What is tracksuit fabric?
Tracksuit fabrics have special properties that make them ideal for working out and exercising. The tracksuit is a two-piece outfit, comprising of relaxed, loose fit bottoms and a zipped or pull-over jacket, worn for both protection from the outside elements and also to keep muscles warm during exercise. Tracksuit material is comfortable, easy to care for and normally moisture-wicking, drawing perspiration away from the body, allowing for a comfortable work out. However, there's a diverse range of tracksuit styles, designed to be worn in different climates and for different purposes. From insulating fleece tracksuits to waterproof tracksuits, they're all designed to help you perform better outdoors or during exercise. In saying this though, tracksuits are now part of everyday apparel, however they are still made using the same fabrics that made the tracksuit so popular.
Popular tracksuit materials include:
There's so many types of tracksuit fabrics, each with their own individual properties, some of the most popular are:
- Heavy brushed sweat jersey
- Vintage loopback sweat jersey
- Chain jersey
- Polar fleece
- Plush velvet
How are they manufactured?
The tracksuit was born out of the 60s 'space age' phase, where synthetic nylon fabrics were combined to create something worn primarily for sports. Because this garment is designed to be worn for exercise, the fabrics used are chosen for their various properties and characteristics. Every tracksuit fabric is manufactured in its own way, and will have a different surface texture, handle and weight. The fibres will be woven differently to create varying textures, constructs, and levels of transparency. Synthetic fabrics are created using chemical processes, whereas natural fabrics are made using all-natural yarns.
Typically, the fabrics used to make tracksuits will be knitted, as they provide awesome stretch allowing you to freely move about during exercise. Jersey, Scuba and Velour, for example, are all knitted textiles that have a generous give, making them ideal tracksuit materials. Materials that have a brushed surface or a fleecy pile are excellent thermal insulators, in that the pile traps air which warms up.
Purposes of tracksuit material
Tracksuit fabrics are of course predominantly used for making tracksuits, however they're also good lining fabrics for clothes, dresses, suits and curtains.
Because there are so many different choices when it comes to tracksuit fabric, there are also many properties associated with them. Here are just a few favourites:
Stretchy – fabrics such as Scuba have a built-in 4 way stretch, whereas velour, for example, has a stronger stretch in the weft, due to the different constructs. All of these materials however have a generous give and move with your body during exercise.
Insulating – tracksuit fabrics that have a short pile or napped surface texture help to retain heat and keep the body warm. The solid construction and tight, plain weave
Moisture Wicking – a key characteristic people want from their tracksuit material is that it can draw perspiration away from the body.
Breathable – it's important that a tracksuit is both warm and also breathable, so you don't overheat during exercise. Knitted fabrics with a mesh like construction allow air to get in and cool the body down.
Advantages of tracksuit fabric
There's so many advantages of the various tracksuit fabrics, as this classic outfit has become part of mainstream, daily fashion. A crushed velour tracksuit is more of a style statement, whereas vintage loopback jersey has a classic look and feel for a more traditional tracksuit. Warm, breathable and comforting, tracksuit fabrics are the perfect choice for making your own athletic or lounge wear.