© Compound Interest
The Chemistry of a Football Shirt
With the new season of the Premier League kicking off this weekend, it seemed a good time to take a look at the chemicals that make up your average football shirt. Even if the start of a new football season isn’t the kind of event to fill you with excitement, it’s still intriguing from a chemistry perspective to examine the different chemical materials used and the properties that they lend the finished shirt.
In the past, before polymers were widely used in clothing, football shirts were made from cotton, or even woollen materials. These had the obvious disadvantage of being a little on the warm side of things, and additionally soaked up any sweat produced, making them rather uncomfortable to wear. The first team to buck the trend of cotton shirts, and wear shirts made of an artificial material, were Bolton Wanderers in 1953’s FA Cup Final. Sadly, the precise material used doesn’t seem to be recorded anywhere that I could find, only being described as a ‘shiny material’.