Custom bicycle uniforms are made from a large range of fabrics. All printed panels have one thing in common; they have at an least 80% polyester content. For custom bicycle jerseys the fabric is normally 100% polyester and for custom bicycle shorts the fabric is normally 85% Polyester 15% Lycra.
Polyester is the fabric of choice as it is the only fabric that should be used for dyesublimation printing. This form of printing is perfect for Cycling Clothing as it is the only print process that can stand up to the riggors of cycling.
Dyesublimation printing will never crack or peal as the fabric is dyed and does not have the ink sit on the surface. This makes the print virtually indestructible and should last as long the bicycle clothing item. This form of printing can now be done via digital printers which allows for a large range of colors at no extra charge.
With regards to cycling clothing fabrics there are some additives that make the riding experience a little better. The first is moisture wicking: The transfer of moisture happens due to capillary action. This is called wicking, and the fabric used is called wicking materials. When moisture has moved from the skin into fabric and in some will move to the surface which will create a larger surface area and will make evaporation faster and more efficient.
Synthetic materials such as polyester and microfiber-based fabrics are good choices as they do not absorb moisture but may transfer it well. They can also carry specialist finishes, such as anti-bacterial agents which reduce odour.
With the trend to sustainable products the bicycle clothing industry has pushed for a more eco friendly fabric which is now available. This is a polyester bamboo.
Bamboo takes in five times the volume of greenhouse gasses as an equivalent stand of timber trees and releases 35% more oxygen. Botanically categorized as a grass and not a tree, bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It is the fastest growing grass and can shoot up a yard or more a day. Bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 years. Bamboo does not require replanting after harvesting because its vast root network continually sprouts new shoots which almost zoom up while you watch them, pulling in sunlight and greenhouse gases and converting them to new green growth. And bamboo does this the natural way without the need for petroleum-guzzling tractors and poisonous pesticides and fertilizers.