Spandex and lycra outfits have been around for centuries. It was very common for women to wear tights and leggings in the 70’s and 80’s in places like Vegas and other cities with a thriving night life. Only until recently has it been adapted to be used for more than just fashion wear.
Today we see it used mostly in active wear such as gym training, yoga, pilates and music festivals. We are starting to understand the benefits that these synthetic materials provide as they are designed with function and style in mind. A second skin that meshes both technology and man made materials.
Gym leggings are produced from a blend of synthetic fabrics such as polyesters, elastin, lycra and spandex. There are different ratio blends that provide different functions. Gym leggings will have a slightly higher weight fabric per square metre with possibly a higher spandex to polyester ratio. Somewhere around 88% Polyester/12% Spandex. Spandex is a very stretchy material, very good when used in small ratios with polyester.
The weight per square metre is another important specification as it determines mainly the usage, strength and comfort of the pair of leggings. Gym leggings usually have a higher GSM (grams per square metre) as it provides better support, and compression with a suitable level of flexibility for squatting and bending. There is a trade-off however, thicker material means less breathability.
Yoga leggings have a lower GSM and a similar spandex ratio to gym leggings to provide ultimate flexibility and movement.
Polyester is a very soft feeling material, some argue that it is the man made equivalent to cotton. Not only is it stronger than cotton, it’s just as soft (output can be manipulated to change the way it feels), never loses it’s colour, weighs less, has hydrophobic (Quick-Dry) properties and most importantly can be blended very easily with other synthetics and cotton.
Polyesters are produced naturally white and are easily dyed with digital printing techniques. This means endless possibilities as every inch of the material can be computer printed with any digital design. Due to the process of the colour impregnation, the material will never lose it’s colour or look faded. A huge bonus for gym and yoga leggings. Funky and colourful gym leggings with patterns of floral, boho mandalas, fruit and cartoon characters are all the rage these days and will continue to evolve as this technology to produce these items becomes more accessible and affordable.
Have a look at our wide range of stylish, funky, and colourful gym and yoga leggings here.