Sports Twill (Tackle Twill)

Sports Twill is a type of textile weave with parallel diagonal ridges on its face — or surface — side. The material is very strong and durable, which makes it a favorite for activewear applications. Originally used for football, it is a very tough, durable material now used on all sports jerseys and cheerleading uniforms. Our adhesive-backed versions are called Polyback, Pressure Sensitive PSA, Permanent and PSA Permanent. Available in 40 colors.


Sports Twill
PSA, Polyback, PSA Perm, Permanent, Uncoated

Metallic Twill
PSA, Polyback, PSA Perm, Permanent

Acrylic Felt
PSA, Polyback, PSA Perm, Permanent, Uncoated

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TwillUSA was borne from an adhesives company founded by John Mahn Sr in the 1970s called General Fabric Fusing (GFF) located in Cincinnati, Ohio. As the business expanded, it eventually became Specialty Adhesive Film after heat-applied HTV Flock and Sports Film was invented for the athletic apparel market. Along the way, John Mahn Jr. completed his master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and joined the company. The Father & Son duo of inventors continued to innovate, eventually being awarded 26 U.S. Patents. Their invention for a heat-applied Sports Film became the #1 product worldwide for decorating athletic jerseys. Fabric letting has traditionally been sewn onto jerseys, but inventions by TwillUSA in the area of pressure-sensitive and permanent adhesive formulations allowed for decorating those athletic jerseys for the purpose of identifying player names, numbers and teams. This fabric became known as “Tackle Twill” because of its durability and use in full-contact sports, and TwillUSA takes its name from that fabric. Now, more than 40 years later, we manufacture and distribute more than 30 different HTV materials and fabrics in 100+ unique colors.

What Is Sports Twill?

Tackle Twill is a generic name for the fabric lettering used to decorate athletic jerseys. Originally used for football, it is a very tough, durable material now used on all sports and cheerleading uniforms. Our registered version of it is called Sports Twill. Sold in 1 yard increments up to 50+ yards.

Is Sports Twill PVC-Free?

Sports Twill and our proprietary Hot-Melt Adhesives are 100% free of Polyvinyl Chloride (“PVC”). PVC contains dangerous chemical additives that can be harmful to your child’s health.

Can I Cut Sports Twill On A Tabletop Plotter?

16.5″ Sports Twill cuts clean on all desktop cutters including Cricut and Silhouette Cameo. Tabletop plotters aren’t 51″ wide, so the 51″ Sports Twill will need to be cut down first. However, once properly sized, all forms of cutting work — laser, plotter, flat-bed plotter, die cutting and shearing.

How Does Sports Twill Differ From Sports Felt?

Sports Twill (also known as Tackle Twill) is a dense, woven material made from 100% polyester. Sports Felt is a non-woven material made from 100% Acrylic. Felt has a textured, fuzzy look that’s popular on sweatshirts, hoodies, beanies and retro (throwback) jerseys. The adhesive systems used (Polyback, PSA, Permanent and PSA Permanent) are exactly the same for both products.

Does The Adhesive Gum Up Sewing Needles?

Our proprietary adhesives feature a needle glide additive designed to sew without gumming. Sharp needles work better than ballpoint needles. HINT: Coating the needle with silicone also helps to promote a clean stitch. All manners of stitching work well, including zig zag, satin, bean, and lockstitch.

What Are The Differences Between Adhesives?

Often referred to as a “stabilizer,” our products feature either a paper- or Mylar-backed sheet of heat-activated adhesive.

  • PSA — PSA stands for “Pressure Sensitive Adhesive.” Our PSA features a clear Mylar backing. This peel-and-stick adhesive holds applique in place for sewing. Our U.S. patented formula prevents broken threads and gummed-up needles. Repositionable. Perfect for 2-color applications and Kiss Cutting. Must be sewn to prevent fraying.
  • Polyback — The thermal adhesive backing provides stability for cutting and sewing on garments. The polyester-based coating has no PVC and can be cut on plotters, dies, lasers or even hand-cut. Must be sewn to prevent fraying.
  • Permanent — Heat seal adhesive designed to be laser-cut and heat-pressed onto garments without sewing. This non-PVC adhesive will not burn from laser cutting while it simultaneously prevents fraying.
  • PSA Permanent — The #1 choice for laser cutters. It can be used for no-sew applications or it can be embroidered onto garments as an applique. Perfect for Kiss Cutting 2-color designs. Repositionable. Works with all laser cutters and applications.
  • Uncoated — No adhesive backing. Just the fabric.

How Long Does Sports Twill Last On Garments?

Sports Twill is washable. We have tested this material up to 50 wash and dry cycles in a home laundry environment without fraying, cracking or peeling. If sewn down onto garments, it should last as long as the garment itself.

Can Sports Twill Be Used To Make Custom Patches?

Yes. Our polyester-based Sports Twill works perfectly for embroidering patches.

More FAQs

Twill USA has 2 warehouses for fast delivery. Local pickup is available 8:30a–4:30p (M–F)

Our Hours:
8:00 AM—5:30 PM
Eastern Time

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