The best fabric used for sports jerseys is 100% polyester, knit mesh. Polyester is the perfect fabric for sublimation printing. Usually football shirts require the color of the design such as red and black stripes and the logo of the team. This is applied via printing techniques using digital printing.
Polyethylene terephthalate, often abbreviated to PET, is the most commonly used polyester. It has a huge range of uses – from plastic bottles, to food trays, to thin plastic films, and of course in clothing. In clothes, polyesters have a large advantage over the more traditional cotton fibres in that they absorb much less water. Cotton can absorb 7% of its weight in water, whereas polyester only absorbs about 0.4% of its weight. This makes it much less likely to get soaked in sweat during a game. Instead, the sweat can run down the fibres of the shirt and evaporate; because of this it is referred to as a ‘wicking’ fabric, or more generally as one that is ‘breathable’. It’s also durable, and doesn’t crease easily.
Polyester is the single most common fiber used in the sportswear. But polyamide, polypropylene, acrylics and elastane are also used for active wears. The fabric used in sports jerseys must be both breathable and stretch as well.
In active and endurance sports, the performance of a sportswear is synonymous with its comfort characteristics. It should be capable of maintaining the heat balance between the excess heat produced by the wearer due to increased metabolic rate on the one hand, and the capacity of the clothing to dissipate body heat and perspiration on the other.