Activewear Fabric – No Longer Just Made Of Spandex

Activewear fabric used to be almost exclusively made of spandex, but not anymore. Today activewear fabric is made of blends such as nylon, polyester and other fabrics with a touch of spandex also called Lycra added for stretch. These fabrics are also referred to as two-way or four-way stretch knits.

Activewear consists of such garments as those for swimming, dance, ice skating, cycling, skiing, gymnastics and other costumes and exercise wear.

Teal/Black Activewear Fabric Animal Print Activewear Fabric

Fabric Characteristics:

• These fabrics have a nap

• Easily damaged by pins and needles

• Easily snagged

• Fabric can be shiny

Working With These Fabrics Requires:

• Sewing machine needles recommended are size 70/10 ballpoint, stretch, twin needles and universals; also can use 75/11 stretch needles, 90/14 ballpoint, stretch, twin needles and universals for heavy fabrics

• Hand sewing needles should be sizes 8-9

• Sewing machine setting should be a stitch length of 2.5mm

• Sewing machine feet can be the standard, roller and zigzag foot

• Thread recommended is all-purpose polyester for its stretch properties, cotton/polyester blend and wholly nylon

• Tools and equipment recommended are sharp scissors, sharp shears, rotary cutter and mat, pins

• Layout is nap

• Marking tools recommended are chalk, clips (with snip marks in seam allowance)

• Seams recommended are serged, stretch and twin needle stitched

• Hems recommended are twin needle stitched, serged, topstitched

• Edge finishes recommended are elastic application, casings, self-fabric stretch bindings, ribbings for example

• Closures recommended are zippers, invisible zippers, hooks and eyes, ties, buttonholes with stabilizer, loops, and snaps

• Pressing should be with a steam iron at a medium setting

These Fabrics Are Suitable For:

Activewear materials are used for garments for swimming, dance, ice skating, cycling, skiing, gymnastics and other costumes and exercise wear.

For information about the notions, tools, and equipment required to complete a sewing project, click here to view the sewing notions home page.

For more information about this family of fabrics some great references are:

Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide

More Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina

For more interesting information about activewear fabric, click here on to learn more about Lycra fabric a component of activewear.
To continue exploring information about fabrics follow the links below.

Boucle Fabric
Fabric Facts
Fabric Content
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