Material Guide

Most commonly used materials and their characteristics are listed below. Please note that this is not exhaustive list of materials.

The information given below is given in good faith, but Arsam Sports can accept no responsibility for the information. Normal screening procedures should be operated before any material is selected for use.

- Polyester
- Nylon
- Cotton
- Polyurethane -PU
- Polyvinylchloride - PVC
- Natural rubber
- Synthetic rubber
- Leather
- Buffalo hide
- Cow hide
- Goat skin
- Sheep skin

This is both the name of a fabric and a synthetic fiber. It is produced by the polymerization of the product formed when an alcohol and organic acid react. Of all the manufactured fibers, polyester is the most used. It is second only to cotton in worldwide use. It is frequently blended with cotton, rayon or other synthetics. Polyester is the best wash-and-wear fiber

- High strength (although somewhat lower than nylon, stronger than silk), excellent tear strength
- High abrasion resistance, resists wrinkling, stretching, shrinking
- Crisp, soft and resilient when wet or dry
- Mildew resistant, retains heat-set pleats and crease
- Waterproof and breathable, washable or dry-cleanable
- Low moisture absorbency allows the fiber to dry quickly. Because of its low absorbency, stain removal can be a problem, static and pilling problems
- Resistant to most chemicals
- Combination of polyester and cotton is stronger and more color-fast, is less subject to shrinkage and wrinkles

Trademarks & Types of Polyester: Akwatek® by Comfort Technologies, Inc., Coolmax® and Coolmax Alta® by DuPont, Comfortrel® by Wellman, Thermolite® Base by DuPont, Thermax® DuPont, Thinsulate® and Thinsulate Ultra® by the 3M, Tuflex, Thermolite® and Thermolite® Active by DuPont.

It is a synthetic polyamide fibre. Polyamide is the basic fiber-forming substance for nylon and the polymerized is the product of alcohols and acids. Polyamide is also the European term for nylon. Nylon is one of the strongest fibers. Quick-drying nylon fabric is naturally hydrophobic and resistant to shrinkage and wrinkling.

- High-tenacity, high strength and excellent resilience
- Superior abrasion resistant, resistance to tearing and snagging and does not decay
- Resists shrinkage and wrinkling, pleat retentive
- Resistant to damage from oil and many chemicals
- Lightweight and warmth, smooth, soft and durable, good drape ability, elastic and lustrous
- Extremely windproof, waterproof, and abrasion resistant
- Maintains original shape and great versatility
- Excellent dye ability, can be pre colored or dyed in a wide range of Colors
- Easy to wash, fast drying, low moisture absorbency
- Static and pilling can be a problem, poor resistance to continuous sunlight

Trademarks & Types of Nylon: Cordura® by DuPont, Akwadyne® by Comfort Technologies, Inc, SPECTRA® by Allied Signal Performance fibers, Tactel® by DuPont, Oxford Nylon®, Spandex®, Velcro®, DURATEX®, Dynatec, Parachute, Taslan, Nylon Taffeta


Cotton is a natural vegetable fiber (cellulosic) obtained from seed hair of shrubby plants of the gossypium family. Cotton is tropical in origin but is now cultivated worldwide. It is cut at different lengths to form different types of cotton. It has been spun, woven, and dyed since prehistoric times. Cotton is soft, breathable, durable and absorbent. It Wears and washes well and helps hold Colors well after repeated washing. Cotton is a popular fabric worn by people with sensitive skin as it allows the skin to breathe.

- Excellent comfort and fit, breathable and dexterity
- Good strength and firmness
- Soft hand and drapes well, fair crease resistance
- Absorbent - absorbs humidity more easily and is better for heat insulation
- Good durability, very good color range and good color retention, prints well
- Machine-washable, dry-cleanable and normal wash
- Maintains original shape and great versatility
- Easy to handle and sew, shrinkage 2-3%
- Poor flame and heat resistance, poor acid resistance
- Fabric construction – woven or knitted and comes in 100% cotton or in blend with a variety of other material – man made or natural fibers

Trademarks & Types of Cotton: Proban by Albright & Wilson Ltd, Supima Cotton

Rubber is an elastic hydrocarbon polymer which occurs as a milky emulsion (known as latex) in the sap of a number of plants but can also be produced synthetically. The natural rubber is obtained from the rubber tree, especially Hevea Brasiliensis and Ficus. The natural rubber dispeCSed in water is known as Latex.

- Strength and comfort
- High elasticity, excellent cut and tear resistance
- Impermeability, adhesiveness, and electrical resistance
- Outstanding grip and temperature resistance, flexible and durable over a wide range of temperature – 18-149C (0ºF to 300ºF)
- Water repellent and resistant to alkalies, weak acids and alcohols
- Resists most liquids that will mix with water (acids, bases, alcohols, acetones) but not resistant to petroleum based liquids, grease or solvents.
- Can cause allergic reaction in some people
- Poor flame resistance

The more than one dozen major classes of synthetic rubber are made of raw material derived from petroleum, coal, oil, natural gas, and acetylene. Many of them are copolymers, i.e., polymers consisting of more than one monomer. By changing the composition it is possible to achieve specific properties desired for special applications.

- Each synthetic rubber has distinct chemical and physical properties
- Excellent physical hazards resistance to punctures, cuts, snag and abrasion
- Strength, durable, elasticity, versatile and warmth
- Resist breakdown by water
- Resistant to external substances such as oil, fuels and certain organic solvents, grease, acid, caustic and many petroleum products and chemicals
- Resists degradation due to aging, sunlight, ozone, oxidation and weather.

Trademarks & Types of Synthetic Rubbers: 
Trade name of chloroprene is Neoprene by DuPont. Trade names of nitrile are Nipol, Krynac and Europrene.

Leather is defined as animal skin that has been chemically modified to produce a strong, flexible material with the ability to resist decay.
The chemical process of converting perishable skins and hides into a stable substance that does not putrefy, is called tanning.
Difference between the terms ‘Hide’ and ‘Skin’:
- Hide' means the skin of cattle or bovine or large animals such as cow, buffalo etc
- The term "skin" is used for that of smaller animals such as goats, sheep and calves.

- Leather has different properties after tanager like good heat, spark and abrasion resistance.
- Leather is tear and puncture-resistant.
- Leather protects from heat, cold and wind; and it repels moisture.
- Leather is available in a variety of weights and made with different linings for comfort in warm and cold weather.
- Leather apparel stretches and molds to your body, yet at the same time retains its shape.
- Leather breathes -- that's what keeps it soft and supple.
- Leather is an agricultural by-product of the food industry.

Basic Raw Materials:
The major source of raw hides and skins in Pakistan are the following animals.
- Buffalo
- Cow
- Goat
- Sheep
Each of these hides has a unique set of characteristics in terms of Graining Structure, Compactness, Size and thickness, Selection, Responsiveness towards a particular chemical and mechanical process, Hand - hand is how leather feels to the touch. The characteristics of different cattle hide are described below:

Buffalo is considered as the specialty of Pakistan in world, because of its ample availability in Pakistan.

- Buffalo is as tough as, and probably tougher, than the thickest cowhide.
- Durable, comfortable and protect against hazards.
- Grain structure - different sizes of buffalo hides/skins obtained after being slaughtered at different stage of its age have different grain (top layer) structure. But basically buffalo hides and skins are in comparison to other raw materials are coarse look and its hair follicle is far apart

Cowhide is obtained from a mature female cow, heavy and durable. Cowhide is used in many forms and is the most versatile skin. Today, most leather is made of cow hides, but many exceptions exist. It's tough, interlocking structure helps maintain its look. Cowhide as a category covers a wide spectrum of textures and quality, but generally, it is quite durable, easy to care for and resistant to water and dirt.

- Comfortable, dexterity, durability and water repellency
- Resistance to heat and abrasion, heavier weight
- One of the toughest skins available, depending on the thickness
- Sometimes the finish is smooth and flat and sometimes bumpy, the commonly used skin and for good reasons.
- Since cow raw material's structure is more compact than buffalo so the leathers, which are required in low thickness, are preferred to be produced on cow, it's because the tear strength of cow is better than that of buffalo because of its compact fiber structure. The nature of defects in cow also varies from buffalo.
- Grain structure - cow grain structure is more towards compact and finer grain. Its fiber structure is also compact and finer than that of buffalo. Its hair follicles are closer to each other unlike buffalo. That's why it's more expensive and is being used in high quality high priced products.
- Top grain – it is the layer of the hide that was on the outside of the animal and had the hair growing out of it. Top grain cowhide’s beautiful smooth surface is stronger and more flexible than the split or suede layer. It is heavier weight and very durable, fine and tight structure in grain. The grain leathers will generally dry softer after wetting than their suede counterpart. It is considered a superior raw material upon buffalo because of its fine, tight and comparatively uniform structure. Wherever there is a need of fine grain, durability and dexterity with big size leathers required cow would be considered as the only option.
- Cowhide belly – this part of leather is an economical top grain cowhide for applications where more variation in grain surface is acceptable.
- Split or suede – it is the layer below the top grain. It is rugged for applications where durability is essential and dexterity is secondary. Like top grain, the side leather is the premium quality while the belly and shoulder areas are used for economy.

Goat leather grain is a compact grain with its fiber structure finer and firm. Therefore, goat skins are suitable for articles which demand distinct physical properties, e.g. shoes, garments, protective clothing, lining and leather goods.
Smaller size is highly demanded as goat kid leather because of its compact structure and fine grain surface. The bigger sizes are relatively coarser. Goat skin is ample available in Pakistan. It is known with the name "Hall" in Pakistan.

- Light weight, durable and tough
- Highest tensile strength
- Thin and pliable abrasive wear
- Grain structure - goat leather grain is a compact one with a fine fiber structure. Its hair follicles are angular. Its tear strength is very nice because of its compact and fine fiber structure that's why it is preferred to produce articles like suede and is largely used in garments.

Basically there are two types of sheep, wool sheep and hair sheep. Wool sheep; may be divided into fine woolen (merino), coarse-woolen and crossbred. Usually, the wool side faces into the article, garment or accessory, but it can also be made reversible. Leather made from sheep raw materials has a very good and softer touch and considered best for leather garments. Smaller sheep size is considered as baby sheep, and is known best for its beautiful silky grain. Sheep skin is ample available in normal days as well in Eid days and in temperature climate of Pakistan. It is known with the name as "Maisha" in Pakistan.

- Warmest of all leathers - a classic and soft to the touch
- Due to the immense amount of hair roots and fat cells within the skin the structure is relatively weak. Therefore and also because of the thickness of 1 - 3 mm and a size of 0.3 - 1.0 qm, sheep skins are used for articles which do not require high physical properties like tear and tensile strength or size, e.g. garments, lining, bookbinding leathers.
- Grain structure - sheep leather is also very fine grain leather and because of its wear ability is largely consumed in garments.