Athleisure textiles are determined by four key requirements: comfort, durability, flexibility, and luxury. These requirements allow a garment to support the wearer’s active and social lifestyle while also being functional and stylish. With athleisure having a similar appearance to athleticwear, the distinction comes down to the fabric choice and garment construction. Athleisure apparel tends to have a heightened level of craftsmanship and is designed with the intention of being comfortable rather than functional. Some of the fibers and textiles most
optimal for athleisure include:
A durable and lightweight synthetic fabric composed of recycled plastics, polyester is the most widely used textile in athleisure due to its ability to blend well with other fibers. Additionally, polyester is crease resistant and has substantial insulation properties.
This fiber provides elasticity and breathability to the garment it is blended into, allowing for a comfortable and stretchy fit. Spandex offers shape support and recovery, so the garment will never stretch out of shape and will always be fitted for your body.
Originally invented as a substitution for silk, nylon is a tactile textile with a low moisture absorbency and an increased durability in comparison to polyester.
This stylish and eco-friendly textile is one of the few natural fibers with the desired traits of an athleisure or activewear textile. Bamboo blends well with other fibers and can offer breathability, odor repellent, and is perfect for people with skin allergies.
The second natural fiber that lends itself towards athleisure, cotton is best when it’s blended with other fibers such as polyester or spandex. When used individually, cotton has a high moisture absorbency, which isn’t always optimal for an active lifestyle. Due to this hinderance, many garments composed of cotton are now blended with other fibers to further enhance the garment’s performance. The image below is an example of a "triblend" shirt, which is made with cotton, polyester, and rayon.
- By Mitchell McCullough, Dreissig Apparel, Inc. Intern