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Activewear Fabric Types

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Athletic wear is becoming one of the leading and demanding clothing lines among consumers. What helps athletes perform better and give it an extra push is their clothing line. Just like there is a dedicated clothing niche when you visit the beach, activewear or sportswear is the dedicated clothing line that comes in demand for athletes, sports persons, or for gym lovers. Sportswear is well known for its durability, custom features, breathability, and fit. Activewear is a broad term that covers a wide range of activewear fabric types and clothing niches. Activewear clothing is better than usual clothes because it does more than it shows. Increasing your work efficiency keeps your body at the best temperature so that your body remains cool. With so many activewear material options in the clothing industry, choosing the best fabric for your clothing brand isn’t easy. A good or bad athletic wear fabric can either make or break your brand, so you must be careful when searching for the best material for activewear. The list is long, but we have already researched and filtered out the top best option for your clothing brand and answered some fundamental questions you might have.

What are Activewear Fabrics & What Are They Made Up Of? 

Coming over the fabric mainly used for manufacturing activewear/ sportswear or gym wear fabric. Here are some commonly used activewear fabric types for making activewear clothing lines.

  • Bamboo fabric
  • Cotton fabric
  • Nylon fabric
  • Gore-Tex
  • Polypropylene
  • Spandex

There are certain features, or we can say qualities, that are a must to have in an activewear material. Firstly, your clothing line should be comfortable, stretchy, flexible, durable, and easily allow maximum body movement. No matter what kind of product you manufacture, whether a swimsuit, tracksuit, polo T-shirt or anything, you must ensure that the fabric you are using must have these qualities. Another essential feature is that it must have odor-resistant rates. Generally, activewear is expected to be skin fit to the skin, so the fabric must be breathable and lightweight enough to feel like a burden to wear. Also, make sure that the material should not irritate the human skin.

Different Types of Best Fabric for Activewear Fabrics

Your activewear fabrics not only make you look good but also allow you to perform better and let you add extra effort to your physical activities. Here are the different types of materials that you can choose for your athletic wear clothing line.

  • Bamboo fabric

Characteristics of bamboo fabrics

  • Highly sustainable
  • Comfortable & Soft
  • Moisture wicking fabric
  • Antibacterial properties
  • UV protection
  • Biodegradable fabric
  • Easy to handle and care


  • Soft and luxurious feel
  • Versatile to use
  • Easy to maintain
  • UV protection
  • Sustainable fabric
  • Long-lasting life


  • Its manufacturing process involves chemical usage
  • Not good for the environment
  • Limited availability in the market
  • Gore-Tex

The Gore-Tex is a unique blend of fabric commonly used to make a highly structured clothing line and sportswear gear. If you are looking for a fabric that can easily endure high temperatures, rainy sessions, and extreme sports resistance, then the Gore-tex is suitable for you. We can say that the Gore-Tex fabric is something more than a fabric. It’s a membrane that is strong and durable.

It can help in manufacturing a waterproof and windproof activewear clothing line. Despite being strong, heavy, and filled, the material doesn’t feel heavy and ensures air passage. One thing that is provided in the Gore-Tex fabric is that it doesn’t allow water to pass through it, making it a perfect element to create waterproof jackets, hoodies, T-shirts, tracking suits, gloves, and more. If your product idea is waterproof jackets, hoodies, and a dustproof clothing line, then Gore-tex is the right fabric for you to choose without a second thought. Or if you want to manufacture a winter collection that feels luxury, comfortable, breathable, and durable, Gore-tex should be your top option.

 Characteristics of Gore-tex fabrics

  • Easy to breath
  • Light in weight
  • Windproof
  • Excellent performance in all weathers
  • Durable
  • Reliable seam sealing
  • Longevity


  • Moisture management
  • Versatile
  • Breathable laminates
  • Brand reputation
  • Longevity


  • Expensive
  • Noise
  • Maintenance instructions
  • Cotton

We are pretty sure you must have heard about the cotton fabric before. Why not? After all, cotton is the most popular fabric of all time, and no matter what clothing niche it is, the cotton fabric is always there. The winner of the whiff test, cotton makes up the best fabric for casual fabric clothing. Having more absorption water of water and sweat than polymer, cotton offers comfortable to wear throughout the day.

As a leading manufacturer in the industry, We would say cotton is not much of a good option for manufacturing ring and activewear line clothing. The cotton fabric is hungry for water, so it can absorb as much water as possible and make your body movement difficult by making clothes heavy. If you are not going to have a tough session that leads to sweating, then cotton is an option you consider. It is best for low-sweat activities like yoga, weight-losing excursing, and likewise activities. Cotton fabric has an excellent odor-losing feature and is easy to wash, so you won’t find much trouble when cleaning the fabric.


  • Soft
  • Comfortable
  • Non-allergenic
  • Permanence
  • Originality
  • Accessibility
  • Natural  


  • Classic
  • Timeless appeal
  • Easy to care
  • Durability
  • Moisture absorption


  • Crease
  • Retains moisture
  • Compress
  • Mesh

The mesh fabric is best to wear when you need extra airflow, and it is best to manufacture a clothing line for summer activewear clothing line. The mesh fabric features the top demanding qualities like durability, coolness, and good airflow. The mesh fabric isn’t made up of pure mesh, and it always uses polyester or Nylon as a blend to make fabric. It’s best for the clothing brand that wants to manufacture a clothing line best suited for warm weather, and you can also consider this fabric for making swimming or workout clothes.


  • Exposed structure
  • Lucidity
  • Weightless
  • Fast drying
  • Specially made
  • Inventiveness
  • Flexible  


  • Stretch
  • Resilience
  • Transparency
  • Made-to-order
  • Fragile


  • Retreat
  • Solitude
  • Reduced safeguard
  • Merino Wool

Not so popular, but still one of the best to consider fabric options when creating a clothing line for outdoor activities and workouts. Consumers misunderstand that wool fabric is heavy and keeps the body calm only in cold weather. Yes, it does, but it is also an excellent option for warm weather. The fabric is thinner, and the Merina wool is softer than the regular wool.

One of the best features of the wool fabric is that it can hold the warm air inside when the weather outside is cold and provide comfort to the body, and when it’s warm outside, the fabric allows the inside air to pass out. Even if you sweat, the Merino wool will absorb the body’s sweat without making you feel it. The Merino wool is as good as it sounds when discussing making an activewear clothing line. There are a number of popular clothing brands that use merino fabrics with polyester or nylon blends to add a stretching feature to it.


  •  Weakness
  • Comfort
  • Porous
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Deodorant
  • Thin
  • Genuine


  • Versatility
  • Renewable
  • Temperature regulation
  • Odor resistance
  • natural


  • Cost
  • Grace
  • Limited color range
  • Nylon fabric

In its starting, Nylon was only used to manufacture women’s leggings because of its high stretchability features. Still, since the industry has explored its variants, the nylon fabric is widely used in making all kinds of activewear, swimwear, swimsuits, bathing suits, sports jerseys, and more. The Nylon fabric falls into the synthetic fabric family. Being a manufactured product, it has environmental damage features to offer.


  • Hardiness
  • Soundness
  • Excellent resistance
  • Lightweight
  • Quick-drying
  • Easy to care
  • versatility


  • high colorfastness
  • fade-resistance
  • elasticity
  • winkle-resistance
  • Strength


  • Odor retention
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Drying time
  • Polypropylene

As the name says, the propylene belongs to the polyester family as it is made up of plastic but the good thing about this fabric is that it doesn’t possess the same properties. Being synthetic wear, the polypropylene fabric is water and chlorine resistant, which makes it the best material for swimwear clothing lines. If you plan to have a swimwear or swimsuit clothing line, this fabric is the one you can pick.

You don’t need to care about its stain properties, as polypropylene is stain-resistant fabric. You’d be surprised to hear that this fabric only changes color when treated under extreme temperatures. So, whether in the field playing extreme sports or in tough gym sessions, you don’t have to worry about keeping your attire clean. Even if you spill a drink over polypropylene fabric, you can easily clean it by treating the material with some bleach, and it’s done.

Being a synthetic fabric, you get an advantage that common chemicals like bleach don’t affect the color or fabric quality of the fabric. 


  • Flimsy
  • High chemical resistance
  • Corrosion-resistance
  • Excellent packing properties
  • Reclaimable
  • Easy processing
  • Cost-effectiveness


  • Low friction coefficient
  • Good insulation properties
  • Recyclability
  • Heat resistance
  • Moisture resistance


  • UV shame
  • Potential for a chemical attack
  • Limited flame resistance
  • Spandex, Lycra or Elastane

Spandex, Lycra, and Elastane are fabrics commonly known by three names. The spandex is considered one of the most flexible fabrics out there. The fabric was developed in the 1940s and has been used in the industry since then. The spandex is well known for its outstanding qualities like comfort, high flexibility, breathability, performance, recovery properties, and stretchability.

The stretchability power of the spandex fabric is 5x times more than its original size, and it provides your best fit no matter what body shape you have. If you want a fabric that checks all the qualities and features, we’d recommend choosing Elastane or spandex fabric. The Lycra fabric is named after a brand-named Lycra that sells Lycra fabric. No synthetic wear is good to use all alone. Instead, a blend of cotton, polyester, or cotton polyester is used to add additional features. The spandex creates yoga pants, activewear, gym wear, sports apparel, compression garments, swimwear, and more.


  • Comfortable
  • Stretchable
  • Lightweight
  • Resistance to creasing
  • Moisture management
  • Excellent elastic recovery


  • Easy to care
  • Versatility
  • Stretchable
  • Durability
  • Moisture


  • Allergic
  • UV radiation
  • Potential for pilling

Comparison Between Different Fabric Types for Activewear

Fabric PropertiesCottonPolyesterNylonSpandexPolypropylene
Fast Drying✔️✔️✔️✔️
Moisture Wicking✔️✔️✔️Medium✔️
Shows SweatYes
Odour Resistant✔️✔️
UV Protection✔️MediumMediumMedium

What is the Difference Between Spandex & Compression Fabric?

Compression fabrics and spandex blends are the talk of the town in the Fashion industry and are equally used in activewear manufacturing. But what makes them different? Here is a distinction between them.

Compression fabrics are commonly used to manufacture activewear, athletic, and gym fabrics. The compression fabric category includes spandex, Lycra, Nylon, Polyester, Elastane, and more. The compression fabrics have a longer life and come with an excellent recovery factor. They can bend into different shapes as they are much more flexible. They come with a number of benefits, such as it provides

  • Reduced soreness
  • Less muscle fatigues
  • Better breathability
  • Greater movement flexibility
  • More oxygenation

On the other side, we have regular compression fabric, which is also widely used in the industry. The different fabrics in this category include spandex knits and blends. The compression fabric provides extra stretchability and versatile customization means you can easily make custom swimwear, athletic wear, and sportswear. Here are some of the significant benefits of compression fabric.

  • It comes with joint stability.
  • Moisture wicking structure
  • Lightweight
  • Breathability  

Wrapping up

So now that you know these are the top-of-the-line options you can choose when looking for the best fabric for activewear. You must not forget a couple of factors, such as comfort, lightweight, soft, and breathable. These factors matter more than choosing the fabrics that look good over you. Availability of premium factors like durability, less care, and breathability can increase the price of the fabric. All of the fabrics, as mentioned above, are best in the qualities of being a clothing manufacturer. We have personally tried and tested them.

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Tom Brady
Tom Brady

Tom Brady is the weekly publisher of fashion blogs and articles. He is devoted to providing his readers with a fast-paced story, whether a blog or an article. What began as an undergraduate hobby of writing about the fashion industry has now become a top blog and full-time role for him. His interest is simple, anything that attracts readers about the fashion industry.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Tom Brady is the weekly publisher of fashion blogs and articles. He is devoted to providing his readers with a fast-paced story, whether a blog or an article. What began as an undergraduate hobby of writing about the fashion industry has now become a top blog and full-time role for him. His interest is simple, anything that attracts readers about the fashion industry.