Textiles have been around since ancient times as a primary means of protecting the human body from the outside environment. The 18th and 19th centuries saw a major step change in textile technology when the industrial revolution led to mass production of textiles, turning the textile industry into a dominant one. In the 20th century, another revolution took place when synthetic fibres such as rayon, nylon and polyester came into the market. A notable change in this sector happened in the 21st century with the advent of nanotechnology – the application of which allowed textiles to go far beyond apparel and fashion applications. The past two decades have seen a surge towards the application of different nanoparticles in technical textiles , followed by an increased demand of more sophisticated textiles in different applications. This article aims to provide an overview of nanomaterials and highlight the benefits and applications of nanotechnology in textiles with a particular focus on sportswear.