Sports Apparel

WIN THE SEASON!

You’ve assembled your sports team and have already begun strategizing how to “win the season.” There’s a lot to think about: practice, diet, and having the right mindset to complete at the highest level. However, have you considered how sports apparel plays a role in your team’s performance? Properly outfitting your team with sports apparel is a crucial detail that supports your team’s goals. Meaning, that in order to “win the season,” you should also add the task of locating a company that provides sports apparel in mid-Michigan.

WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN SPORTSWEAR?

Some questions to consider when selecting what sports apparel will serve your team the best include:

  • What fabrics are best suited for my team’s needs?
  • How do I properly care for my sports apparel?
  • What sports apparel items should I offer my team?
  • What graphics will enhance my team’s sports apparel?
  • What is the “track record” of the company providing the sports apparel?
  • Is it customizable?
  • Is it convenient?
  • Is it high quality? 

Fabrics

Choosing the right fabric can seem daunting at first, but it’s important to wear sports apparel that fits its purpose. Whether you need sports apparel that allows movement, breaths and wicks away sweat, or keeps you warm or cool, T.R. McTaggart can help you select what’s right for your team. One important factor to consider when deciding on a team uniform is whether you want to go with a natural or synthetic fabric, which is largely determined by the sport. 

Natural fabrics

There are pros and cons when it comes to natural fibers. For example, cotton, once the go-to exercise fabric, is used for activities with minimal sweating. One of cotton’s drawbacks is that it absorbs moisture. Cotton can hold 25-times its weight in water, which can become heavy and uncomfortable. This can lead to chafing and hypothermia. It also takes a long time to dry. Avoid cotton when looking for activewear.

Another drawback is that cotton items can wrinkle or shrink in the wash. Because natural fiber fabrics shrink when washed in hot water and dried on high heat, we recommend washing your uniforms in cold water and drying on a lower setting or simply air drying your sports apparel.

However, for activities with minimal sweating, cotton is a good choice. Cotton’s advantages are that it is a natural fiber and it doesn’t smell after a workout like polyester sometimes can. Also, natural fibers are typically more comfortable and allow your skin to breathe better than synthetics, an important consideration when it’s hot out. 

Natural fabrics include:

  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Wool 

Synthetic fabric

Natural fibers have their uses, but there are now more options. Until 1935, the fibers used to make clothing were exclusively plant or animal based. Then DuPont created nylon and the clothing industry was forever changed.

Made from polyester, synthetic fabric is more resilient, lasts longer, and wrinkles less. Synthetics are also soft, stretchy, mildew resistant, and dry quickly. It breathes and wicks away sweat from your skin through to the fabric’s surface where it evaporates. This allows you to sweat and feel cool while exercising. Some synthetic fabrics are even waterproof.

Polyester is the most common synthetic fabric used in sports apparel, specifically for team uniforms. It is durable, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, breathable, and non-absorbent. It also provides insulation and repels UV rays.

One drawback is that it can retain an odor after a workout and doesn’t dry as fast as polypropylene or nylon.

Still, there’s a lot to love about synthetics and many reasons to make synthetics your choice. For yoga and stretching, polyester and spandex allow the wearer to bend more easily. For running and aerobics, moisture-wicking nylon is great for staying dry while sweating.

Since synthetic fibers are basically plastic they are a nonabsorbent material. Moisture from perspiration moves over the surface of the fiber but, instead of being absorbed, the moisture is drawn from the inside of the clothing to the outside of the garment, where it evaporates when it makes contact with the air.

Common synthetic fabrics include:

  • Acetate
  • Acrylic
  • Lycra
  • Nylon
  • Polartec Thermal Pro
  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • Rayon
  • Spandex

The best of both worlds

Clothing made from natural fabrics is more comfortable. Clothing made from synthetic fibers wick sweat and can stretch. Can’t I have both?

The garment industry wondered the same thing and experimented to find combinations that provide the best of both worlds. Often you’ll run across labels with a 50% Cotton / 50% Polyester mix. Natural/synthetic blends combine both natural and synthetic fibers to create fabrics that are stain resistant, comfortable, stretchy, and wrinkle averse.

CARING FOR YOUR SPORTS APPAREL

Natural fabrics

Turn your garment inside out when you put it in the hamper. Don’t wait until right before you wash it. This way the clothing can air out, reducing the bacteria that come with moisture. Make sure to follow the rules of separating whites, colors, and darks; or, at least whites and darks. Whether you put your clothing in the washing machine or hand wash it, use cold water. 

Synthetic fabrics

While it’s handy that synthetic fabrics repel water when we want it drawn away from our skin, its same repelling property is still true when it’s in the washing machine. To combat this, pre-soak your sports apparel in a vinegar solution or use antimicrobial detergent.

Don’t use fabric softener, as this prevents the detergent from reaching the dirt and also removes coatings that might have been applied to the fabric. Be aware that some synthetic fibers will melt on high heat in the drier or if you use a hot iron on it. Wash your sports apparel inside-out in cold water and avoid tumble dry on high heat.

And remember, always read your clothing labels and follow their specified care instructions!

Customization

T.R. McTaggart offers a huge selection of color, size, and design options, and work closely with you to guide you through the process of outfitting your sports team. We devise custom sports apparel solutions tailored to your specifications. Our in-house design team will use its creativity to design something customized for your team. We’re here to make your vision happen.

Types of techniques we offer:

  • Screen printing 
  • Embroidery
  • Dye sublimation
  • Laser etching

Variety is the spice of life

Everyone has different preferences. T.R. McTaggart provides a variety of custom sports apparel choices to outfit your team, including:

  • Jerseys
  • T-shirts
  • Hoodies
  • Jackets
  • Hats
  • Visors
  • Scarves
  • And more!

Customized Team Shop

When outfitting your team with sports apparel, T.R. McTaggart can help you set up a custom shop where your team members can purchase their sports apparel. For more information about how you can create your customized team shop, visit the Online Stores page on our website.

Experience, Quality, and Affordability

If you are tasked with selecting where to get your team unoforms in mid-Michigan, you no doubt are looking for three things: an experienced and knowledgeable company, quality products, and affordability.

With an international reputation for our innovative and creative designs, McTaggart has over 20 years of experience and expertise in the apparel industry. We provide the best selection of apparel items made with the highest-quality materials at prices that won’t break your team’s budget.

CONTACT US ANYTIME

Contact T.R. McTaggart today for all of your custom sports apparel needs. Outfitting teams with sports apparel in mid-Michigan is our passion! If you want to find out more about how you can outfit your team, call us at (800) 433-0983 or visit the Sports & School Spirit page on our website.

Trust in T.R. McTaggart’s track record of winning the apparel game so that you can focus on winning the game and the season!

 

LINKS:

http://www.shape.com/fitness/clothes/10-fitness-fabrics-explained

http://www.livestrong.com/article/414298-comparison-of-fabric-for-exercise-clothing

https://www.seamwork.com/issues/2015/01/a-guide-to-activewear-fabrics

http://hygienicdryclean.com/tip4.html

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-to-care-for-clothing

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