Choosing Swimsuit Material: The Best Swimsuit Fabric, For You

Swimwear is a component of the beauty of summer. But what material makes the finest swimsuit? There are numerous alternatives when it comes to material. However, nylon and spandex are the most widely used materials for women's bathing suits.

The comfort and toughness of these materials will last all summer long. You can also choose from various materials like cotton, polyester, or even silk! Discover more about your options when you evaluate the fabric for your swimsuit as you continue reading.

Which swimsuit material is best for you? Depending on your search criteria. Polyester is the greatest material choice if you want something that will last for a long period. Additionally, this material offers UV defence to help prevent sunburns and skin cancer.

However, if comfort is more important to you, spandex or nylon might be better options since they stretch to fit your body shape and feel as though you're wearing nothing at all.

It can be challenging to select the ideal swimsuit fabric for your requirements, but thankfully we can assist you. The various sorts of swimsuit fabrics and their functions will all be discussed in this blog post.

Additionally, we'll show you how to maintain your suit so that it keeps its shape and lasts longer. So pay attention because this blog post about selecting swimsuit material is going to be fantastic!

Do you feel the desire to purchase a new swimsuit? If so, the content is important. Different fabrics have various characteristics and advantages. The cloth that best fits your lifestyle and preferences is the one that you should choose.

The advantages and disadvantages of various fabrics will be covered in this article to assist you in picking the right sort of suit for next summer.

We are all aware of how challenging it may be to select the ideal swimsuit fabric for you. While some people love speedos, others choose to dress in a one-piece with bottom-tied shorts.

Whatever your preference, there are a few crucial things you need to take into account before making a purchase.

Because polyester has greater elasticity than other textiles and is less prone to shrink or fade in colour when exposed to chlorinated water, many swimmers choose to wear suits made of this material.

Try spandex if you want something softer than polyester but yet want toughness. In contrast to cotton, which loses its shape over time, this material will stretch with your body.

The majority of beachgoers look for ways to shield themselves from the sun. Wearing a swimsuit with UPF 50+ protection is the best way to do this, but there are other things to take into account while shopping for one.

You must select a swimsuit fabric based on your demands from among the numerous varieties available.

For instance, if you want something that dries quickly, Lycra might be ideal for you, whilst someone else might choose something more opulent like silk or cashmere (depending on what they can afford).

Let's get going!

What Material Are Swimsuits Made Of?

1. Natural Fabrics

Swimsuits were constructed of natural fibres until flexible Lycra or synthetic fibres were developed. Oddly enough, wool was one of the most widely used materials. Wool is used because it may be knitted into swimwear with a specific level of flexibility, according to the theory.

Additionally, wool was inexpensive and widely accessible, allowing swimmers to knit their own swimming costumes. In addition, fashion publications contained knitting patterns that allowed them to do this.

From a modern standpoint, it seemed a little strange, but in the days before Spandex and Lycra, it was all they had. Speedo, one of the top brands of swimwear today, began as a sock-making knitting factory.

Wool tends to absorb water, like the majority of natural fibres. It enlarges, gets heavier, and stretches out of shape as a result. None of which make bathing suits particularly endearing.

Wool and polycotton blends have been making a cautious comeback in swimwear due to the recent push for more environmentally friendly solutions.

Before natural fabrics can match the excellent swimming experience provided by synthetic materials, there is still a long way to go. Natural fibres will continue to be disregarded while selecting swimwear fabrics up until that point.

The invention of Lycra in the 1950s was the sole cause of the switch from natural to synthetic fibres. As a result, swimwear clothing design underwent a revolution. It is enabling ground-breaking advancements in the design of swimwear.

Synthetic Fabrics

Swimwear materials can be made from a limitless variety of synthetic fibres and fibre mixes. The basic characteristics that modern swimwear needs to accomplish in competitive sports and the fashion world are abundant in synthetic materials.

The most popular option for appropriate fabrics is polyester. It is a long-lasting fabric that has inherent resistance to chlorine and UV. The inherent properties of polyester make it the ideal material for swimwear when combined with the stretch of elastane.

Blends of polyester and elastane come in a variety of combinations. Some textiles will be higher in polyester and lower in elastane. But the outcome is the same. A durable, fully practical article of apparel made to be popular on the beach or in swimming pools.

Elastane can be combined with materials other than polyester. For instance, using Spandex or Lycra as an example, elastane and nylon can be combined to form a swimwear fabric.

Nylon can be harmed by chlorine and is less resistant to UV rays. However, if you're seeking for a one-season fashion swimsuit, it's still a good substitute for a garment made of polyester.

A polycotton-spandex knit fabric is less common but just as cosy. This choice combines the stretch required for swimwear with the appearance and feel of polycotton.

There are certain drawbacks to it. For instance, the fact that it contains some natural fibre has an impact on how quickly it dries and tends to fade.

Despite this, and depending on the polyester to cotton ratio, this fabric may end up being a strong and practical option.

There Are Two Major Fabric Options

It's useful to be aware of your possibilities whether you're shopping for a fabric for your swimwear line or your upcoming purchase.

It should be noted that no fabric is superior to another, but that each fabric has unique properties that make them better suited to particular uses. Additionally, it goes without saying that the calibre of your provider matters.

1. Nylon Blends

The majority of female swimwear in the market is made of nylon blends.


It is supple and cosy. It stretches well and hugs your body very tightly.

An average blend has 20% stretchy bit and 80% nylon. Depending on where you are in the world and whether it is branded or not, that component may also be referred to as spandex (SP) or elastane (EA) if it is made by The LYCRA Company.

the same. This 20% is there to give your bikinis and swimsuits a tonne of stretch.

Other names for nylon include Polyamide (PA), which is essentially the same material. Additionally, several specific Polyamides are grouped under the name nylon.

Nylons should not be printed on since the results are pixelated and the ink will bleed.


  • Feel: Very soft
  • Stretch: Very Good
  • Durability: Good
  • Dry: Quick
  • Printable: No
  • UV resistance: Sometimes
  • Chlorine resistance: Rare
  • Repels water: Yes
  • Care: Hand-Wash, Hang to Dry

2. Polyester Blends

Polyester blends are primarily seen in competition swimwear.


It is resistant to UV and chlorine while still being soft and sturdy.

Blends of polyester also have the advantage of absorbing colour. This translates to vibrant and clear results when you dye and print it.


  • Feel: Soft
  • Stretch: Good
  • Durability: Very Good
  • Dry: Quicker
  • Printable: Yes
  • UV resistance: Yes
  • Chlorine resistance: Yes
  • Repels water: Yes
  • Care: Hand-Wash, Hang to Dry

Best Swimsuit Materials

1. Polyester

Polyester is one of the most often used materials in clothing manufacture because of its soft fabric and exceptional durability.

It's an excellent option for swimwear because of how quickly it dries and how long it lasts, especially for competitive swimming.

This fabric is a good pick for any item likely to be worn on the beach or by the pool because it has built-in UV protection and the capacity to tolerate frequent contact with chlorine.

2. Nylon

Nylon, also referred to as polyamide, dries quickly and repels water. It is wonderfully cosy and flattering to wear, and is mostly found in fashionable swimwear.

The fabric is appealing to look at and touch since it is soft with a subtle glossy sheen.

The fabric can be figure-hugging when combined with elastane, which can assist conceal body bulk.

It has consequently gained popularity as a fabric for swimming costumes, pools, and beachwear.


3. Elastane

In the late 1950s, elastane was created for use in clothing. It is the common word for elastic clothing made by companies like Lycra and Spandex. Elastane is a polyurethane substance that is entirely synthetic.

It was first developed to replace rubber, but it has a wide range of industrial uses, such as heat and shock insulation.

To give clothing a pleasant stretch, elastane can be combined with synthetic fabrics or added to natural fibres. Its stretchy qualities also make it a perfect fabric for swimsuits.

4. PBT

PBT, also known as polybutylene terephthalate, is a plastic yarn fibre that has natural stretch and recovery. PBT is a plastic from the polyester family.

Its texture is stronger with a lighter, smoother feel than other polyesters, although it is less elastic.

The material floats through the water when combined with the matte or somewhat duller finish. It has a feature that makes it ideal for competitive sportswear.

5. Cotton

In the past, bathing clothes were made from natural materials like cotton or wool. Think of the fully covered beachgoers of the Victorian era. Water retention, however, is one of the biggest issues with natural fibres.

Overly water-absorbing clothing might cause a swimmer to sink. Or even worse, they lose their swimwear because it deforms and falls off.

These days, retro swimwear evoking bygone eras is made from bamboo and cotton. These costumes are more appropriate for sunbathing on the beach or taking it easy in a deck chair than they are for regular or competitive swimming.

What Other Fabrics Can Be Used in Swimwear?

Swimwear is required for a variety of activities, including swimming and scuba diving. Swimwear is often used outside of the water for activities like beach volleyball, bodybuilding, and beauty pageants.

Let's look at some other materials linked to enjoyment on and off the water.

1. Neoprene

Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is excellently stable, keeps its flexibility in a range of temperatures, and works well as insulation. Insulation is frequently utilised in scuba diving garments because to its advantages.

The fabric is thicker and stitched using different techniques than "normal" swimwear fabric. Therefore, it could be advantageous to locate a manufacturer who is already making scuba/wet suits if you want to use this fabric for your company's brand or products.

Because water is confined close to the skin, wetsuits get their name. The diver's body temperature is maintained at a comfortable level while body heat warms the water. The bodies of the divers are perpetually damp, which is a drawback of neoprene.

This persistent wetness close to the body can be problematic as a swimsuit material. Additionally, the heated air that is trapped in warm temperatures might lead to hyperthermia.

Wearing the material may be uncomfortable, and it may be challenging to put on and take off. In order to keep their wetsuits from clinging to their skin, many surfers and divers prefer to wear a swimming costume underneath them.

2. Scuba Fabric

Scuba fabric is double-knit with a lot of elasticity, and it is occasionally mistaken for neoprene. The fabric is fairly stiff and is made to resemble a Ponte weave. It is used to give clothing structure.

Scuba has a similar general appearance and feel to neoprene, while not having an inner layer of insulating foam.

Your dive suit may limit movement in sports like volleyball because it is less flexible than a polyester-spandex blend.

But if you want your swimwear to have a structured wetsuit style, scuba is the right option for you. It's a terrific option for both style and modesty because it's strong, sturdy, and completely opaque.

3. Swimwear Lining Fabric

Some swimwear materials can occasionally become a little translucent, especially after becoming wet. You'll discover that a liner is a necessary addition as a result. Additionally, a lining can improve the comfort of wearing the swimsuit.

Make careful to select a fabric for your lining that shares qualities with the material of your swimsuit.

The lining must act and move in a similar manner. Thus, make sure it is long-lasting, chlorine-resistant, and colorfast.

Power mesh is a popular fabric for commercial clothing that is perfect for swimsuit liner. Body control is made easy with this fabric.

It can assist to hide lumpy love handles if it is trimmed slightly smaller than the swimsuit.

What Else Look For In Swimwear Materials

The last thing you want from a swimsuit material is for your bikini or swimming shorts to become transparent while submerged. There are a few embarrassing issues that can arise from a fabric that shrinks when wet.

For comfort and modesty, choosing the right material for swimwear is crucial. Here is a list of qualities your fabric selection must possess in order to be appropriate for swimming costumes.

1. Weight

Most trendy swimwear materials have a weight of 180–200 g/m2.

Anything too heavy is one thing you don't want in a bikini fabric. Lighter materials will have the appearance and feel of cosy underwear. The majority of swimwear is manufactured from thin synthetic fabrics. A weight of 180–200g per square metre of material would be appropriate.

The feel and appearance of a fabric as light as 150 g/m2, such as Gemma from Carvico, will be closer to lingerie or underwear. However, heavier fabrics that weigh 200–220 g/m2 or more are frequently better suited for competition or belong under the heading of textured & other textiles, which we'll discuss later.

2. Colorfast

The last thing you want is your swimsuit's colour to show through in the water. So check the colorfastness of your fabric before jumping in.

Nylon is one material that is notorious for having poor colour retention. Ink or printing on the textile is likely to bleed into the water in addition to swiftly fading.

Swim shorts with logos should be made of textiles based on polyester to be safe.

3. Composition

It will be helpful if you are familiar with the characteristics of the "ingredients" when discussing composition. Spandex/Elastane/LYCRA®, for instance, provides the majority of the stretch.

Stretchy synthetic fibre is the ideal fibre content for your fabric when it comes to swimwear.

Swimwear materials are made by combining either polyester or nylon with elastane and are by nature strong, water-resistant, and quick-drying. A polyester/elastane blend will also withstand chlorine and provide UV protection.

Therefore, 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex will be more elastic than 85% Nylon and 15% Spandex. However, keep in mind that this mostly pertains to fabrics from the same manufacturer or supplier, so if you're switching between sources, don't base your decision just on the figures.

Therefore, it is always advisable to obtain swatches and, if you can, feel the cloth firsthand. Additionally, since the content description might not provide all the information you need, you can approach the source for extra specifics.

4. Quick-Drying

If you dive in every day, it's especially crucial to use a material that dries quickly.

Nothing is worse than having to lug around a wet swimwear after your morning swim. However, the majority of synthetic fibres are water-resistant, making them perfect for everyday swimwear.

In addition to drying quickly, you may quickly clean, dry, and prep them for your subsequent pool visit.

5. Sustainability

When it comes to swimwear, this is a challenging checkbox to mark. Of course, synthetic materials are the best because of their inherent resilience, toughness, and flexibility. Unfortunately, synthetic fibres are also the least environmentally friendly of all fibres.

Many use fossil fuels substantially and are petroleum-based. But all hope is not lost. You can significantly lessen the impact of your swimwear on the environment by thinking about recycled materials.

Swimwear has historically been made with materials that are harmful to the environment. However, fabric possibilities have grown along with customer knowledge and demand.

ECONYL®, a regenerated nylon made from pre- and post-consumer materials, is one of the best.

ECONYL® makes their procedure known in four steps:

  1. Rescue – Removing trash from landfills and oceans around the world, including fishing nets, fabric remnants, carpeting, and industrial plastic.
  1. Regenerate – Process of regeneration and purification. They are restored to their original purity and function much like virgin, or brand-new, nylon.
  1. Remake – The nylon is transformed into the yarn for swimwear.
  1. Reimagine – Up until the point at which they are no longer useful, the regenerate yarn is employed in new swimsuit goods.

Other recycled swimwear fabric examples include REPREVE®, which manufactures its garments using recycled plastic bottles.

Consumer demand changes will continue to put pressure on fabric suppliers and manufacturers' production processes. This is something that we as a manufacturer take very seriously.

6. Stretch

Swimsuits are intended to fit snugly. The less likely they are to unintentionally fall off underwater, the better the fit. The fabric needs to be flexible and stretchy in order to be figure-hugging.

Many types of swimwear are constructed with negative ease, which leaves little room for movement when you're wearing it.

Make sure the cloth has enough elasticity to fit you and your demand for airflow. Look for fabric with a minimum of 60–70% flexibility in either direction and a four-way stretch.

7. Look and Feel

Swimwear material must be attractive and boost your confidence. It ought to be supple, adaptable, and have a lovely pattern or print. Let's face it, the majority of contemporary swimsuits don't leave much to the imagination.

So that you don't feel uncomfortable wearing the item, it must appear amazing when it's on display. Your assets should be highlighted by the fabric rather than diminished. If you have any physical anxiety, stay away from neon colours.

8. Comfort

Your enjoyment will be significantly reduced if you are wearing an uncomfortable swimming suit. Your freedom of movement is also protected.

A swimsuit's fabric must be adaptable enough to accommodate bodily movement. Additionally, it must be gentle enough to avoid rubbing and chaffing. The better the material is for swimwear, the softer the better.

9. Figure-Flattering

At the beach or by the pool, everyone wants to look good. Unfortunately, elastane, which is figure-hugging, is a component of modern swimsuit fabrics. The greatest swimwear material will make us appear smaller with a more athletic silhouette by being able to manage and confine those parts of our bodies we'd all prefer to hide.

10. Durability

Fabric for swimwear must be strong and resilient. It comes into touch with UV radiation and pool chemicals, both of which can lead to destruction. The ability of any fabric to withstand harm from chlorine, sunlight, and other abrasives like sea salt is a crucial quality for swimwear.

11. Anti-Pilling

Try to choose a fabric with anti-pilling qualities if you want a swimsuit that will last for a long time and be sturdy. Due of its vulnerability to chlorine damage, nylon is known to pill with time. Polyester is the greatest fabric for resistance to corrosive substances. If anti-pilling is vital to you, use a polyester-containing material.

12. Ease Of Care

Anytime a cloth is regularly exposed to hazardous substances like chlorine, you should wash it. Synthetic fibres are fantastic since they are simple to maintain.

It only takes a quick dip in a lukewarm wash and a drip-dry to remove the bleach odour from your swimwear. So make sure a wash-and-go component is included in your swimming fabric.

13. Cost

The cost of swimsuit fabric might vary. Your choice will depend on your budget, ranging from the less expensive polyester-based textiles to the marginally more expensive nylon clothing.

The best fabric you can afford should be used for your swimsuit. Choose a durable material for your swimsuit, and your investment will pay off with a suit that will still look beautiful after several swims.

Other Variations Of Swimwear Fabrics

1. Textured

Trends develop together with the swimsuit industry's continued maturation and evolution. As a result, numerous novel fabric types are tested for swimwear.

Brands using neoprene was a popular trend a few years ago. This came about as a result of the popularity of companies like NLP and Triangl. But if you take a look at Triangl right now, for instance, you'll see that they've switched to utilising a lot of velvet.

Neoprene bonding is still utilised, though, and, at least to us, this maintains their uniqueness while allowing them to experiment with various textured or more modern fabrics.

2. Ribbed

Different knitted textiles can be used to create ribbed textures. Knit and purl stitches are alternated to create a ribbed texture, which results in the ridges. While lying flat, the fabric also extends more in one direction.

Swimwear ribbed is typically made of nylon and can be produced very compactly and tightly with little stretch. But once more, various compositions provide various looks.

For instance, the JL Bristol fabric, which is extremely tight and has a 92%/8% blend, offers a more sporty appearance. A combination that is more 80/20, on the other hand, will have a more traditional fashion appearance.

3. Velvet

Velvet is a very soft fabric. This is why loungewear and robes employ it. The fabric has pile and a characteristic velvet/fur feel thanks to its cut, regularly spaced threads. Swimwear can seem really opulent with the help of a suitable blend of these.

4. Others

Mesh, corduroy, and even cotton mixes are other types of fabric that are appropriate for swimwear. However, you should be cautious about the longevity of cotton blends. Swim settings that are harsh (sun, salt, sea, chlorine) might have a negative impact on it.

It's all done now! We've talked about the key considerations you should make while picking swimwear materials.

Options for fabrics, their qualities, and a number of reasons why one can be preferable to the other - for you and your needs.

We sincerely hope that it has been useful and helps you choose the best swimsuits and bikinis for you.

How Much Fabric Is Needed for a Swimsuit?

Depending on the style of swimsuit you are constructing, different amounts of fabric are required. When determining material amounts, there are a few things to take into account.

Do you want a full suit or a two-piece bikini? Do you want to line your swimwear? Make a bikini as an illustration.

Commercial swimwear is cut smaller than your measurements since it is created with negative ease. This produces the form-hugging, tightly-fitting silhouette for which swimwear is famous.

As a general guideline, it's typical for up to 2 inches to be subtracted from your size. Depending on how tight you want your bikini to be, this figure may fluctuate.

The next step is to determine how much coverage you want by measuring your bust and hips. Do you desire, for instance, a low-cut shirt paired with tankini briefs? or low-cut briefs with full bust coverage?

Your measurements will decide the precise amount of fabric required, but between 12 to 34 of a yard of a fabric that is 60 inches wide should be sufficient. Keep in mind to get the same quantity for your lining!

How Much Fabric for a Bathing Suit?

The one-piece swimsuit comes to mind while considering bathing suits. The amount of body that is covered means that this option will require slightly more fabric than bikinis, tankinis, and briefs.

Negative ease is used in the production of bathing suits and one-piece swimsuits. The one-piece solution requires measurements that account for your back and stomach. An all-in-one swimming suit should be possible using a yard of cloth that is 60 inches wide.


Stretchy synthetic material that is chlorine and UV resistant is the ideal material for swimwear. You'll be more confident when selecting your cloth if you know what to look for.

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