Are you planning to get started designing sportswear? In this blog we help you on your way with some tips.
We tell you more about the best fabrics for sportswear, what the trends are and also give you tips about making prototypes. Everything for a flying start for your sportswear collection!
Start by determining your target audience
Before you will get to the drawing board, it is essential to capture your target audience. Because: for whom are you actually going to design your clothes?
What are they looking for? What do they find beautiful and important when it comes to sportswear?
Put yourself in the shoes of your target group. In the beginning it helps to talk to them, or to look at what competing companies offer. Do not rush this process: the designs and sales go easier if you think carefully about the wishes of your target group.
Choosing sportswear fabrics
Sportswear is often made from polyester or cotton. Which choice you make depends on what is important to you.
We list the pros and cons for you:
The pros and cons of polyester sportswear
Polyester is lightweight, durable, does not crease and breathes well. It is a good fabric when designing clothing for outdoor sports such as football or running. Polyester offers protection against UV rays and keeps the body warm when it rains. In addition, polyester retains its shape well. However, where does this substance score less? Bacteria! These can grow faster on polyester. Do these bacteria come into contact with sweat? Then odors arise.
Our most suitable fabric for sportswear is the U-circular Athleisure. Our Athleisure fabric has a UPF (= Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50 and, unlike other polyester fabrics, is anti-bacterial. This fabric is the perfect choice for sportswear and leggings, but can also be used for swimwear.
A big plus: our U-circular fabrics are made from recycled polyester, also known as Rpet. The Athleisure variant even consists of 100% recycled material from PET drink bottles.
Also check out the U-circular Vita and the U-circular Vita Heavy, two other polyester fabrics that are often used for sportswear. Or view our entire range of stretch polyester fabrics!
The pros and cons of cotton sportswear
Another fabric option is cotton. This breathes well and feels good. However, cotton also has disadvantages. Because cotton absorbs sweat and collects moisture from the skin, it stays wet longer and the fabric can feel heavy.
Fortunately, bad smells linger less long! With frequent washing, it can happen that a cotton shirt loses its shape. Take this into account in your design.
What trends do you follow when designing sportswear?
Where functionality used to be at the top of every athlete's list of requirements, style is becoming more and more important.
Sportswear is nowadays no longer only intended for sports, but also for lounging. Or to quickly do an errand. Style and functionality therefore go hand in hand. Because let's face it, you want to look just as good in your sportswear as in your jeans?
But what trends do you follow when designing sportswear? And which one do you let pass you by? For example, brightly colored fabrics are totally in trend right now. And army print is also making a comeback. Do you prefer a somewhat timeless look, or a unique print? You're in control!
Do you want to make your sportswear with a self-made print or print? Our other blog about "designing your own fabric" gives you the necessary tips and tricks.
The sportswear above is a design by one of our customers: JOOS Prints
Optimize fit? Make prototypes!
A good fit is essential to get a successful sportswear collection off the ground. Of course you already take this into account in the design. However, this does not mean that the first sample that you make yourself or receive from the factory immediately is exceptionally fitting.
You can develop and develop further based on this first prototype. Until you are completely satisfied with the sizes and the overall fit. This can take a lot of time, so make sure you have enough time in mind.
Keep in mind that having a sample made is often three to four times as expensive as a production item. This is definitely something to consider when planning your budget.
How do you approach the sale?
Before you start designing your own sportswear, it is good to also think about sales. How are you going to do that? Are you going to deliver to stores, are you opening a webshop or are you starting via Instagram? There are many options for selling your self-designed sportswear to the man (or woman).
If you have no knowledge of sales and you have no contact with the shops, it is advisable to hire an agency. They have the necessary knowledge, experience and contacts to get your collection off the ground.
Do you prefer to do it yourself? Then you can open a webshop or get started via Instagram! The right photography and matching the designs, is half the battle here. We've written a separate blog about starting your own clothing line. There we show in a 5-step plan how you can build your brand "from scratch".