Textiles for Sportswear
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Textiles for Sportswear

Roshan Shishoo, Roshan Shishoo

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  1. 290 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Textiles for Sportswear

Roshan Shishoo, Roshan Shishoo

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About This Book

Textiles for Sportswear is an important book that systematically covers key trends in design and materials, the use of novel and smart fabrics, and a range of specific applications. The book begins by surveying the principles of textile applications in sport, including design, materials, and production technology.

The uses of smart textiles in sportswear are then examined, from intelligent materials to wearable technology. Final sections of the text explore comfort in sportswear, sportswear for protection, and recent advances in sportswear technology that are currently being applied to particular sports.

  • Reviews the principles of textile applications in sport, including design, materials and production technology
  • Examines the uses of smart textiles in sportswear
  • Discusses how recent advances in sportswear technology are being applied to particular sports

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Part One
Materials and production technology

Introduction to textiles in sport

R. Shishoo Shishoo Consulting AB, Askim, Sweden


The sportswear and sports footwear industries are among the foremost innovators in the textile and clothing sector and have been a launching pad for many new ideas and concepts in material and product design. Textile materials by themselves or in combination with other flexible materials are used as sportswear and sports footwear in all types of sport. The objective of this book is to describe recent developments in textile materials with specific reference to their use in sportswear. The main topics discussed in this book include developments in textiles and high-functional materials for sportswear, sustainable material considerations in sportswear design, advances in sportswear manufacturing techniques, comfort aspects of active sportswear, protective headgear for sports and future sustainability issues.
Textile materials
Joining techniques
Seamless knitting

1.1 Overview

The book Textiles in Sport was edited by R. Shishoo and published by Woodhead Publishing in 2006. This comprehensive book covering various aspects of sportswear and sport equipment reached worldwide readership. In recent years, many new developments have taken place in various aspects of textiles for sports, and it was felt that there was a demand for publishing a new book on this general topic and including some new dimensions to the scope of the book.
In 2012, the global sportswear market exceeded $244 billion according to a report by Magdalena Kondej published on 24th July 2013, by research organization Euromonitor International (EI). The report, which covers 46 countries from key regions around the world, estimates that sales for performance, outdoor and sports-inspired clothing and footwear grew by more than 7.5% in 2012 with an additional projected $55 billion in new sales by 2017. Broadly, this would value the sportswear market at around 20% of the total worldwide apparel sales. According to this report, the top 10 largest sportswear markets—United States: 35%, China: 10%, Japan: 7%, Brazil: 5%, Germany: 4%, France: 4%, United Kingdom: 4%, Italy: 3%, Russia: 3% and Spain: 2%—account for 77% of global sales. However, the forecast for market growth of outdoor sportswear in India and China covering the period between 2012 and 2017 is given at 205% and 142%, respectively.
Sportswear can be classified as performance wear, outdoor wear and sports-inspired wear. The crossover between sportswear and leisure apparel grows in importance. The significant increase in consumption of textile fibres and fabrics in sportswear over the past two decades can be related to the significantly growing rise in worldwide interest in active indoor and outdoor sports as well as in outdoor leisure pursuits. This rising interest is due to a number of social factors that include increased leisure time, increased considerations of well-being and good health, growth of indoor and outdoor sports facilities and market access to well-designed and functional sportswear. The manufacturers of these products are often at the forefront of textile manufacturing technologies, and they use the latest advances in high-functional and high-performance materials to fulfill various types of consumer and market demands. The strong rise in female participation in professional and outdoor sport has also been an important factor responsible for the new development trends in sportswear.
The sportswear and sporting goods sector of the textile industry has not only seen market diversification for fibrous materials but also has contributed to the elevation of textile science and technology to a level approaching that of other high-tech non-textile industrial sectors. New technological developments, more fragmented niche markets and increasingly demanding customer expectations are just some of the factors relentlessly driving this industrial sector. To thrive in this environment, companies are implementing radically new product development practices. Global market volume of sportswear varies depending on the type of end-use applications. High-value products exist at the upper end of the price scale at low volumes, and these are very specialized products where performance, quality and design, and not price, seem to be the determining factors. The sportswear market occupies an important place in the total textile scene, and this segment of the textile market is growing at a high rate. The producers of sportswear and sports goods have been concentrating their efforts on improving their strategic position, productivity, added-value product assortment and niche positions in order to expand their markets.
Textile materials by themselves or in combination with other flexible materials are used to produce sportswear and sports footwear in all types of sport. Examples of sportswear are: athletic clothing (sweatshirts, shorts, jackets and pants), football clothing, gloves, swimwear, outdoor leisure wear, skiing clothing and protective helmets. Examples of sports footwear are: athletic shoes, football boots, gym shoes, tennis shoes and walking boots.
The sportswear and sports footwear industries are among the foremost innovators in the textile and clothing sector and have launched many new ideas and concepts in material and product design. The industry is composed of both large and medium-sized enterprises with some of the most famous brand names, where each brand name is associated with special functional design, performance quality and the type of targeted sport or game. Well-respected branded sportswear and sports footwear companies with a global market include Nike, Adidas, Puma, Reebok, Asics, Umbro, Timberland, Under Armour, Arena, Fila, Rukkla and Helly Hansen. Lately, there has been a strong trend towards the combination of multifunctionality of materials and fashion in many items of sportswear and leisure clothing. The result has been the emergence of many different types of high-tech fabrics and garment designs with some remarkable performance properties, including breathable waterproofing for outdoor pursuits and strength and durability for sails. With the advent of intelligent textiles, functional design and innovative production techniques, the active and performance sportswear of today has become a truly engineered product designed to fulfill the consumer's requirements of light weight, softness, protection from injury, thermoregulatory, elasticity, antimicrobial, durability, aesthetics and so on.

1.2 Developments in fibres and textile materials for sportswear

The evolution of fibre development has gone through the phases of conventional fibres, highly functional fibres and high-performance fibres. Polyester is the single most common fibre used for sportswear and active wear. Other fibres suitable for active wear are polyamide, polypropylene, acrylics and elastanes.
Wool and cotton fibres are still finding applications in leisure wear. Synthetic fibres can either be modified during manufacture, for example, by producing hollow fibres and fibres with irregular cross-section, or be optimally blended with natural fibres to improve their thermophysiological and sensory properties. Synthetic fibres with improved ultraviolet (UV) resistance and having antimicrobial properties are also commercially available for use in sportswear.
Improved fibre spinning techniques in melt spinning, wet spinning, dry spinning as well as new techniques such as gel spinning, bicomponent spinning and microfibre spinning have all made it possible to produce fibres, yarns and fabrics with unique performance characteristics suitable for use in sportswear and sports goods. New technologies for producing microfibres have also contributed to production of high-tech sportswear. By using the conjugate spinning technique, many different types of sophisticated fibres with various functions have been commercially produced, which has resulted in fabrics having improved mechanical, physical, chemical and biological functions.

1.2.1 Highly functional fabrics

The performance requirements of many products demand the balance of widely different properties of drape, thermal insulation, barrier to liquids, antistatic, stretch, physiological comfort and so forth. The research in this field over the past decade has led to the commercial development of a variety of new products for highly functional end uses. By designing new processes for fabric preparation and finishing, and as a result of advances in technologies for the production and application of suitable polymeric membranes and surface finishes, it is now possible to combine the consumer requirements of aesthetics, design and function in sportswear for different end-use applications. The fabrics for active wear and sportswear are also specially constructed both in terms of the geometry, packing density and structure of the constituent fibres in yarns and in terms of the construction of the fabric in order to achieve the necessary dissipation of heat and moisture at high metabolic rates. Many smart double-knitted or double-woven fabrics have been developed for sportswear in such a way that their inner face—close to human skin—has optimal moisture wicking and sensory properties, whereas the outer face of the fabric has optimal moisture dissipation behaviour.
Since the introduction of Gore-Tex fabric in 1976, and later Toray's Entrant and Sympatex membrane, a variety of lightweight, breathable and highly functional fabrics have been developed worldwide. Highly functional fabrics are generally characte...

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