Nike textile science improves NFL football jerseys

Apr 10 • Industry Insider • 7228 Views • No Comments

Men’s fashion and style writing goes beyond what is walking down the men’s runway. Last week was a very exciting week for football fans, or at least for the guys who follow the NFL. But I’m hoping that fashion designers also took note. Official NFL gear has always been made by Reebok, but I wanted to know exactly how long Reebok has sponsored the NFL. I went to the trusty guys at ChaCha and asked, “How long has Reebok sponsored the NFL?” They promptly responded with, “Reebok has sponsored the NFL since the company has been around in the late 1900′s.” Not a bad run! But that’s all history now. Nike is taking over design and production of all NFL apparel for at least the next decade. Last Tuesday (4/1), The NFL presented the highly rumored and anticipated Nike jerseys. The new jerseys for select teams were presented in a gala celebration/runway show in New York. This is a good thing for NFL apparel. I have a feeling this season, there will be some more fashionable options available to support your team. Colts fans, don’t worry, the tradition of the horse shoe is protected and no dynamic visual changes have affected our beloved blue and white jersey.

NFL Nike JerseyIndustry professionals know that the technology in textiles is continually evolving. With a sports powerhouse like Nike, I am sure they are sitting on some great active wear technology. 32 of the NFL teams will receive a revamped official Nike Jersey. Granted, most jerseys will look much the same, except for the bold changes made to the Seahawk jerseys.

The biggest change in the new Nike Jerseys will only be noticed by the players. If you know anything about Nike, you know that they make products with the end user very much in mind. Bill Bowerman, Nike co-founder, has always said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”. The new Nike jerseys have been constructed with a fabric called Nike flywire. The technology has been implemented in their shoes for a while. Nike’s Kobe shoe was the first to be made with that technology. Here is what I found about the “Flywire” technology on Nike.com:

Nike Flywire is a lightweight support system with tensile fibers that come together and make the foundation for the upper material construction.

It all started with an embroidery machine. The embroidery machine was like a printing machine for stitches. we could actually make the strands of the fabric of the shoe align. We wanted instant hold – one straight line that was always in tension. We wanted the fibers to act like super strong synthetic ligaments, wrapping and supporting the foot precisely where it needs it while being incredibly lightweight.

Remember Kevlar? We spun it into an embroidery-thin thread for reinforcement, and added Lycra in areas that needed power and stretch. Then we broke the outsole for extra flexibility.

Hmmmm. Nike isn’t giving away much about the actual mechanics of Flywire, but what can be concluded is that the fabric is a fabric that retains shape when pulled, fits the body to enable full range of motion in all areas, and enables athletes to remain comfortable to perform like beasts.

All that to say that these days, understanding of design and form is just as important as having a handle on textile science.

If you want to test the technology for yourself, Nike says the jerseys will be available for purchase on April 26. Be prepared to drop a good bundle of money. According to CNBC, game-day jerseys will retail for $100, limited edition jerseys (hybrid between game-day and elite) are $135 and if you really want to splurge and get an Elite 51 jersey, then have $250 ready to go!

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