One of the natural fibers is merino wool and before you go no way, they've actually improved it so it is not as itchy as it used to be. Merino wool exercise clothing can be worn in both cool and warm weather even though most associate wool with the fall and winter weather.
This type of wool is both thinner and softer than regular wool. In addition, it is great at wicking sweat away from your body and it does double duty. When the weather is cooler, the waviness of the fibers traps the warm air produced by your body and when the weather is warmer, the fibers draw the sweat and moisture away from your body. Although wool is really great, you are more likely to find exercise clothing made out of a mixture of the wool and polyester or some other similar fabric because merino wool is expensive.
Then there is clothing made out of bamboo which provides a luxurious alternative to polyester and other synthetic fibers. Bamboo is an environmentally, sustainable, plant used in so many things from paper to cutlery, to furniture. The pulp is easily made into a lightweight natural fiber that is often used in activewear. Furthermore, bamboo like merino wool is mixed with other fibers and is more expensive than other fibers. Bamboo wicks moisture, helps keep down the odor, helps regulate your body temperature, and is extremely soft.
It is easy to find clothing made of cotton but you do not want to wear cotton when you are actively exercising and working up a sweat. Although it is light and breathable, it is wonderful at absorbing any moisture and sweat produced by your body. This means the clothing just gets heavier and heavier because the only place the moisture goes is into the fabric. Furthermore, if you work out when it is extremely humid, you are going to feel like you are wearing a heavy towel by the end of the session. Now if you plan to do a light workout and won't be sweating, cotton is just fine and it is so easy to take care of. Cotton washes well and easily releases any odors and smells absorbed during the day.
If you work outside and the weather is cooler, you might want to consider Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is normally found in outdoor clothing, shoes, hats, and gloves. We see it more often in shops that specialize in outdoor stuff. Technically, Gore-tex is actually a fabric membrane rather than a material. It is waterproof, windproof, and breathable at the same time. It coats fabrics where it repels moisture, and allows vapor to pass through and evaporate.
The final material one finds in exercise or active wear is mesh. Mesh is great in warm weather or when you need a bit extra air flow. Mesh adds breathability and coolness to workout clothing. In addition, it is usually made from polyester or nylon and you will seldom find anything made completely out of mesh. Clothing with cutouts made of mesh are best worn in warm or hot, humid climates, or if you sweat a lot or need to allow more moisture to evaporate.
So now you know the different types of materials used in exercise, workout, or activewear and you know what type to choose in the various situations. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. I hope you have a great week.