Sports has become a part of human culture nowadays. There are numerous kinds of sports, each having their own set of leagues and tournaments and each league or tournament has no dearth of fans. Sports has not only remained a recreational activity but also has become a tremendous entertainment source with times. In the last few decades, sports has become a well-established industry having its own kind of effect on the local economy and culture.
Sports were there for centuries but within the last half-century, things like sportswear and other merchandise have become the driving force for new trends that can be considered as an incredible combination of modern fashion and textile innovation. As the Best Sportswear Manufacturer in Australia, we are going to bring you the important pieces of information to prove the sportswear a unique combination of innovation and fashion.
During the second half of the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty-first century, the youth of the western world got heavily influenced by sportswear. Those young age fitness enthusiasts, hopping health clubs and gyms, practising various fitness training programs at different commercial centres, needed suitable fabric for such activities and they got mesmerised with the sportswear.
Such fitness enthusiasts and sports aficionados needed something to wear that can fulfil in both needs, the utility and the appearance. Initially, traditional natural fabrics were used such as wool, and soon sportswear manufacturers got their inclination towards the qualities of performance-enhancing fabrics and textiles.
Since traditional woollen materials were relatively heavier for sports and related activities, thus manufacturers gradually adopted the lightweight and performance-oriented textile choices. Though traditional alternatives were found to be more sustainable due to their natural qualities and a balanced approach was needed regarding sportswear. Thus sportswear had to encompass two diverging traits, being fashionable and sustainable at the same time.
The consumer demand had to be assessed and a co-design approach or collaborative design process was adopted. The sportswear industry needed to adapt to remain in the market with certain potential growth. Sportswear became a unique clothing item that went beyond colour and price for tempting the consumer. It had to fulfil a unique set of needs, problems and purpose.
Sportswear had to sustain tremendous physical and environmental conditions while covering up the active body without hindering its activities. In the case of extreme sports and intense physical activities, it needed to protect the body while being a viable wall between the body and the surrounding elements. Such concerns further lead to more innovative textile technologies and assessment in the tailoring methods.
Sportswear was made to match the needs of the heightened aesthetics of sports and sports as a recreational activity. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it looked more like formal attire but with time, it became everyday wear with styling and aesthetics in focus.
Aesthetics aspects got further modified, as colours and patterns were also used to identify and distinguish players and teams. The aesthetic aspects of sportswear not only helped in seizing the attention of the spectators but also made the sports more enjoyable for the spectators too. Gradually, sportswear became the glamour element in a few decades, that is, during the second half of the twentieth century. Today, we often find that the models of almost every major brand are wearing athleisure or trainers.
According to an article in UK Financial Times, the sweatpant and its clothing complement, the sweatshirt has become quite common to be included in fashion shows, whether it is a women’s or a menswear show. Almost every major clothing brand has cleverly added the altered versions of the tracksuit in their collections. The unisex appearance of sportswear makes it tempting for fashion designers to showcase their skills through it. It provides them with more flexibility and freedom of breaking the traditional boundaries between gender-specific dresses.
Sportswear clothing also provides a variety in terms of utility and style. Sportswear could be casual sportswear, fitness clothing, gymnastic outfits, youth-oriented casual wear, performance sportswear, technical sportswear garments, or exclusively manufactured tracksuits. Around 1980, the term “athleisure” came into the trend that has a dictionary meaning “clothes that can be worn both for exercising and for doing almost everything else”.
Gradually, “sporty” style got significant recognition among the youth and the relationship between fashion and sports grew further through sportswear. The colour choices cut styling and fabric type were getting assessed and driven with the availability of new fabric choices and novel manufacturing techniques and a new wind of production and trade worldwide.
By the last couple of decades, sportswear manufacturing and marketing radically changed with the market characterized by branding, changing economy, mass appeal, generational shifts and introduction of new technologies. Similarly, a few more factors were there that influenced, challenged and redefined the sportswear business.
The development of new synthetic stretch materials during mid-century proved beneficial for sportswear. Nylon, the first fully synthetic fibre and other synthetic fibres such as Orlon (acrylic), Lycra (polyurethane), Terylene (polyester), Tactel (nylon) and neoprene (synthetic rubber) were introduced around that period.
Spandex or Lycra elastane fibre got to be used extensively by fashion as well as sportswear designers for their respective purpose. That generated a new era of sportswear that was apt for activities like aerobics, jazz ballet and bodybuilding. In modern times, synthetic technical textiles got innovatively developed that had features like moisture-wicking, prevented abrasion and regulated body temperature. These kinds of fabric satisfy form requirements that are far more diverse and specialized, in comparison to other traditional fabric choices.
Now, we have the sportswear that is adequate as expected to be convenient and easy. It supports yet leaves every muscle free while being a psychological feel-good factor of engaging in active sports. As one of the Best Sportswear Manufacturers in Australia, we feel proud to say that the sportswear is not just becoming clothing with aesthetically appealing design and sensible practicality, but the epitome of modernity for human-beings.