Not all Leggings are Created Equal.

Why we use different fabrics for Hazzra Activewear.

Different fabrics have different properties and some have advantages over each other. If you want printed patterns, you normally have to go with polyester or sometimes nylon, though polyester is superior for digital printing. Nylon on the other hand is softer and has a more brushed cotton like feel which is desirable for certain activities such as yoga or winter days.

Each of the fabrics come in different weight values and with different compositions of elastane. The weight helps with compression and with keeping your undies from showing when squatting. The heavier weight fabrics will be thicker so when they are stretched they are less prone to thinning and showing your pants. Sometimes it is desirable to have thinner materials, like on warmer days and when you won’t be stretching the material but more often than not, squat proof will win.

The elastane is added to give the fabric some stretch and help maintain their shape after being worn. Elastane is added to so many fabrics, from jeans and leggings to t-shirts and socks. It helps the clothing to be more fitted and look more elegant. Clothing will also last longer and not sag after a few washes.

  • Nylon is hard wearing feels luxurious and warm.

  • Spandex/elastane fibres are added to a lot of fabrics to enhance stretch and shape retention

  • Cotton is natural but not ideal for activities where you will sweat as it holds a lot of moisture and takes a very long time to dry.

  • Air Textured feels more like stretchy cotton.

Melange is a fancy word for mixture. In our Balance Range, we use a mixture of three colours to give a distinctive pattern. The fabric itself is also very soft and low compression so ideal for activities where you bend and stretch such as Yoga.

Bamboo is sweat wicking, very soft and anti-microbial but is prone to over stretching and losing its shape. This can be overcome by adding spandex/elastane to the composition but you will normally see the garment look old much sooner.

Fabrics

Polyester typically refers to a synthetic fibre (though some naturally occurring polyester fibres do exist) and is ideal for activewear due to the technical functions.

Nylon/Polyamide – Nylon is a similar synthetic fibre to polyester, however, Nylon is softer, harder wearing and will dry slightly faster.

Features of Polyester and Nylon:

  • Odour Free and doesn’t promote bacteria growth

  • Sweat Wicking

  • Breathability

  • Quick Drying

  • Colourfast – the colours are vibrant, rich and long lasting

  • Recyclable

Both Polyester and Nylon are very resilient fabrics, mould resistant and durable, making them great choices for activewear.

The sweat wicking ability helps the fabrics dry super-fast and reduces odours. Cotton can take hours to air-dry whereas Polyester and Nylon can dry in minutes.

Spandex/Elastane/Lycra – There are many names for essentially the same stretchy material, some are regional, like Spandex is a common worldwide name whereas Elastane is often used in European regions. Lycra is essentially a brand name for Elastane/Spandex.

Woven or Knitted fabric?

Woven fabric is when two or more threads are interlaced at right angles to each other. If you were to look at the fabric you would see a set of threads going up and down and then a second set of threads going from left to right.

Knitted is where you make loops with the threads and intermesh them with the previous row and the next. It’s just like granny does but with much smaller loops. Try to imagine a series of small knots being tied and then tied to the next.

Why knitted? Well, it gives the finished fabric more stretch in all directions whereas woven generally only stretches in one direction.

When you combine the stretch of the knitting with the elastane fibres that are incorporated into the threads, you get a lot of stretch, making it ideal for gym wear.

It both flexes with you but also returns to its previous shape. This helps the fabrics last a lot longer and be more comfortable whilst looking great for a long time.

Fabric Composition

Why different compositions?

The composition of the fabrics will affect its performance, here are the main benefits of the different compositions:

  • 85% Polyester / 15% Elastane is more compressive and will hold you in quite tightly.

  • 73% Polyester / 27% Elastane is stretchier with less compression that moves more freely with your body.

  • 88% Polyester / 12% Elastane is very similar to the 85% above, but with additional compression.

The higher the spandex/elastane the more stretch in the material. If you are doing a lot of bending it is better for blood circulation and stops the feeling of clothes digging in as you move.

What is GSM and is it important?

GSM refers to the weight of the material in Grams per Square Metre (GSM).

Due to the printing onto white fabric, when stretched the white can show through. All printed leggings have this feature but this is reduced with the fabrics above 230GSM and higher quality printing.

All materials used in Hazzra clothing are high quality because we only use high GSM fabrics with superior digital printing techniques.

Here is the GSM for our Activewear:

  • 270GSM Polyester is found in our Expression, Air-Finity, Balance and Fidelis ranges. This is almost 100% squat proof and depending on the elastane content, can be quite compressive.

  • 340GSM Nylon is found in our Vantage range. This is 100% squat proof and feels a lot thicker and warmer.

Digital Printing or dying

What is Digital Printing?

Digital printing starts just like you would print a normal photo, but with special inks. You then turn this printed image over and place it onto a white polyester fabric and with heat and pressure, the image is transferred onto the white polyester.

Dying on the other hand is where the threads or garments are soaked in a pigment that clings to the fibres and is then set so it doesn’t wash out. This is very good when you want a uniform colour all over the garment and when stretched the colour remains relatively the same.

Which is best?

You can get some vivid colours that last a very long time with digital printing as they are not washed out even after many washes. It also means you can get very intricate patterns or logos. Dying is best when you want just a single colour material.

Any downsides to digital printing?

Well the ink is not really suitable for cotton as it doesn’t bond well so even after being freshly printed the colours look faded. You can get some powders that mimic the bonds so you can use cotton but the best results are on polyester. Polyester will give an extremely vivid colour pattern and will not wash out as it is effectively bonded and sealed to the threads.

Stitching

Flatlock/Seamless – When you hear the term “Seamless” you would expect there to be no seam at all but that is not possible. Seamless simply refers to the flatlock stitching that is used. The seams are still there but they lay flat against your skin. This reduces friction and is kinder to your skin in repetitive actions, like you would endure at the gym.

Overlock – Similar to flatlock but creates a seam that can flap about. Take a look at the inside leg of your jeans and you will see this. Many trousers use a 5 thread overlock. You can tell because there will be a normal row of stitches next to a series of stitching that goes over the edge of the fabrics. The overlock is strong and helps stop the two pieces coming apart.

Single Needle is where a thread is passed through a fabric and knotted with a second thread underneath before passing back through the fabric where it repeats the process in a line.

Twin Needle is simply two rows of single needle stitching very close to each other. It looks more attractive and you will usually find this on the pockets of your jeans or somewhere else that needs to be visually appealing, such as the hems of trousers where your feet pop out.

Legging Lengths

Shorts – Typically shorts finish along the thigh.

Capris – Calf length and ideal for warmer days.

7/8ths – This length will usually stop just above your ankles.

Full Length – These leggings will stop just before your feet.

Anything else?

If you want to know more or have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions.