The Fabrics That Work Best for Yoga

Yoga PoseWhen doing yoga, it’s important to remember that there is a lot of movement and stretching involved and sometimes you might be practicing in a hot room when doing Hot Yoga.

Therefore, comfort, ease of movement, durability and performance are very important in choosing the right fabrics.

So, what fabrics work the best for your yoga practice?

 Nylon vs Polyester

Both nylon and polyester are synthetic fibers. A lot to the yoga tops and pants are made from polyester because it’s widely used for all forms of clothing due to its less expensive production. In doing some web research, I found that Nylon provides:

  • Low moisture absorbency.
  • It is exceptionally strong and stronger than polyester and it is abrasion resistant.
  • It is light-weight, warm, smooth, soft and quick drying. Because it is warmer than polyester, it tends to be more sweaty or cling more to your body.
  • Moves moisture away from your body and the fabric itself

Polyester on the other hand provides:

  • Resistance to wrinkles
  • It’s strong, resistant to stretching and shrinking.
  • Quick drying, light-weight and smooth.
  • It is slightly slick.
  • UV resistance

Thread - sewingFrom what I have gathered and my own experience wearing polyester made yoga clothing, I find that I do not always have to reject a garment made from polyester because as with a lot of things, polyester is not always made the same.

There is your everyday polyester which I personally avoid because it’s like wearing plastic – it doesn’t breathe well leaving moisture stuck in your skin.  However moisture-wicking polyester essentially has a different weave design that pulls the moisture into small holes in the weave and towards the outside of the fabric and then they can evaporate. So, this makes the garments breathable!

Spandex

Also known as Lycra, spandex is also a synthetic fiber famous for been elastic as well as strong and durable -therefore, it’s widely used for active wear such as yoga garments. This means that it helps in the ease of motion. It’s also breathable, moves moisture away from your body and the fabric itself and dries quickly.  You will notice though that the percentage is small so that it keeps the rest of the fibers retaining their look and feel.

Cotton fabricCotton

Cotton is a soft, cool, comfortable natural fiber that absorbs and releases moisture from your body fast allowing the fabric to breathe. However, in really intense yoga classes or hot yoga classes you will sweat a lot and moisture and salt rubbing against your body may become very uncomfortable. Therefore, it’s a good idea to go with garments made from cotton blends.

Bamboo

BambooYou can find bamboo fabrics made using organic cotton which provide great comfort and it is a natural fabric. It’s also light, warm but breathable at the same time, and moves moisture away from your body and the fabric itself. Bamboo fibers are much softer than cotton, they are hypoallergenic, antibacterial (so clothing made of bamboo doesn’t get smelly after many days), offers UV protection and it is Eco-friendly.

Tencel

About Tencel fabricExtremely eco-friendly and of botanic origin making it a natural fiber. Garments made of Tencel absorb more than cotton and are softer than silk. Its smooth surface prevents irritations to the skin and it manages moisture really well reducing bacteria growth without chemical additives. It simply absorbs moisture from your body completely and naturally releasing it to the outside of the fabric.

You can consider the following yoga clothes:


Lole Women’s Kendra Top which is made of a blend of natural fibers (47% Tencel Lyocell, 47% Organic Cotton and 6% Spandex).

 

 

 

 

Boody Organic Bamboo EcoWear Women’s Full Legging made from 80% Bamboo, 13% Nylon and 7% Spandex.

 

 

 

 

You can take a look at other yoga garments made with Nylon and Spandex blends in my review pages.

 

 

References

TENSEL

Nylon vs Polyester

10 Fitness Fabrics, Explained

Why polyester isn’t always the wrong choice…

Bam – Bamboo Clothing

2 Replies to “The Fabrics That Work Best for Yoga”

  1. Greetings,

    This is perfect timing! I just dusted off my 15-minute yoga DVD just a few days ago after 2 people told me how they have personally benefited from yoga.
    I attempted yoga once, many years ago…it was a lot harder than I had anticipated.

    I don’t thnk I really considered the fabric of my workout gear. In all honesty, I think I would have just thrown something on…but probably would have suffered later.

    I used to think that anything polyester was a “no, no”, but like you said, not all polyester is made the same.

    I really did read this article at just the right time.

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Veronica – I am glad you found this article helpful and that you are trying yoga again. It seems harder at first but just listen to your body, start with the basics and have a lot of patience. It really is about more than the poses and you will discover that in time. Have a lot of fun and you will be surprised at how your body will suddenly transform and show you how beneficial yoga is. If you want to check out more on the benefits, I wrote a post on the importance of doing yoga, you might find this one helpful too: https://womenyogajourney.com/why-yoga-is-important. Thanks for stopping by and hope you visit again if you need more inspiration. 🙂

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