Every 2 years the world comes together to watch the best athletes compete in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. Many of these athletes have been training for over a decade in their sport. As they seek to improve their form and speed, the world’s top athletes also look to their apparel and equipment to gain an edge. Improvements in apparel that lessen drag in the pool or on the track have helped athletes shave seconds off of world records.
Let’s go for a swim
2008, Speedo manufactured the LZR Racer, a professional line of swimsuits made from lightweight, woven fabrics and Bemis’ “Sewfree” adhesive film and reinforcement tape. These high-tech swimsuits reduce a swimmer’s drag in the pool, which allows them to swim longer and faster.
But advancement in sports apparel is not just for top athletes. From everyday runners to dance classes at the gym, these advancements are keeping us warm, dry, and comfortable during our workouts.
An essential item to any workout is a good pair of shoes. If working out involves being near water or in the rain, product designers will want to design a shoe that uses waterproof laminates to help keep feet dry.
Smart Clothing and Wearables
Another advancement is integrating biosensors onto heat-activated or pressure-sensitive adhesive films. These sensors, when appliqued to textiles, can give real-time analysis and feedback to allow the wearer to make better decisions about their needs during a workout to improve their performance or to provide a better assessment of a patient’s health.
Other textile and micro-electronic integrations are expected to become more prevalent in the near future. These include: sensors that monitor your pulse or posture, solar panels on textiles for charging electronics, controls built into the fabric to operate electronics, LED lighting, and displays for notifications.
Hit the slopes
Maybe you’re not ready to control your phone from your sleeve, but if you’re hitting the slopes after a fresh snowfall, you’ll want to be wearing high-tech material seamed together with heat seal film, producing a lightweight jacket with rapid thermal insulation. The military, space agencies and the sports clothing industry have considerably improved the warmth/weight ratio of clothing. These outfits are often designed with hot-melt adhesive film for a no-sew garment, producing a very diverse and fashionable line of lightweight clothes with high CLO-values.
Additionally, DuPont continues to pioneer the invention of polymers that can be used in sporting equipment and footwear. Ski boot manufacturer often uses thermoplastic polyester elastomer in their product. The durable, strong and environmentally friendly polymer is a win for both ski boot manufacturers and skiers.
Protection from the elements
Wherever there are outdoor sports, you’ll find tents. Tents serve many purposes in the sporting world. They provide shade for water stations along marathon routes, they can keep people dry when it rains, and even be your home away from home while hiking in the mountains. In recent years, camping tents have been developed with a water-repellent and flame-retardant finishes and sewn together with a waterproof seam tape to prevent water from leaking through the seams of the tent. This process makes a lightweight and durable tent for hiking and camping to keep you warm and dry when you’re out in the elements.
There are so many amazing advancements happening in textiles and bonding films for sports. Can-Do National Tape is excited to be a part of it. We have the capabilities to help you find cost and time-saving solutions for the future of wearables. Give us a call to see how we CAN convert your ideas into reality.