Design requirements of active and performance sportswear have produced designers with skills and knowledge in graphics, textiles and fashion to conceive aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically viable ranges that take advantage of the latest advances in functional and ‘smart’ textiles. Leading fashion designers have been quick to realize that the performance has actually become the aesthetics in sportswear. It is the fabrics and technology that set the trend. Incorporation of smart breathable barrier fabrics, innovative stretch materials, and intelligent textiles, interactive materials such as PCMs and shape-memory polymers, and wearable technology as a part of the functional design system in sportswear will become routine in the product development process. It is important that the designers of sportswear follow more sustainable approaches to fabric selection. New innovations from both small companies and large brands alike, don’t just stand out in the production of clothing but also works towards enhancing athlete’s performance.
Many of these demand for the application of latest tech within the clothing production, not just within the materials from which they are made. The performance category that has seen a large number of innovations is that of moisture management of fabric assemblies in a garment, the key comfort ingredient in bicycle clothing, which is directly related to comfort sensation during use.A high level of innovation, strong pricing and growing consumer concerns about health and well-being are major factors contributing to the sportswear industry’s solid performance. Prevention of injuries is one of the primary concerns of participants in many types of sports and games such as cycling and lately has attracted greater research attention.
Helmets as protective headgear have become a part of cycling apparel and are being used for recreational activities as well. The headgears for advanced sports are usually made of an outer shell, an inner shell and, in some cases, with face protection component. The outer shell of most high-performance helmets today is made from resins or plastics that may be reinforced with fibers such as aramid, carbon and glass. The inner shell has a functional layer of foam or a suitable textile structure. The combination of safety and physiological/mechanical comfort is of vital importance for the user and constitutes the main design criterion for headgear. For impact protection to be provided by the clothing and protective helmets, it is possible to use textiles and textile-based materials that possess high strength and durability as well as a high level of energy absorption. These materials are attached to the clothing in appropriate places depending on the sporting activity and the information available from injury risk analyses of different sports and games. A variety of textiles and textile composite structures are commercially available with the required mechanical properties of strength, impact resistance, abrasion resistance and tear strength for rugged outdoor and performance sports and games.