Volleyball is physically demanding and includes explosive movements and quick reaction times. The duration of a typical volleyball game can last up to an hour with only a few minutes break between sets. As such, volleyball players must wear fabrics that keep them comfortable without sacrificing performance and durability.
Finding the right volleyball fabric might be challenging with such widely different varieties. This helpful guide is here to make it easier!
Why Is Finding the Right Fabric Important?
When it comes to playing volleyball, the fabric you wear can significantly impact your performance. If you wear the wrong fabric, you can feel uncomfortable and even restricted in your movement.
To keep your game up to par, you need to pay attention to the materials used in your clothes. The right fabric will help reduce friction and increase comfort. It will also help minimize chafing and protect the skin from abrasions. As a result, you can perform better for more extended periods.
What to Look for in Volleyball Fabric?
There are several qualities that you must keep an eye out for when you’re shopping for new volleyball fabrics. Let’s go over the most important ones:
- Weight – A fabric’s weight will depend on its thickness, ranging from ultra-thin to thick and heavy. Thicker materials tend to protect you better from abrasions and will keep you warm during cold months. However, they can also hinder your movement to some extent.
- Breathability – Breathability allows the fabric to breathe, which helps to keep you cool and dry. It also prevents the fabric from retaining moisture and getting heavy as you work out. This means that your game will be more comfortable, and you’ll be able to play longer with less fatigue.
- Moisture Wicking– Along with breathability, moisture wicking is another crucial factor in keeping your body temperature at a healthy level. Fabrics that effectively wick moisture away from your skin will keep you from overheating and help you stay dry even during intense practice sessions.
- UV Protection– If you play volleyball year-round, you’ll want to ensure that all your clothing items feature UV protection. This will guard against the sun’s harmful rays and pesky UV-induced skin bacteria.
- Warmth – You can’t have a good time if you’re unable to keep up with the heat of the day. If you play in various weather conditions, there are plenty of options to keep your skin warm and comfortable. The best fabrics will provide a comfortable fit that won’t hinder your movement or cause any discomfort.
- Durability – The fabric should be durable enough to withstand wear and tear from everyday use and not break down too quickly. This is quite significant regarding lightweight fabrics like cotton and polyester.
- Sturdy Construction– The construction of most types of clothing items is usually made out of metal or plastic, but some fabrics are strengthened by adding rubber or carbon fibers into their structure. These materials will help make your clothing more durable for extended periods but still stay soft and comfortable for longer periods.
Different Types of Fabrics Available
When you’re shopping for new volleyball apparel, you will see a lot of fabrics available. To know what suits you best, you must first learn about the characteristics of different fabrics. Some most popular fabric types for making volleyball apparel are below.
Nylon is a synthetic fabric commonly used as a primary fabric in volleyball uniforms. It’s highly durable, lightweight, and easy to clean, which makes it a great choice for active and outdoor sports. Nylon also is an excellent choice for protecting your skin from abrasions during play. Despite being synthetic, nylon is highly breathable, making it an ideal option for keeping your body temperature in check.
However, nylon is not remarkably breathable when wet, so keeping it away from water as much as possible is essential. Nylon is often mixed with other fabrics to improve some properties, such as abrasion resistance.
Polyester is a preferred material for volleyball fabrics and one of the world’s most used materials. It’s lightweight and can be found in various fabrics, such as mesh and tricot. Polyester is commonly blended with nylon. The nylon helps to reinforce polyester and give it increased abrasion resistance, whereas polyester boosts nylon’s breathability. Polyester is a highly breathable fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin and dries quickly, making it an excellent choice for sports.
While polyester is naturally water-resistant, it is important to note that it doesn’t dry as quickly when wet. In addition, polyester can lose some elasticity when scorching, which can lead to bunching while you’re playing.
Polypropylene is a synthetic fabric often blended with other fabrics to improve their properties. It’s highly water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for wet weather. It also has great resistance to UV light, making it a good option to protect you from the sun. Polypropylene is a warm fabric, making it an ideal choice for cold-weather volleyball uniforms.
However, a significant downside of polypropylene is that it does not wick moisture away from your skin and other fabrics.
Merino wool is a luxurious, natural fabric famous for its exceptional warmth and softness. It’s often used to make socks and underwear, but it has increasingly become a feature fabric in volleyball uniforms. Merino wool is naturally water-resistant and odor-resistant, making it an excellent choice for sports.
However, one downside of merino wool is that it can shrink if not washed correctly. It doesn’t wick away sweat as well as some synthetic fabrics either.
Cotton is a natural fabric commonly blended with other fabrics to improve their properties. It’s a very breathable fabric that wicks moisture away from your skin, making it an excellent choice for sports. It’s also simple to maintain, making it a good option for cost-effective uniforms.
However, cotton isn’t a very durable fabric and doesn’t offer much abrasion resistance. This makes it a poor choice for volleyball uniforms with a lot of wear and tear.
Mesh fabrics are made from synthetic fibers, such as polyester and nylon. They are lightweight, water-resistant, and breathable.
That being said, mesh fabrics aren’t very protective. They aren’t very good at blocking UV light, either. This can make them an uncomfortable choice for uniforms during the colder months.
Tricot fabrics, too, are made using a combination of synthetic fibers. They are lightweight and water-resistant, making them a good choice for warm-weather uniforms. They also offer UV protection, making them an excellent choice for outdoor play.
Tricot fabrics are more protective than mesh fabrics but aren’t quite as breathable. They’re also slower to dry than mesh fabrics, making them uncomfortable to wear during rainy weather.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
There are other things to remember when shopping for volleyball fabrics.
Make sure you know what kind of volleyball player you are. If you are going to be playing on an indoor court, you want to look for a polyester fabric with a strong weave that can withstand high temperatures and wear. But if you’re going to be playing outdoors, cotton might be better for you—it’s more breathable and more comfortable in the heat.
Choose something easy to clean; even if it’s a polyester fabric, you’ll still want something that doesn’t wrinkle easily or require a ton of special care if it gets dirty.
Look at the fabric’s color, and if you are playing in direct sunlight, choosing a darker color that won’t reflect too much heat onto your body might be better. Lighter colors may work better for you if you’re playing indoors or during the evening.
So now that you know all there is to learn about finding suitable volleyball fabrics, you can start shopping for new gear.
The best way to choose the right fabric for your volleyball gear is to take the time to learn what you need precisely. You might find that one fabric type works best for you while another will deliver the most performance benefits.
The important thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter where you buy your volleyball fabrics; make sure you choose the right ones! It’s all about knowing yourself as a player and making the right choice for you.