Technical fabrics are designed for FUNCTION as opposed to aesthetics. They are composed of synthetic fibres that are engineered to improve performance, including polyester, spandex, Lycra, nylon, polypropylene, neoprene, Gore-Tex and bamboo. Bamboo is considered a synthetic fibre because of how it’s processed. Sometimes natural fibres like wool and cotton are blended with synthetic fibres to create technical fabrics that insulate better and combat odour.
Technical fabrics are used for apparel like activewear, protective wear, sports gear, rain gear, and military wear. It’s also found in some athleisure items and fashionable pieces.
Technical fabric has enormous advantages in terms of practicality and performance. Here are the pros:
- Good breathability
- Wicks away perspiration
- Can be weatherproof, waterproof and flameproof
- Non-crease, fast drying, and easy to launder
- Wears like iron and is great quality
- Feels lightweight
- Stretchy, comfortable, and can create a compression fit
Technical fabrics also have some disadvantages. Here are the cons:
Sometimes not as breathable as advertised
Some people don’t like the feeling of synthetics
- Producing nylon and polyester has a negative impact on the environment
- Can cause micro-plastic pollution
Personally, I avoid wearing technical fabrics unless I absolutely have to, so for me this reduces to yoga outfits, raincoats, and some of my puffer coats. I don’t like the feeling of technical fabric against my skin, and aesthetically, I don’t like the look of most sports and activewear. I don’t mind wearing my raincoats and puffers because the fabric doesn’t touch my skin, and some of them are cotton-rich.
Over to you. Do you like or dislike wearing items made of technical fabric? Are there any pros and cons not listed above?
Update: I originally put “Not aesthetically pleasing” in the cons, but in retrospect this is way too much of a generalization. Perhaps more importantly, it’s very subjective and therefore doesn’t belong on a list like this. I also clarified the points about how synthetics feel.