Why are sports clothes made of Polyester?

woman tip toeing on yoga mat

Polyester is one of the most commonly used fabrics in the sports industry. Almost all sportswear is made of polyester; other industries also use polyester to make things such as electrical insulations and tapes, just to mention a few.

Polyester has several properties that make it unique compared to other fabrics, such as cotton. Unlike cotton, polyester is a synthetic fibre that is obtained from a chemical reaction involving alcohol and an acid. It is made up of elements such as petroleum and water which combine at a molecular level giving rise to a larger molecule which repeats itself continuously.

The elements from which polyester is made are what gives it its unique properties. There are very few fabrics that have the same features as polyester. For this reason, polyester is the only fabric that makes excellent sportswear. Below are some reasons why sports clothes are made of polyester.

Excellent Wicking

In a nutshell, wicking is the process through which sweat is transferred from the body and evaporated into the external environment. This feature makes polyester one of the best fabrics in the sports industries because it gives sports when an easy time when dealing with sweat. 

If materials like cotton are used to make sportswear, sweat will be absorbed and retained. This will result in the cloth being wet and too heavy for the person wearing it. 

Athletes have to move very fast, subjecting them to additional weight such as that of wet clothes may affect their performance.

Polyester is Lightweight

man in tennis clothesThose in the sports industry prefer lightweight clothes. Clothes that are heavy may slow down the players and can as well make them feel very uncomfortable when running. 

This is especially prominent when it comes to fast-paced sports like basketball, which is why custom basketball jersey design stores don’t make clothes in cotton.

With polyester, weight is not a concern; clothes made from this fabric are so light that the person putting it on can almost feel nothing. This allows players and athletes to move very fast without compared to when sports attire is made from heavy fabrics such as cotton.

Highly Durable

Good sportswear should be strong and durable in order to keep up with the high energy movements that are made in sports. Clothes made from polyester don’t tear up easily and can take on strong forces while coming out without a scratch. 

Most contact sports are very aggressive, and the players have to push or pull each other from time to time. In almost all cases, sports attire is what experiences the blunt trauma. This is why a durable material such as polyester is the perfect candidate for sportswear.


The other reason why polyester is highly preferred is that it has a high elasticity. This allows sportsmen and women to move freely without being limited by the clothing they are putting on. 

In exercises like Yoga, where practitioners have to stretch themselves out, it’s very important that the clothes don’t get damaged in the process.

As such, they are in a better position to perform moves that may seem extreme due to the flexibility of sports attire. The best part is that the fabric can stretch without tearing up due to its tensile strength.

No Absorbency

Sports activities involve a lot of sweating, and some people can sweat excessively. Clothes made from polyester have 0.4% moisture regain capacity. This means that they don’t retain the sweat that comes from the body. 

The hydrophobic nature of polyester gives the added advantage of not absorbing the sweat. This is why those taking part in sports can work out for several hours or play a game for several hours without their clothes soaking in sweat.

This is very important in exercises where the intention is to stimulate sweating, such as cycling.


Clothes made from polyester can be washed repeatedly without losing their shape. Unlike other fabrics that may shrink after washing, clothes made from polyester will always maintain their original size.