Nike creates quality apparel to provide athletes with superior performance, comfort, durability and stylish appearance.
Fibers (used to create fabrics) are often combined in varying amounts to achieve the right blend of qualities in a garment.
Fibers are the basic raw materials used to make fabric. Natural fibers include cotton, wool and silk. Man-made fibers include nylon, polyester and rayon.
Top 4 Fibers
The four types of fibers most commonly used in athletic apparel are cotton, nylon, polyester and spandex.
Cotton is a soft, comfortable, natural, plant fiber that feels good against your skin and is breathable with high absorbency. This makes it great for basic tees and coverups.
Nylon is an easy-to-care-for, man-made fiber with excellent abrasion resistance. It is often used for wind-resistant garments and other outerwear jackets and pants.
Polyester is another man-made fiber that can be made to feel smooth, silky or cotton-like. It's easy to care for and has the lowest absorbency and best
thermal retention of the four fibers.
It's generally used for base layer knit tops and lightweight woven running shorts—where moisture management is key. Polyester can also be
used in fleece mid-layers for thermal management.
Spandex has excellent stretch and recovery properties, making it ideal for form-fitting garments. It can also add comfort and freedom of
movement to basic knit tops and woven shorts.
Long strands of fibers are made into yarns which are knitted or woven together to make fabric.
Each type of fabric has different characteristics. Apparel designers choose the right combination of
fabrics to provide the best solution for a garment. Special finishes can be added to enhance the garment's performance and aesthetics.
These are fabrics where one or more yarns are formed into a series of interlocking loops.
Typically knits are very stretchy, flexible and wrinkle resistant. They are also bulkier, less wind-resistant, and depending on the type of fiber
used, they may shrink in the dryer.
Wovens are fabrics where yarns are interlaced at right angles
to each other. Wovens are typically more rigid and less wrinkle-resistant, but usually shrink a bit less, and can be more wind resistant. Wovens come
in a wide variety of weights and textures, so they can be used for many purposes.
Seamless Flat-seam construction is a method of sewing a garment so its seams lay flat against the skin for reduced chafing.
Just feel the inside of a garment with flat seaming and compare it to a garment with plain seams and you'll notice the difference.
One-piece construction reduces chafing to offer superior fit and increase overall comfort. And you'll get support and stretch built into
the places where you need it most.
Special circular knitting machines produce a tubular component that eliminates the need to cut and sew pieces of fabric together.
An all-in-one knitting process that allows support, ventilation and stretch to be built into places where they are needed.
No-sew construction uses heat activated bonding adhesive to build garments. And because there are no holes
from a sewing machine needle, air and water can't sneak in, so you stay warm and dry.
Did You Know?
You'll find no-sew construction used a lot in Nike outerwear. No-sew construction can also be used in any type of garment to eliminate traditional
sewn seams that can chafe or rub on your skin.
Strategically placed Nike Dri-FIT fabric and mesh fabric, help increase sweat evaporation and airflow.
The fabrics are placed on areas of the body that have been identified by the Nike Sports Research Lab as high-sweat or high-heat areas. Nike studies show
this design provides a very effective cooling advantage for athletes.
Facts On Fabric
Fabrics can be finished in several ways to enhance their properties.
Laminates or coatings can add water and wind resistance. For example, DWR is a durable, water-repellent finish.
Fabrics can be brushed or sanded to be made softer or to add bulk for warmth. Your favorite fleece sweatshirt is brushed inside.
Printing on fabrics add a much desired style element.
Remember that with the right materials and construction, you've got a garment that takes you to new levels of performance.