How to Choose The Best Performance Activewear Fabric for Workout and Yoga Clothing
Posted on 23 December 2015
How to choose the best fitness fabric regarding workout and yoga clothing is key to helping you achieve your best workout including performance, comfort and looking your best of course! A lot has been written lately in the news regarding too thin fitness clothing fabric, “Pantsgate”, whereby women were revealing all their lady parts. This article is not about Pantsgate—this piece discusses/reviews what key fabric components will help create the best workout experience for you. According to Livestrong, the science of fitness clothing has come a long way since the days folks worked out in baggy cotton sweatshirts and knit leg warmers of previous.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Fitness Fabric
The first factor to consider when choosing workout out clothes is the type of exercise you’ll be doing. Sport-specific activewear is designed to take into account the types of movements that will be done and what type of fabric the wearer will need to stay comfortable and dry. For yoga and stretching, Lindsay Law of Overstock.com, points out that cotton/polyester and spandex are OK, less expensive fabrics for allowing the exerciser to bend easily. For high-impact cardiovascular exercises like running and aerobics, she recommends more durable, performance fabrics that are moisture wicking like nylon/cotton blends for staying dry while sweating.
How to choose the right fitness fabric thickness for Fitness Fabric
When choosing workout clothing, fabric thickness is the next step to buying the best quality, best performing—and best look, because we know style counts too! Fabric “thickness” is rated by weight per linear foot within the garment industry. Weight can range on the low side from 180 GSM (grams per meter square) that you’ll find at the massive big box bricks and mortar discount stores upwards to 310 GSM. Fabric weight is important for many reasons beginning with keeping all your junk covered! Other downsides of thin fabric are that it provides very little compressive support and has poor “memory”. This means the fabric will stretch out and bag quickly–typically at the knees, waistline and tushy. Plus, too thin, less expensive fabric will not hold its coloring and last long.
NOTE: Our superior, sports performance fabric is classified within the luxury fitness fabric category. Our buttery soft peached, 4-way stretch nylon spandex fabric weighs in at 280 GSM, which provides the RIGHT coverage without smothering you. It’s luxurious, supportive, and moves comfortably with your body throughout every range of movement–just like a Second Skin–and lasts a long time too.
How to Choose the Best Fabric Content
Make sure to read and check the fabric content before you make your purchase, because choosing the right fabric content will guarantee that your garments last longest, hold their color, hold you in and don’t bag and sag after a few washings. Choose garments made from nylon. Nylon is the most durable, strong and long lasting of all sportswear fabric. In fact nylon was developed years ago to mimic the softness and strength of silk. Avoid polyester as it is nylon’s cheap knock off that has little of nylon’s strength–not to mention that is tends to be significantly scratchier and retain body odor. Rayon is another poor relation that degrades quickly in the wash, has extremely poor breathability properties, and terrible recovery.
About Moisture-Wicking Fabrics for Fitness Clothing
Today there are a wide variety of synthetic and natural fabrics to choose from that will keep you dry and prevent you from getting that “Soaked to the bone” look (unless of course you like that look). According to REI.com, avoid “Synthetic fibers that are, essentially, plastic—and virtually nonabsorbent.” Moisture travels along the surface of the fiber, but since it cannot be absorbed, the moisture from perspiration is then dispersed from the inside of piece of clothing and drawn to the outside of it, where it evaporates when it makes contact with the air. In addition to the material itself, a chemical finish is often applied to moisture-wicking clothing in order to enhance its performance, allowing it to quickly draw moisture along its nonabsorbent fibers and transport it to the garment’s exterior. Our superior fabric has certified sports performance Moisture Wicking and Antimicrobial properties.
*We do recommend that you NOT put fabric softeners when washing Moisture Wicking fitness clothing as this will dissolve/decrease the Moisture Wicking properties. To read more about how to best care for athletic clothing from ehow.com click here.
Compression Fabric for Fitness Clothing
Using a special knitting process and fabric combination of primarily nylon/spandex, next generation compression clothing is now shown to improve circulation during and after physical activity to help alleviate stiff, sore muscles and hasten muscle recovery. Compression clothing also stimulates blood flow, helping to reduce lactic acid build-up and prevent delayed onset muscle fatigue and soreness. Our fabric is a special custom blend of cotton/poly/spandex using a proprietary super thick spandex thread that creates the compressive support along with the perfect tummy control and body shaping/slenderizing fit. Many new workout clothes now feature anti-microbial treatments to combat odor (including all our fabrics). Our fabric is certified Anti-Microbial, because smelling funky is just not a good thing at the gym—or ever! Avoid fabrics that don’t breathe. Never wear clothing made out of rubber-based or plastic-based materials, because they keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature too high during exercise. Fabrics made primarily from only polyester/spandex will also not allow your skin to breath or allow your body cool down/perspire properly–let alone polyester is a lesser grade material versus nylon and is always rougher to the touch. These fabrics lead to decreased physical functioning and may contribute to heat exhaustion. Our superior fabric is a proprietary blend of nylon/spandex that not only breaths, but also moves like a second skin on your body.
Comfort Counts for Fitness Fabric
Avoid any rough fabrics that could chafe or irritate your skin during repetitive movement. Choose materials that let you move and don’t constrict you. Pay closer attention to fit than size, as some workout clothes tend to be smaller and more form fitting than regular clothes. Look for items that have a small percentage of spandex listed on the label—about 10% is fitness fabric industry standard. This allows for a greater range of motion during exercise and can provide a comfortable, functional fit without being skin-tight or revealing your lady parts! OUR CUSTOMERS AGREE: Our buttery soft, peached nylon/spandex fabric has what fit biz clothing buyers call a “beautiful hand” or silky soft feel.
The Takeaway: Choosing the right fitness clothing to exercise begins with choosing the best, top quality fitness fabric first. Look for fabric that will provide function, support, coverage and of course make you look your best, because style counts!
From fabric to finish, American Fitness Couture is 100% healthfully made in Los Angeles, California with good intention. Sweatshop free. We believe that when it comes to health, wellness and fitness it’s important how you move your body, what you put in your body and what you put on your body too.
Shop our best selling women's opaque, Black 3/4 Length Leggings made from our buttery soft peached Tacte® nylon/spandex.
ABOUT OUR VERY SPECIAL BUTTERY SOFT FABRIC
Throughout the global textile industry Tactel® fiber is well known and valued for its wide range of benefits. A dynamic, specialty fiber, TACTEL® fiber creates garments that are soft, supplely smooth, breathable and lightweight. Tactel is incredibly strong and supple. So strong that it is used in bullet proof vests!
According to rigid testing, Tactel fiber is at least twice as soft and 20 percent lighter than most other fibers. It also dries eight times faster than cotton. In addition to being soft and lightweight, Tactel fiber is strong. The inherent strength of TACTEL® fiber enables the production of fabrics that are three times as strong as those made with natural fibers.
Tactel is a nylon fiber that, depending on finishing, can feel soft, silky and cotton-ish, rather like supplex nylons. Tactel is eco-smart, as it was designed to reduce the amount of detergent needed in laundering, dries very quickly, and can be recycled.
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