Nike's invents T-shirt that stretches like human skin

Clothes are meant to be a second skin. While they provide protection from environment and enhance visual appeal, clothes are as much an approximation of skin as the underside of a flat shoe is of the sole.

For whatever reasons, manufacturers of clothes have conveniently ignored the kinematics of the human body.

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It’s as if clothes were designed thinking of humans as mannequins. While the skin has evolved to perfectly adapt to allow for body movements, clothes lack this ability. The result is that clothes experience high amount of stretches at certain places causing tearing of the fabric at these places.


Nike has now invented a T-shirt that’s made of fabric with variable stretchabilty that is matched to certain repetitive body movements. For instance, activities that involve bending forward and reaching out arms cause higher pulling forces on a fabric covering the upper back portion. Therefore, to accommodate such movements, the stretchability of the t-shirt is enhanced on the upper back portion in comparison to the lower back portion. This prevents excessive wear and tear of the upper portion while also retaining the overall shape of the t-shirt.


Essentially, the t-shirt incorporates the same variation in stretchability as one may see in the human skin. For instance, the variation in stretchability between the skin over your elbow and that around your wrist joint comes from the differences in their movements. That same evolutionary “technology” now comes to you in your t-shirts.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 20160235126
Patent Title: Article Of Apparel With Enhanced Mobility Portions
Publication date: 18 Aug 2016
Filing date: 16 Feb 2015
Inventors: Justin Roscoe;
Original Assignee: Nike Inc.