Fabrics for rugby kit
Most of our range is made from forms of polyester or a polyester/cotton blend (referred to as polycotton). This is because polyester is tough and durable, easy to care for (e.g. it doesn’t crease) and has good natural wicking properties. Our polycotton blend is 65% polyester and 35% cotton.
Polyester has been around a while, but modern production methods let us create hi-tech fabrics out of it. Polyester fibres are very strong and resistant to abrasion (i.e. the fibres don’t break easily) and to stretching. We can happily tell you more than you ever wanted to know about polyester.
One of the great properties of polyester for sportswear is that it has fantastic wicking properties. This is mainly because it hardly absorbs any water. Instead water is carried along the fibre, away from the body and evaporates from the surface of the clothes. Polyester will only absorb 0.4% of its weight of water, compared to 4% for nylon and 7% for cotton (under normal atmospheric conditions). Polyester, of course, is also very quick-drying, but even when wet its strength is hardly affected.
Polyester is also a great easy care fabric. It is very resistant to creasing. This is because it has a high thermal stability – it has a very high melting temperature of 200ºC. The fabric is set in shape with high heat during manufacture and keeps its shape well once set, so it sheds accidental creases easily but retains deliberate pleats or moulding.
Polyester is also naturally stain resistant. This can be improved even further by adding a water-resistant, stain releasing finish to the polyester fibres, like the Nuva coating used in our showerproof fabric.
Polyester also lends itself to being tightly woven to form windproof and microfibre fabrics, knitted for warm fleece or ventilation areas such as our cool-mesh panels.