A Comprehensive Guide to Legging Materials


You probably don’t think twice about the materials used to make leggings - especially when you’re marvelling at the way they accentuate your figure or help your range of motion whilst working out.

But did you know your choice of legging fabric can affect how you use them? Perhaps you’re struggling to tell the difference between legging materials and can’t make an informed choice. Whether you want a pair for an outfit or squatting at the gym - making the right choice in legging fabric means you’ll get more out of them. In fact, this comprehensive legging materials guide will be your holy grail to finally answering why your leggings always rip, pill, or even have a funky smell!

Thankfully - we’re here to give you the lowdown on how to choose the perfect legging fabric for you.

Types of legging fabrics

Elastane leggings (Spandex, Lycra)

Almost every activewear legging has elastane woven into them (sometimes marketed as Lycra or Spandex). This is because elastane gives leggings their stretchability - making them perfect for the gym and providing a flattering fit. Typically, you only find a percentage of elastane woven into leggings because on their own, they wouldn’t be comfortable to wear.

Why elastane leggings?

+  Best for sweaty exercise or a form-fitting look
+  Very stretchy
+  Compressive
+  Moisture-wicking
+  Retains its shape well
-  Shiny
-  Can pill

Nylon leggings

Nylon is the most popular fabric used in leggings and is stronger than polyester. It’s incredibly durable yet also lightweight, easy to care for and doesn’t wrinkle. The main drawback is its tendency to shrink, especially if your nylon leggings aren’t washed at the right temperature.

Why Nylon leggings?

+ Stretchy
+  Durable
+  Soft on the skin
+  Smell-resistant
-  Prone to pilling
-  Shiny appearance

 Read about how to care for your activewear

Cotton leggings

Cotton leggings are soft and durable, making them great to wear day-to-day and at the gym. Overtime however - cotton leggings can lose their shape, which is why you often see a blend of stretch fibers using Lycra or Spandex to help hold its stretchability factor over the course of its life. 

If you’re working out, or tend to sweat more, cotton leggings aren’t always ideal because whilst cotton is breathable when dry - it’s not when wet. This is why finding a pair of cotton leggings blended with a sweat-resistant fabric like spandex or polyester is great for resisting against sweat patches

Why cotton leggings?

+  Best for low intensity exercise
+  Natural material
+  Soft on the skin
+  Breathable when dry
-  Doesn’t hold its shape
-  Not breathable/gets heavy when wet

Polyester leggings

Polyester is a very popular choice as an activewear legging fabric because it’s “hydrophobic” (which basically means water-resistant) and cheap to buy. The main drawback to this, is it can cause some undesired smelliness if it’s not cared for correctly - which is why polyester blend leggings with antimicrobial fabric/treatment are more suitable for exercise. 

Why polyester leggings?

+  Affordable
+  Stretchy
+  Very durable
-  Can lose its shape
-  Gets smelly

Wool leggings

Wearing wool leggings are great for keeping your legs warm! They work by keeping air and bodyheat trapped - making it a great legging fabric for cold weather. You can also invest in leggings made of merino wool, which are designed to keep you cool in warm weather. Typically though, wool leggings can be expensive as they require a lot of material to create into wearable products.

Why wool leggings?

+  Very warm
+  Natural fabric
+  Great odour control
-  Can be heavy
-  Not stretchy unless blended
-  Expensive

What does GSM mean?

You may find leggings measured in GSM (Grams per Square Metre). GSM, in terms of leggings, is the value of how heavy the legging material is. Some people prefer thick leggings for warmth, whilst others prefer light ones for ease of movement. 

Finding the right GSM is important, because if it’s too thin, they could look see-through! This is why striking a balance between GSM thickness and the legging material is incredibly important, especially if you intend on using leggings to exercise in.

Why Lacuna Fit leggings?

Besides being a great choice for those under 5’4, we believe that our carefully chosen blend of 75% nylon and 25% elastane gives the best of both worlds; a perfect balance of durability, compression and softness. This makes our leggings perfect for all day wear taking you through your workouts; yoga, running and more. It will also be the perfect companion for dog walks, getting out and about or even just about the house.

Squat-proof

Our leggings aren’t see through. So you can bend, stretch and squat without any worries.

Sweat wicking

They keep you cool - even during intense workout sessions.

Flattering on all body types

Our leggings are designed with a high rise and snug ankle length fit. They compliment your curves whilst providing the perfect amount of support.

Great for petite frames

Our leggings are designed with petite bodies (5’4 and under) in mind. No more crotch or length issues!

They have pockets

That’s right! The pockets are big enough to fit today’s large smartphones in.

They’re high quality

We incorporate flat seams and high quality stitching - meaning our leggings keep  up with you through your most intense workouts.

They’re very comfortable

Our leggings are silky smooth, breathable and easy to clean. Feel your best in our soft, smooth leggings!

Check out our leggings!


1 comment


  • Karima Williamson

    Thank you for the info on materials. Useful to know and a good guide when choosing gym /leisure wear


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