Thanks to their versatility and comfort, yoga pants are an important wardrobe staple that everyone should have in their closets. Whether you are exercising in yoga pants or just running errands, you’ll want something stretchy, breathable, and comfortable that can support a wide range of movements and activities.
Whether you are sewing a pair of yoga pants from scratch or buying a pair of yoga pants from an activewear retailer, you will want to consider the material of your yoga pants because it can affect the look, comfort, and durability of the garment. The fabric you pick will also play a factor in how much flexibility and support the yoga pants will offer.
So, what is the best material for yoga pants? The best material for yoga pants is a polyester-spandex blend, as it is lightweight and durable, dries quickly, and stretches nicely. Other good options are rayon blends, nylon blends, bamboo fiber, and merino wool.
In this article, let’s take a look at some of the considerations when it comes to buying materials for yoga pants and find some fabric types that can accommodate these requirements.
Choosing Quality Materials
When a pair of yoga pants are comfortable and supportive, you almost don’t realize all of the things that the fabric is doing to provide you with that comfort and support. However, when a pair of yoga pants are just not quite right, either it’s too stuffy, too tight, too see-through, or not supportive enough, it’s almost always because of the fabric.
When buying materials for yoga pants, you will want a fabric that has all of the following abilities:
- Breathability – Getting enough airflow is important when you’re exercising, so you can remain comfortable and dry. That’s why a breathable material that won’t trap heat and moisture will feel more pleasant throughout your workout. While breathability is certainly important, it is probably not the most important characteristic you should prioritize when buying fabrics for yoga pants.
- Fast-Drying Ability – If you are going to be working out and sweating in your yoga pants, then the material’s ability to wick away moisture and dry quickly will make a world of difference. You don’t want your yoga pants to be soaked with sweat after your workout. This characteristic is arguably the most important characteristic when it comes to athletic wear because it will greatly affect your comfort level while wearing the garment.
- Odor Resistance – This is another practical consideration for athletic wear. Since you’ll be sweating a lot in your yoga pants, you should look for a fabric that can resist odor-causing bacteria, which won’t make you smell terrible after a workout. This is a nice feature because not every type of fiber can resist odor. This is one requirement that depends greatly on your lifestyle and preference.
- Comfort – Since yoga pants are designed to hug the body, you should choose a fabric that feels soft against your skin. If you’re going to be running in your yoga pants, then this consideration is especially important because the wrong material can cause chaffing. One key factor that decides how comfortable your yoga pants are is how lightweight the material is. Lightweight material will feel seamless against your body, which will allow you to be more active while you wear it.
- Coverage – Since yoga pants are designed to be tight-fitting, you will want a material that is thick enough so that it can cover you properly. Downward dog poses will really put your yoga pants to the test, and you definitely don’t want a material that is too see-through. While you can always try on yoga pants while buying them in the store, you can’t always tell whether a fabric is going to be too see-through. Generally, materials such as nylon tend to be very thin and therefore see-through, so keep that in mind when you buy material with too much nylon in its composition.
- Stretch – Most sports and activities, but especially yoga, will require you to stretch your body, and you’ll want your yoga pants to stretch with you and not tear in the middle of a yoga pose. You’ll want a good amount of stretch for your yoga pants, which is especially important if you want the pants to maintain their shape after some use. Some materials are known for their stretchiness, like nylon or spandex. Materials can also be blended with nylon and spandex to increase their stretchiness, which is what you see most often with yoga pants and other athletic clothing.
- Durability – We’ve already established that a pair of yoga pants has to withstand a lot of stress, especially the wear and tear of an active lifestyle, so having a material that is durable will mean that your yoga pants can stay in your closet for a long time.
- Support – A pair of yoga pants with a good amount of support will definitely make your workout more comfortable. You’ll want something supportive that will stay in place while you are working out. Fabric that has a good stretch can maintain a consistent grip on your body, which will add support to the garment.
Best Fabrics For Yoga Pants
The best fabrics for yoga pants are made with varying percentages of various fibers. The idea is to combine the best characteristics of various types of fibers to create an “ultimate” fabric that can accommodate all the needs mentioned above.
Let’s take a look at some popular materials and fabric blends that work best for yoga pants.
1. Polyester Blends
Polyester is the most popular fabric in yoga pants. It is very lightweight and durable, plus it dries quickly and can wick away sweat in a heartbeat. Most athleticwear items that you can find in the store are made from polyester because of these reasons.
However, polyester is a synthetic material that isn’t breathable and not very stretchy, so it is often combined with spandex to add stretch. You’ll often find blends that are 80-90% polyester and 10-20% spandex.
Polyester blend fabrics sometimes use an interlock twist yarn design, such as this ITY Fabric, which helps increase the material’s stretchiness and breathability. However, this material can be hard to sew, so if you are making your own yoga pants, this material is only recommended for experts who are familiar with sewing stretchy fabrics.
2. Spandex Blends
Spandex, sometimes called elastane, is the fabric that gives your yoga pants that stretch. This fiber allows your body to move freely and stretch out the yoga pants, but the fabric will snap back to its original form.
However, spandex is never sold as 100% spandex; it’s often combined with polyester, nylon (such as this Nylon Spandex Fabric), or other materials to increase its durability. Spandex is only usually used in small amounts, like 10-15%.
3. Rayon Blends
Rayon is a lovely semi-synthetic fabric that is known for its softness, breathability, and light weight. Imagine the qualities of silk but at a highly affordable price.
However, rayon is not as durable as other materials such as polyester – its fiber tends to weaken when it is wet. Combining rayon with other materials such as spandex will greatly enhance the fabric’s durability and stretchiness.
Even with this blend, rayon is best for lightweight yoga pants that you will wear around the house or while running errands and doing light activities.
4. Nylon Blends
Nylon is a great material for athleticwear, tights, and pantyhose. It is similar to spandex in stretchiness, but it is much more durable and quick-drying.
One weakness of nylon is that it is often very thin, which means it is not going to be able to cover you properly to be worn on its own. That’s why nylon is often used in a small percentage.
Bamboo is a new favorite when it comes to athletic wear as it is versatile and can be used for many different purposes. As a natural fabric, it is very breathable, lightweight, and overall comfortable. To increase the material’s durability and stretchiness, bamboo is often combined with other materials such as spandex.
Better yet, bamboo’s antimicrobial properties make it a great choice for clothes that you will be wearing to the gym. This also means that bamboo fabric is odor-resistant, which is a great characteristic to have in an activewear item.
6. Merino Wool
Wool doesn’t always mean yarn. Among natural fabrics, Merino wool is a great choice to make yoga pants for cold seasons. It is super soft and lightweight but also moisture-wicking and highly breathable. If you love to run outdoor during the colder months, then a pair of Merino Wool yoga pants are an excellent choice for warmth but also breathable comfort.