The Different Materials
Cotton is one of the most common fabrics that is used in apparel so unless it is blended with other specialised fabrics, weighted correctly, or knitted in a specific way - it does not work so well for activewear.
Cotton provides more odour resistance that other fabrics such as polyester as synthetic fabrics allow for bacteria to grow and develop, cotton is extremely hydrophilic. This means that cotton can absorb a great deal of moisture - up to 20 times its weight in water and can take a long time to dry!
Cotton activewear should be used mostly for weight training and inside the gym. In addition, purchasing from a reputable clothing company that has crafted their cotton weave and weight is a smart choice,as you know that their clothing will be suited to workouts and high intensity training.
-In this new age many are opting for performance polyester fabrics, but cotton just feels amazing on the skin and is super comfortable to wear!
Compared to that of other active wear fabrics such as polyester, Nylon is strong and is abrasion resistant. This fabric is synthetic making it extremely soft and silky, mould and mildew resistant, can dry quickly, is breathable and draws moisture and sweat away from the body.
This fabric is also powerfully stretchy meaning that it moves with your body and recovers quickly.
Polyester is the workhorse of the workout fabrics, the one you see on labels most often. Basically plastic cloth, it’s durable, wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, breathable, and non-absorbent, which means that moisture from your skin evaporates instead of being drawn into the material. Polyester also repels UV rays and insulates you even when it’s wet.
Polyester’s main drawback: the stink factor. Synthetic material can foster bacteria growth, and it also doesn’t dry quite as quickly as polypropylene or nylon.
Spandex—also known by the brand name Lycra—puts the stretch in workout wear. The synthetic fabric can expand to nearly 600 percent of its size, offers an unrestricted range of motion, and then snaps back in place. Spandex is also breathable, wicks moisture, and dries quickly. This fabric however can lose elasticity if it is repeatedly dry cleaned or thrown into a drier.
How to Wash
Turn workout clothes inside out
Odor-causing bacteria, because they come from body soils like sweat and dead skin cells that rub off us, form on the inside of clothes. Turning workout clothes inside out before washing allows water and detergent better access to the source of the smells, leaving the clothes cleaner.
Use a laundry booster or sports detergent
Boosters are used in laundry in addition to regular detergent. For eliminating odor, try adding a quarter-cup to a half-cup — again, depending on load size — of white vinegar or baking soda to the wash. A product like Zero Odor Laundry works, too. You can also try a sports detergent, like Tide sports or Sport Suds, which are formulated to address odors.
Wash like fabrics together
Avoid washing athletic gear, especially if it has stretch in it, with towels, fleece and other linty items, as well as with very heavy garments, like jeans and sweatshirts. Athletic clothes with stretch in them will pick up stray lint in the wash, and heavy items can lead to pilling and damage to more delicate athleisure-wear.
No fabric softener
Fabric softener leaves a coating on clothing that can lead to odor retention, even in clean laundry. That coating, especially when it builds up, makes it harder for water and detergent to fully penetrate the fibers, trapping odor-causing bacteria.
Elastic clothing doesn’t love being exposed to high heat, and that heat will also amplify odors. Wash workout clothes in cold water, stick with the low- or no-heat dryer setting or, better yet, allow exercise clothes to air dry.