What Type of Material Are Baseball Uniforms Made Out Of?

Like with any sport, wearing the right uniform is a crucial element in baseball players’ optimum performance. If the uniform offers all the features they need, it will be evident on the ball field. Part of this is the material used in the uniform, as it needs to meet the different demands of the sport and help the player achieve a great outing.

When it comes to baseball uniforms, however, chances are you are like most people who are unaware of the materials used in this playwear. Truth to be told, the materials used in creating them have also undergone many innovations throughout the history of baseball uniforms, all for the improvement of the gameplay and to best suit the needs of the athletes. 

With that, let’s check out the type of materials baseball uniforms are made of, also helping you better understand the game.

Quick History About the Materials Used in Baseball Uniforms

A baseball player sliding in the dirt and diving for home

Baseball’s early days saw teams without uniforms and players only wearing their everyday clothes. Through time, button-down shirts and trousers became the standard.

Things changed in 1849 when the New York Knickerbockers became the first team to wear official baseball uniforms. It comprises a white flannel shirt, blue woolen trousers, a black necktie, and a straw hat, far different from the baseball uniforms we have today.

From there, cotton and wool blend or 100% wool flannel was used for creating baseball uniforms. In the early 20th century, manufacturers started experimenting with lighter fabrics and various styles.

For instance, sleeveless jerseys became popular in the 1940s and 1950s due to the greater freedom of movement they offered to baseball players. Meanwhile, the era also saw the rise of different sublimation printing strategies that enabled elaborate patterns and designs on baseball jerseys.

In 1970, the Pittsburgh Pirates bucked the trend after they wore pull-over jerseys and beltless pants made of synthetic fabric, specifically polyester that is derived from petroleum-based products.

The stylish and functional uniform catapulted into popularity among different clubs in Major League Baseball (MLB) and continued to be in rage until the 1990s. Since then, polyester has remained the essential component of baseball uniforms worn on the diamond.

Why is Polyester the Main Material Used in Making Baseball Uniforms?

A batter about to hit a pitch

As you have read, polyester has become the main material used in making baseball uniforms since its inception in the 1970s. But why is it so? Well, there are several benefits that polyester offers, making it the ideal material for creating baseball uniforms, as well as other sportswear. These advantages include:

1. Moisture-Wicking

One of the primary perks of using polyester in baseball uniforms is its excellent moisture-wicking properties. It means that the material wicks moisture or pesky sweat away from the body, helping players to stay dry and comfortable during the game. What’s even great is that moisture doesn’t stay in the fabric. It’s transferred outside and evaporates pretty quickly. Such a feature is particularly important, especially as some players tend to sweat a lot while playing. Today, polyester is considered the workhouse of athletic fabrics and is among the fastest-drying materials available out there.

2. Durable, Long-Lasting

Another reason why polyester is the darling of baseball uniform manufacturers is due to the material’s high durability. Thanks to its composition of bonded polymer fibers, polyester can endure strong, repetitive movements that baseball players make while playing. In addition, the material is also resistant to tears, rips, and abrasions, allowing the uniform to stay in great condition and have a sharp appearance despite numerous games. Lastly, polyester is also resistant to overshrinking or shrinking, enabling it to stay fit over time. All in all, you can expect polyester not to fall apart even after the toughest seasons.

3. Lightweight

The last thing that baseball players would want is to wear a material that can weigh them down and restrict their movement when playing. That won’t be the case with polyester baseball uniforms, as the material is incredibly lightweight, making it always comfortable to wear even amidst the most intense games. After all, the lighter the uniform, the swifter the moves on the ball field will be.

4. Great Elasticity

Apart from being lightweight, polyester also offers excellent elasticity, which also helps in providing great freedom of movement. Due to the right level of strength, baseball players can quickly move with ease and perform repetitive movements without facing any resistance from their uniforms.

5. Reduces Odor

Polyester is among the few materials that offer odor-resistant properties. Given its moisture-wicking properties and good breathability, polyester doesn’t absorb sweat, making it capable of minimizing odors. You know how hard baseball is, having to exert much effort in every throw, swing, or pitch that causes much sweat. As such, wearing uniforms with odor-reduction properties and ensuring that you won’t smell sweaty inside the diamond or in the dugout is a huge bonus in baseball, as well as in the entire world of sports.

6. Wrinkle-Resistant

While uniforms are designed to be functional, they are also made to make the team look their best. With that, polyester becomes a suitable material, as it boasts very high tensile strength. Thus, making it highly wrinkle-resistant. That means that the uniforms retain their shape and form even after a few washes, and there’s no need to iron them prior to the game. During its peak in the fashion world in the 1970s, it was vaunted for its capability to be worn over 2 months without ironing due to its extreme wrinkle-resistance property.

7.  Easy To Blend

Polyester is also relatively cheap and easy to blend with other materials. Combining polyester with other fabrics produces a fabric that has better anti-shrinkage, anti-stretching, and anti-wear and tear properties without losing the other amazing features of the polyester. For instance, it is sometimes blended with other dry tech materials to get the best of both worlds for better athletic wear.

What are the Drawbacks of Polyester for Baseball Uniforms?

A baseball player sliding into base

While polyester offers many advantages and is considered as the best fabric for athletic use, the material also has its downsides. Unlike natural properties, polyester doesn’t have antibacterial properties. Having synthetic nature, polyester can easily harbor bacteria and foster bacterial growth, which can make the uniform smelly if not washed.

In addition, polyester’s softness isn’t not at par with cotton, wool, and other softer fabrics. The good news is that it may boil down to personal preference, given that while some people feel uncomfortable, others don’t mind the feel of polyester against the body and are totally okay with the material.


When looking for a baseball uniform, it’s essential to consider a material that can endure the intensity of the sport. Though polyester may have its drawbacks, its amazing advantages outweigh all the negatives and is still the best choice for making baseball uniforms. So, if you want to bring out the best in you, polyester is your best bet. You no longer have to think about your uniform, as it will always keep you comfortable, allowing you to just devote all your focus and energy to the game.