What's the best material for sports uniforms?

When you're designing a new sports uniform for your club, gym or leisure centre, there's something more important to think about than how they look.

Choosing high quality, durable fabrics for your active wear will make sure your staff or your team are comfortable in all conditions and always performing at their peak.


Why is material important?

Sports and fitness uniforms need to be designed with the comfort of your staff and athletes in mind. They should be flexible enough to give them complete freedom of movement, breathable enough to help them stay cool and dry, and strong enough to stand up to wear and tear.

If you settle for a lower quality material, your team could feel uncomfortable and distracted, and their movements may be restricted. The uniforms also might not last as long as you need them to before they have to be replaced.

Following are some of the best fabrics for sports uniforms, depending on the type of apparel you need, your local climate and your budget.



Stronger and faster-drying than cotton, polyester is one of the most popular materials for sports kits and athletic wear.

Its moisture-wicking properties help to keep athletes dry and comfortable by evaporating sweat and other moisture, rather than allowing it to soak into the uniform. It also offers protection against UV rays, making it ideal for the summer.

This versatile fabric comes in many different forms to suit different types of apparel, from polyester fleece hoodies to taslan shorts and leisure tops and sturdy caps and sports bags.

Cotton blends

A downside of polyester for certain sports uniforms is that the fabric is less breathable than cotton, especially for heavier items such as sweatshirts and fleeces. Adding cotton into the mix can help your staff to breathe and stay cool, while also reducing odours as less bacteria will be present. Cotton-polyester blends are also more resistant to fading. As well as polyester, cotton can also be blended with nylon or spandex to make stretchy and comfortable team socks and leggings.



Microfibre combines the elasticity of nylon with the strength and moisture-wicking benefits of polyester. This makes it ideal for fitness wear that needs to be flexible and to keep the wearer cool and dry.
Microfibre is the material of choice for swimwear and quick-drying towels. Cotton and polyester sports uniforms often incorporate soft microfibre panels into their design too.



Stretchy spandex (also known as Lycra or elastane) is the top choice for workout wear and other close-fitting apparel that needs to move with your body, such as underwear, leggings, and rowing and cycling gear. Spandex is quick-drying, moisture-wicking and eliminates wind resistance.


Customise your sports uniforms

Ready to get started with your new fitness uniforms? Whether you run a leisure centre or manage a sports club, our design experts will help you select the right material and design to bring out the best in your team.


Enquire now or call us on (02) 8188 6008 to find out more about creating custom uniforms with Total Image Group.