5 Best Fabrics for Sportswear

Sportswear, athletic wear, dance costumes, or even just regular workout clothing can all be expensive to buy, depending on the brand. Sewing sportswear at home can save a pile of money, as most sportswear and athletic wear fabrics can be purchased on a budget. When choosing fabric for sportswear, nylons and polyesters blended with spandex are often a good choice.

Best Fabric for Sportswear

Here are our fabric for sportswear reviews

1. Perfotec Athletic Knit

Perfo-Tek Athletic Knit Teal

This fabric line features Perfotek technology. Spandex Perfotek is used to give the fabric stretch and recovery. The fabric will move with you. Nylon is a great fabric for sportswear as it tends to be very stretchy and comfortable. It is also sweat wicking, and breathable.

  • Fabric is a blend of 80% nylon and 20% spandex Perfotek
  • Medium weight fabric
  • Machine wash and dry in the dryer on low heat
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2. Athletic Stretch Mesh

Fabric Merchants Double Brushed Solid Jersey Knit Black

This medium to heavyweight fabric is made from 100% polyester. Polyester is a great choice for sportswear because it is durable, generally is easy to launder, and will not pill or get bally with time, wear, or laundering. Polyester is also breathable and helps keep the skin dry when active, since it does not soak up moisture.

  • Fabric features two layers- the face is knit teardrop mesh and the back is a sheer tricot
  • Fabric has about 10% stretch on the grain
  • Perfect for making sports jerseys
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3. Fabric Merchants Double Brushed Spandex Jersey Knit

Fabric Merchants Double Brushed Solid Jersey Knit White

This jersey knit fabric is extremely soft and is brushed on both sides so that it feels soft on the inside and the outside as well. The fabric is a lightweight polyester/spandex blend (96% polyester, 4% spandex), which makes it the perfect choice for sportswear and activewear. Polyester is durable, breathes well, and won’t soak up moisture.

  • Features four way stretch, including 50% on the grain and 20% on the vertical
  • Ideal for activewear and sportswear as well as many other apparel projects
  • Machine wash on cold and dry in the dryer on low heat
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4. Pine Crest Fabrics Swimwear

Pine Crest Fabrics Activewear Knit Sugar Skulls Neon/Black

Even though this collection is called swimwear, this line of fabrics can be used for many different applications, including activewear and sportswear. The fabric is also great for dancewear, costumes, leggings, and other apparel. Nylon is a great choice for activewear and sportswear because it is breathable and sweat wicking.

  • Fabric is lightweight and is a blend of 82% nylon and 18% Lycra spandex
  • Features 30% four way stretch
  • Hand wash and lay flat to dry
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5. Telio Activewear Solid Knits

Activewear Spandex Knit Solid Black

Polyester is a great fabric for sportswear and activewear. It’s breathable, and non-absorbent, so it won’t get heavy or wet against the skin. Polyester is generally very durable and holds up well to washing and wearing. Polyester also washes well and will usually not pill or ball up over time.

  • This medium weight knit fabric is a blend of 90% polyester and 10% spandex
  • Great for sportswear, activewear, leggings, dancewear, and many other apparel items
  • Four way stretch with 40% stretch across the grain and 30% vertical stretch
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Fabric for Sportswear Buying Guide

There are few things more frustrating than trying to find sportswear that fits just right. When you’re working out, competing in sports, or even just at practice, you want to be comfortable. Many higher end workout lines are pricy and lower end ones aren’t durable or aren’t made well. If you can’t find anything in stores, you should consider making your own sportswear.


Nylon is a great fabric when it comes to sportswear. Not only can it usually be purchased for budget prices, it is fairly durable. Nylon breathes well and is moisture wicking, which helps keep you dry. It also tends to be very stretchy, especially with spandex blended in, so it will be comfortable and flexible enough to move with you throughout your workouts or sporting events. Nylon can tend to pill or ball with time and wear, but proper care, washing, and drying can help to extend the life of the fabric.


Polyester is generally a very durable fabric. It holds up well to even hard use and can usually be laundered normally in the washer and dryer. It does not tend to bill or ball with wear or with time and washing. Polyester blended with spandex is comfortable and will move and stretch with you. It is versatile and is great for many different apparel items. Polyester is a great choice for sportswear as it helps keep you dry, is usually lightweight, and is breathable.

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