Football jerseys have existed since the 1870s and are used to differentiate teams that are competing on the field. From the first long-sleeved T-shirt in the late 1800s to the super-lightweight T-shirt that is able to “breathe” in the present era, jersey has undergone a significant transformation.
Today, football fans wear jerseys to show their support for the team they love. This is a pledge of loyalty, but the first soccer jersey is far from what you will see today.
In the early period, soccer jersey was made of very heavy cotton with collars and long sleeves. This jersey has no jersey number so you can only differentiate between the two teams that compete based on the color of their socks.
In the 1950s, synthetic materials were introduced. This makes the jersey more “breathing” and lighter than its predecessor. The use of short-sleeved jersey is also increasingly popular because it feels practical to play in hotter temperatures. The 1960s did not see much innovation in the jersey, but in the 1970s football clubs began to use far more unique designs.
In the 70s, we could also see the team selling their replica jersey to fans. In 1975, Leeds United changed their jersey design to be more attractive so that it sold in the market. At the same time, the club jersey began to carry the sponsor’s brand logo on the front. A move that brings many commercial advantages and encourages other clubs to follow.
In the 1990s, technological advancements over the past 25 years have enabled major developments in the jersey in the way they produce and print the jersey. Nowadays, soccer jersey is made from a much lighter synthetic material, usually polyester mesh. High-tech polyester, like polyester wicking, absorbs a little water and actually draws moisture from the body, allowing players to stay cool and dry.
Jersey manufacturers are competing to innovate new technology into the jersey they created. Manufacturers from the United States, Nike created Dri-FIT. According to them, Dri-FIT is a high-performance microfiber that keeps sweat away from the body to keep players comfortable. This along with the laser cut hole that forms a layer that works to create body shape on a fabric designed to maintain natural body contours. Combined with the ventilation zone, this allows even better air circulation inside the fabric.
That feature departs from the old NikeFIT design which is almost exclusively made of polyester. The new jersey uses a combination of recycled cotton and polymer. Shorts consist of 100 percent recycled polymer, while the jersey consists of 96 percent recycled polymer. According to Nike, recycled plastic bottles are used to make polymers. The average spent 18 bottles to make one jersey.
Alu Nike re-developed its technology by giving birth to the Nike Vapor with Aeroswift technology. “We are doing extensive research with players about what is needed for future uniforms and themes ranging from the right look, breathability, and aesthetics,” said Martin Lotti, Creative Director of Nike. Making that vision a reality starts with a new thread. The Nike design team tested hundreds of threads before identifying the perfect properties to ensure the thread’s durability.
The result is a jersey that can remove sweat from the skin 20% faster than the previous Nike technology, also helps dry 25% faster. The textured yarn is more complete than the previous iteration, which allows Nike to use less thread without compromising transparency. So the Nike Vapor kit with Nike AeroSwift is 10% lighter, with 50% more tenuous than the previous technology.
Not wanting to be outdone by its rivals, Adidas also developed a technology called adiZero. Previous adiZero technology was used by Adidas F50 shoes. The adiZero technology has been combined with ClimaCool technology to make a very lightweight jersey. ClimaCool is an older technology, which helps fabrics circulate air and provide better ventilation.
Introduced in 2012, Adidas claims that the adiZero jersey weighs about 40 percent lighter than that used at Euro 2012. The weight of the new jersey is 100 grams, down from 166 grams. That might sound a little, but when a soccer player plays for 90 minutes, this can make a big difference.
Meanwhile, Puma, who is trying to undermine Nike and Adidas competition, presents the ACTV PWR feature which was introduced at the 2014 World Cup performances in Brazil. This technology combines athletic tape and fabric that matches the compression in the jersey.
Rajiv Mehta, MD Puma India, said, “The concept behind the new shirt is simple – it allows players to play
with heat in Brazil, while not letting it affect their appearance. ACTV plaster is strategically placed in clothing. Micro massage to players in certain muscle areas, which helps increase energy supply to muscles. “
ACTV technology is a compression technology that helps reduce muscle vibrations in athletes. Think of it as stretching a rubber band tightly along the players body, which holds the muscles tightly to prevent vibrations when running. This gradual compression helps restore stamina, which in 90 minutes a match can make the difference between victory or defeat.
Mehta said that the new innovation was tested at the VfB Stuttgart club in Germany and Botafogo FR in Brazil. “This ensures that the product is tested in varying weather conditions. More importantly, all teams are involved in product design, so we also know what they really want,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Indonesia itself initially did not pay much attention to the jersey technology used by soccer players. It seems that producers and football clubs in Indonesia are more concerned with attractive jersey designs so they can be sold to the market.
But over time, local producers began to think about this. They try to make a jersey that has good air circulation, dries quickly, and is able to regulate humidity so that the sweat on the jersey does not last long.
League, one of the local producers, brought a technology called Quick Dry that made the jersey dry quickly, anti-odor (odor), and breathable. Meanwhile Superior carries the name Super Dry as technology in their jersey. MBB which sponsors Arema Malang and Persiba Balikpapan has Z Dry technology.
Salvo which is the official apparel from Pusamania Borneo FC brings Skinbreather as their best technology. All of the apparel does prioritize good air circulation, make the jersey dry quickly, and maintain moisture on the jersey to support the needs of soccer players.
As time goes by and the development of the times and technology, we certainly hope that Indonesian local apparel is able to compete with foreign apparel which has already triumphed in the world of international football.