As an active Malaysian, choosing the right sports shirts to workout in can be challenging. Malaysia is not only hot, but it’s also pretty humid too. Especially when you’re an outdoor workout junkie, shirts made of pure cotton are completely out of the question.
Although soft and comfortable, they lack the wick absorption that much needed for sweaty workouts. Instead of helping you cool, cotton absorbs your sweat and makes you feel hotter over time. Hence, people often go for Nylon or Polyster when they're going for a good run.
This is why if you are focused on performance, pure cotton shirts are something you need to avoid completely. So, what should be your top favorite fabric options if you want a comfortable workout without compromising on your performance?
Today, we’ll look take a look at the characteristics you should look for when shopping for your next workout wear and which fabrics we recommend you choose.
Top 4 Characteristics of Good Materials for Exercise
Usually made of synthetic fibers
As we’ve seen, the natural characteristics of materials made with natural fibers can be unsuitable for sports. They tend to trap heat inside, rather than move it out. Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, often have good wick absorption qualities and finer filaments that gives them the well-loved quick dry qualities.
So when looking for good sports fabrics, be sure to check out those made with synthetic fibers.
On top of that, synthetic materials are often more durable than their natural counterparts, giving you a long life even with the most intense uses.
So unless natural fibers are blended with synthetic ones, you’ll want to stick with synthetic ones.
Any sportswear should be stretchable without losing form over time. In this case, materials made with synthetic fibers showcase superior stretchability over those made with natural fibers.
With stretchable materials, you don’t have to worry about tears from overexertion. They work with you to create any form or shape effortlessly.
Breathable materials are usually made of small filaments which gives it a light-weight while keeping the material form. Breathable materials help you keep cool while sweating it out so you can keep going without losing momentum.
For sporty Malaysians who love the exploring the great outdoors, this is definitely a must!
While you aren’t likely to be working out under the rain every day, water resistant qualities are important for sportswear because of the amount of sweat you’ll be producing when working out. Sports shirts with water-resistant qualities can help repel that sweat off you so you can feel much cooler.
4 Top Recommended Materials to Workout in for Malaysians
We’ve seen the characteristics you want in your materials, but which fabrics should you go for?
While we wish there was one super-fabric in the market that has all the qualities above, unfortunately, each type of fabrics comes with their pros and cons. Choosing the right fabric will depend on the kind of exercise you're planning to do and the intensity you'll be doing them at.
Let's take a look first at the most common types of fabrics used for athletic wear in Malaysia so you can decide for yourself which fits you best:
#1. Nylon Fabric
Nylon is the second most popular fabric in the world. It's best known for being durable, strong, water resistant, and mold-resistant. For its strength, nylon is one of the most stretchable synthetic fibers in the market.
Nylon shirts are best used for outdoor adventures like hiking or trekking where ruggedness and water resistance features give you an advantage. It's less suited for activities where quick dry and cooling are the most important considerations.
The downside with nylon is that they tend to have poor drying properties. Thanks to its weight, it takes quite some time to dry nylon fabrics. If you're looking for a quick dry shirt, pure nylon is definitely something to avoid. Other than that, nylon can be hard to recycle too. So you'll want to keep your nylon clothes for a long time if you are environmentally conscious.
#2. Polyester Fabric
Next to nylon, polyester is one of the most commonly used synthetic fabrics for sportswear. Polyester clothes are best loved for their durability, quick dry, machine wash resistance, form maintenance, and stain resistance.
Polyester clothes have one of the best wick absorption qualities amongst synthetic materials, helping you keep cool by wicking away sweat from your skin. Being machine wash resistant, you can toss your polyester clothes into the washing machine without worrying if it will come out losing its form. For people who like low-maintenance clothes, polyester is a pretty good choice.
On top of that, polyester is usually a lot cheaper than nylon and are more easily recycled after wear.
Polyester isn't perfect, however. Compared with nylon, clothes made with polyester are not as water resistant and breathable. This makes polyester clothes more suited for sports where ruggedness and water resistance isn't a requirement.
#3. Spandex Fabric
Spandex is the most stretchable synthetic fabrics in the market. They can be stretched extensively without losing their form. As such, spandex fabrics are most often used in the making of yoga pants where stretching is part and parcel of the workout.
Their highly elastic quality, however, also makes spandex a fragile fabric when it comes to cleaning. Unlike polyester, spandex isn't very resistant to abrasion. This means you can't machine wash your pure spandex clothing items without being very careful.
#4. Bamboo Fabric
As the name suggests, bamboo fabric is made of natural bamboo fibers. It’s a lightweight material. As the name suggests, bamboo fabrics are made from natural fibers of bamboo. It’s a light, durable and quick-dry material with an extra benefit of sun protection.
But that's not all. One of the most interesting features of bamboo is its antibacterial qualities. You'll be able to wear your clothing made from bamboo for much longer than most materials in the market before you need to wash it. Being made from natural fibers, bamboo fabrics are also biodegradable, making them more environmentally friendly than those made from synthetic fibers.
Unfortunately, making bamboo fabric way can be a very labor-intensive process. So unless you are willing to spend a lot of money on your sportswear, bamboo fabric can be a tad bit expensive for most.
We are fortunate enough to have a lot of choices when it comes to clothing we choose for sports. While there isn't a perfect fabric for all occasions, you can choose the right fabric for the right occasion by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each fabric type.
Nylon is a strong and water-resistant fabric suited for outdoor enthusiasts while polyester is light and quick-drying fabric for the more casual runner or gym rat. On the other hand, yoga lovers may enjoy the flexibility that spandex provides them while those who want the UV protection and anti-bacterial benefits of bamboo fiber can invest in sports shirts made from the environmentally friendly fabric.
Looking for a Polyester Sports Shirt? Check out Boxy Microfiber T-shirts (made with 100% Polyester)
As you’ve seen above, polyester is one of the most durable and quick drying synthetic materials in the market. If you’re looking for a place to buy quality polyester clothes without breaking the bank, you're in the right place.
Boxy is a Malaysian t-shirt manufacturer specialized in creating high-quality shirts that fit the Asian body type. Our 100% polyester microfiber t-shirts are one of our bestselling items.
If you’re looking for good quality microfiber shirts at great prices, we think you won't be disappointed with what we have to offer! Explore Boxy.my today!