The player’s outfit changes over time but it is always designed to make sure they feel comfortable.
Nobody wants to feel heavy by their costumes when they’re competing. This is why the materials used in soccer jerseys are very light and very thin. They also need to have a high enough tensile strength to prevent easily torn clothes in a dispute.
Although there are very few materials, football shirts are designed very high. On a rainy day, the polyester shirt absorbs very little water (about 0.4% of its weight), due to the low absorbency of this thin material, unlike the cotton-made shirt that can absorb a lot of water. (about 7% of its weight). When a player gets hot, the shirt can also help keep the player cool and dry. If sweat is formed on the skin of the player, under the shirt, the materials that make up the shirt help this body move away from the skin.
This fabric is called wicking fabric. Near the skin, hydrophobic or anti water, the polymer fibers move water through or along the fibers and out of the skin by capillary action, the physical structure of polyester fibers and the adhesion activity of water molecules.
By having high density of microfiber exposed to the skin, the surface area of this material is greatly increased, allowing it to quickly pull more water out of the skin. Water is moved to and dispersed on the outer surface of the coat, where it can evaporate quickly from the coat, again due to the larger surface area to evaporate. This process is further boosted by the heat of the player body.
Although some football shirts may have these sheets in specific areas where the sweat can be produced, the technology will only work well if these fine fibers are close to the player’s skin. This is why these shirts hug the player’s body like we saw in the 2018 World Cup.
Thanks to its versatility, almost all materials of shirts, shoes or gloves are due to polymers, but they also have their own problems. From a sustainable perspective, creating new synthetic materials means extracting oil and using energy to create them, and the potential for more non-biodegradable waste in the future.
Therefore, it is great to see companies like Adidas recall and reuse waste plastics to create sportswear. In 2017, they sold 1 million pairs of shoes made from ocean plastic, with an average of 11 plastic bottles to be reused to make a pair of shoes.
Therefore, people have three sustainable R words: Reduce, Reuse and Recycling, as a reminder to companies that need to make efforts to recycle plastic waste collected from the ocean into materials to produce sportswears and equipment.