We read a lot about how activewear looks, feels and performs, but rarely cover what it’s made of and why. This feature with Jessie - our Runners Need clothing and accessories buyer, will explore the impact of the right fabric on your running, why fabric technology is important to us, how Brands develop fabric and what the future may look like.

How does sportswear fabric impact performance in running?

Jessie: In recent years we have seen an increase in fabric technologies used in manufacturing Running apparel. Compression technology is the most recognised, this can increase blood circulation to regulate the body temperature when running, this also has an effect on the muscles by reducing the vibration, which in turn, can result in a longer run with a reduced injury risk and less recovery time. There are technologies that can also wick away any excess moisture so runners can say goodbye to feeling overheated, sweaty or stuffy during their run. 


Not too long ago there was an increased demand for knitted running apparel, knitted technologies allow room for swift vents to optimise airflow, angled seams, super-lightweight and an all over feel for enhanced comfort when on your run.

Is fabric technology something buyers at Runner’s Need take into account when choosing which products to stock?

Jessie: Every season when I select my range from our brands fabric technology is always something that I look out for. I like to ensure we have the best tech in our ranges so customers can purchase the latest and most premium running apparel that not only looks fabulous but feels great too.  

How do brands develop new fabrics for performance sportswear?

Jessie: That’s the fun part. Developing new tech in fabrics requires a lot of research, sourcing and testing. Sometimes it might be a case of combining two different fabrics or manufacturing techniques to create a fabric of superior quality. Or it may be that an existing fabric is perfected or improved by tweaking the fibre composition.

The future of fabric – how do you think brands will continue to innovate in this category? What do you think we’ll all be wearing to work out in 10 years time?

Jessie: I think that runners like distraction-free clothing so I predict that apparel will become even lighter-weight, always seamless and even more conformable. Maybe clothing will eventually be infused with sensors which can tell you information about your performance i.e. injury prediction, cadence, heart rate etc. Who knows?


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