5 Fabrics To Pick for Athleisure Garments
Many fashion trends tend to turn in fads and vanish away. But, the athleisure is here to stay. It is already a billion-dollar market and is still strengthening the ground. It has turned into a lifestyle fashion choice in a very short period of time.
What is Athleisure?
Athleisure, in layman’s term, is simply, Athletic + Leisure, i.e. casual wear, designed to be worn both as general (leisure) and exercise (athletics) wear.
So, clothing designed to be worn for athletic activities is worn in other settings like casual and social occasions, etc. this trend captures the need for comfortable and carefree clothing that is both fashionable for the urban consumer and fit for gym wear and workouts.
Athleisure includes apparel like tights, yoga pants, jogger pants, sweatpants, gym stringers, sweat-wicking tees, hoodies, gym tanks, sneakers, shoes, etc.
5 fabrics that suit this trend the most:
Athleisure is basically active wear which can also be worn in casual settings. Hence, comfort, fit, and breathability with style are the most sought-after properties from athleisure. Thus, the fabrics used for athleisure should also depict these properties. The most commonly used fabrics in athleisure are:
- Cotton: When it comes to feeling and breathability, natural fibers are the preference of most consumers. Cotton fabric offers more comfort during workouts in a sense that it gives less sweat stench when compared to synthetic fabrics like polyester. Cotton, although absorbs a lot more moisture than its synthetic counterparts.Still, cotton and cotton blends are the most preferred options for low-sweat workouts like weight training, yoga, etc. and to be worn in casual setups.
- Bamboo: another natural fabric used extensively in athleisure is bamboo, owing to its light weight, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties.Bamboo and bamboo blends (with other natural fibers like cotton) also protect the wearer’s skin from UV rays, repels odors, and regulates body temperature.
- Nylon: Nylon’s use in apparel started with the famous nylon stockings. While this synthetic fabric offers a soft silky feel, its mildew resisting and quick drying properties make it an ideal choice for athleisure. It is a breathable fabric, which has the property to wick sweat away from the body to the fabric’s outer surface, from where it easily evaporates.Hence, nylon has been a prominent choice in sportswear and athleisure. In addition to the above properties, it also offers incredible stretch and recovery, adding to the comfort of the final garment.
- Polyester: It will be safe to say that Polyester has always been a workout fabric. It is durable, wrinkle-free, breathable, light-weight, and non-absorbent, which ensures that body sweat, evaporates rather than being absorbed by the garment. It repels UV rays and provides insulation to the wearer even when the fabric is wet.The biggest constraint with the use of polyester in athleisure is it stench absorbing factor. It tends to make the garment stink fast and fosters bacterial growth when worn for longer time periods.
- Spandex: Commonly known by its brand name Lycra, Spandex fabric offers the ultimate stretch that any fabric can offer. This synthetic fabric has the capacity to stretch to around 600% of its size and can snap back to its original. This fabric offers the wearer, unrestricted movement, breathability moisture wicking and quick drying properties.Spandex is a staple in fitting workout wear. In athleisure spandex is often used in conjunction with other synthetic and natural fabrics.
Future of Athleisure:
In 2016, the global athleisure segment alone was valued at USD 83 billion. If we look at the retail industry in 2015, the sales more or less stood flat, but Athleisure sales still rose by nearly 12% globally. By 2020, as a Morgan Stanley Report  claims, athleisure is expected to grow by 30%, with Asia being the biggest contributor.
The Athleisure trend is here to stay, and industry experts find the reasons for that to be innovation, laidback lifestyle, celebrity endorsements, social media & micro influencers, growing fitness lifestyles and weather-adaptive wear preferences.
Author:- Mausmi Ambastha, COO at Threadsol. ThreadSol is a leading apparel tech company helping garment manufacturers reduce fabric expense and produce more garments.
- Esmail Hanif. 10th April. Athleisure Trend; 11 Reasons Why It Is Here To Stay. Sqaut Wolf
- Athletic Lifestyles Keep Apparel Sales Healthy. Oct 30, 2015. Morgan Stanley
- Benjamin Fitzgerald. Meet The Active Fabric Mills Running The Athleisure Trend. LE|SOUK
- Karla Bruning. 10 Fitness Fabrics, Explained. Shape
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