Next season, FA Premier League Champions Manchester United will play in a new home kit inspired by elements of the club’s successful history and the city’s industrial heritage.
The United home shirt features the return of the black collar, worn upturned with such brilliance by Eric Cantona during the club’s champion run of the 1990s.
Underneath the collar is a subtle tonal grey-and black-gingham check, first used on last season’s home shirt. The check represents Manchester’s industrial past, referencing the city’s cotton mills of the 18th century, which once produced the classic check fabric.
The tailored collar, with three buttons at the front and one at the back, represents the city’s sense of style. Two side vents at the hem of the shirt feature the same tonal black-and-grey gingham check that is found under the collar.
The new home shorts are white with a thin black stripe on the hem of the back. The home socks are black with a white stripe bound by two red stripes, and the traditional United bar scarf design appears on the back of the sock.
The kit showcases Nike’s belief in style, craft and pride while aiding the performance of players with key technological features. The kit is made from recycled polyester as part of Nike’s commitment to produce performance apparel with reduced environmental impact. The shirt and shorts of each kit are made from up to thirteen recycled plastic water bottles.
In the pioneering process, plastic bottles are chopped into flakes, then melted down to form yarn that is spun into fabric, reducing energy consumption by up to 30 percent compared to manufacturing virgin polyester. Since 2010, Nike has diverted more than 1.1 billion plastic bottles from landfill through the use of recycled polyester.
The kit weighs just 150 grams, 23 percent lighter than previous Nike kits. It also boasts a 20 percent stronger knit structure and significantly improved stretch. The fabric uses Nike Dri-FIT technology to draw sweat away from the body through the fabric where it can evaporate, to keep players cool and dry.
Ventilation zones, consisting of tiny laser-cut holes, feature under the arms on both sides, as well as at the shorts waistband, to allow additional comfort and cooling. A mesh panel across the entire back increases air circulation.
To aid fit and construction, Nike embarked on an innovative programme of 3D body scans of some of the world’s leading players to produce a more athletic fit tailored to footballers’ physiques. The shirt has been crafted with bonded T-bars to support the seams at key points and inner welded seams with a clean finish to give a more striking appearance, while also increasing comfort and performance.