your workouts is crucial. That’s why you need to understand some basics about the different types of athletic & performance knit fabric.

Moisture Wicking

When deciding which type of fabric is best for you, one of the most important considerations is moisture-wicking properties. This feature can make all the difference when working out and sweating hard or even just walking around in cold weather. Moisture-wicking fabrics pull sweat away from the skin, leaving your body dry and comfortable. They also prevent odors from building up and keeping you from feeling bad about yourself after you sweat. There are a variety of fabrics that have moisture-wicking properties, including polyester and polypropylene. These fabrics are typically breathable, lightweight, and quick-drying. But they can also be prone to odors, so you should only purchase moisture-wicking clothing from brands that offer antimicrobial treatments. The simplest way to explain how a moisture-wicking fabric works is to imagine a candle wick that draws melted wax up from the candle and evaporates it into the air. Similar to this process, the fabric uses capillary action to draw moisture up from the skin’s surface and out towards the outer layer of the fabric, where it can evaporate.

This feature is especially useful for outdoor activities like hiking, running, biking, and skiing. But it can also be helpful in more casual settings, such as wearing a sweatshirt to work or going out with friends.

Durability

Durability is important in selecting the right athletic & performance knit fabric. The durability of knit fabrics depends on the fabric structure and yarn material composition. The fabric density, thickness, and mass per unit area also influence it. It is a fact that the dimensional properties of woven and knitted fabrics can be affected by externally applied forces and may lead to permanent deformations. This is a problem that sportswear fabric manufacturers need to address to create comfortable and durable clothing for their customers. The elasticity of knitted fabrics can be influenced by the knitting parameters, including the number and location of tuck stitches, which directly affect the mechanical properties of knitted fabric. The tuck structure of the knitted fabric also impacts comfort, air permeability, and heat resistance.

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Stretch

One of the most important properties that knit fabrics can offer is stretch. This is essential in enhancing body comfort and fitness and facilitating movement. It also reduces the risk of chafing and helps keep you dry.

It can be achieved by incorporating spandex or mechanical stretch yarns into the fabric construction. This increases the elasticity and recovery of the fabric, as well as improving breathability and durability.

Another important benefit of these fabrics is their ability to wick moisture away from the body, which can be helpful for active individuals who may sweat excessively while exercising. They also help prevent odor and mildew buildup by absorbing the natural oils in your skin. Despite these properties, you must be careful about how much you stretch a garment before washing or wearing it. Over-stretching the fabric can cause it to become loose and deform, which can be unflattering to your figure. This is why using a fabric that stretches correctly when sewing your garment is crucial. Using zigzag stitches and a serger to ensure your seams are secure while allowing the fabric to stretch is a good idea.

Breathability

Breathability is an important factor in clothing and is especially essential for active wear. It helps prevent sweat pools from forming against the skin and can even help keep your body cooler by evaporating it instead of trapping it. It also helps your clothes dry faster, so they can be worn more often and last longer; whether you’re choosing a shirt or a pair of leggings, knowing what type of essential breathability properties will make your shopping easier. A few things can affect how breathable a material is, including its structure. For example, the way it is woven or knitted can have a significant effect on its permeability. A jersey knit, for instance, doesn’t have the typical warp and woof yarns you would expect in woven cloth. Still, instead, the individual threads are knitted together into a more stretchy material with larger air gaps between them.

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The fabric’s permeability can also be affected by how it handles liquids. If a material’s membrane becomes blocked from the inside or outside, it can no longer conduct water vapor away from the skin.

For this reason, choosing the right kind of athletic & performance knit fabric for your needs is important. This will depend on how much moisture your activity will generate, what temperature you plan to wear the garment and other factors such as the cut or style.

Comfort

Comfort is an important aspect of designing and manufacturing high-performance sportswear and innerwear. It includes functional aspects such as thermal regulation, moisture wicking and quick-drying properties, and comfort in shape and fit. In addition, it is linked with the body’s sensations of softness and smoothness when apparel is worn next to the skin. The comfort properties of the fabric are mainly determined by its smoothness of surface, air permeability, heat transmittance, and hydrophilicity, as well as the structure of the fabric. To provide the best thermophysiological comfort, the fabric must be able to regulate the human body’s temperature in a manner that combines the ability to transport heat and moisture away from the body and to keep it within the range of the thermal capacity of the fabric. This requires the fabric to have good elasticity, stretch and recovery properties, and excellent vapor transmission capacities for efficient body heat and moisture management. Generally, knitted materials are better suited to this task as they have greater elasticity and stretchability than woven cloth. 

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