Sweat management strategies in sportswear in Zimbabwe: A case study of Bulawayo
Keywords:athletes, sweat management, performance, comfort, fabric, sportswear
The wide spread accessibility of information enhances knowledge about sports and sweat management strategies thus
creating awareness to athlete’s need for comfort of their garments in Zimbabwe. In the quest to improve the comfort of
athletes’ sportswear, new fibres, spinning, weaving or knitting parameters, fabric density, thickness and weight; coloration, finish, garment fit and make-up techniques are emerging to satisfy the comfort expectations by athletes. This paper discusses efforts made to assess the need for sportswear comfort for athletes in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The exploratory case study, adopted quantitative paradigm and employed questionnaires as primary data collection tools. A purposive sample resulted in identifying three objects of study, viz, Company X, athletes, and sports scientist. Methods used in this research are Sweat Management Tests to characterize fabric Sweat Management Properties: Wicking Test, Drop Tests, Drying Time and Diffusion Ability. Performance of local sportswear manufactured by Company X was compared to Company Y, an international reputable sportswear manufacturer who implements highly rated sweat management strategies. Results showed local sportswear had inadequate sweat management strategies; thus there is need to increase moisture absorption properties and maintain optimum heat / temperature control in sports fabrics in Zimbabwe.