How to Shop for Swimwear Fabric?

It's useful to be aware of your possibilities when choosing a fabric for your swimwear line or a future buy.

The common materials, as well as their properties and purposes, will be covered in this article. The weights, compositions, textures, and sustainability of swimsuit textiles are other topics we explore.

Keep in mind that one fabric is superior to another, but that each fabric has unique properties that make them better suited to particular tasks.

Additionally, it goes without saying that the calibre of your provider matters.

Is Swimwear Fabric Important?

Making the ideal swimsuit material choice for competition or training might be challenging.

With so many high-quality brands available today, including Kiefer, Speedo, TYR, Arena, and Dolfin, the options might be somewhat daunting.

The options for style, colour or pattern, and fabric vary.

Your goals as a swimmer should be reflected in the fabric you choose for your swimsuit: are you seeking for the best fit, durability, stretch, or all of the above?

To live up to your aspirations, you must choose your swimwear carefully.

Recycled Swimwear FAQs

What fabric should you use for swimwear?

We advise using fabric with at least 10-20% Lycra or spandex that is mostly made of nylon for Seamwork swimsuit patterns.

Additionally, search for polyester blends containing the same amount of spandex.

How much fabric do I need for a swimsuit?

You'll need to purchase thread, bust pads, and swimsuit elastic in addition to fashionable swimwear fashion fabric and lining fabric in amounts ranging from 12 to 34 yd (0.46 to 0.69 m) of each.

Is nylon or polyester better for swimsuits?

Polyester dries faster than nylon because nylon absorbs more water. It is slightly stretchier, though, which makes it a great choice for aquatic activities.

When it comes to appearance, nylon has a shiny sheen while polyester is more matte. Both polyester and nylon are comfortable, strong, and simple to maintain.

How do you prepare the fabric before sewing?

  • Before you cut your fabric, wash and dry it. When you wash your fabric before cutting it, shrinkage is guaranteed to take place before your garment or sewing project is cut out.
  • Right after washing, press your fabric. Never attempt to cut wrinkled fabric.
  • Check to see if your fabric is in the grain.

What swimsuit material lasts longest?

Blends of polyester swimwear fabric. The most durable swimwear materials are those made of polyester and Lycra (or spandex).

However, stretch polyester is a fairly broad category.

What Makes Good Swimwear Fabric

Think over your pattern for a moment before opening a new tab to

Alternatively, if you've already selected the fabric of your dreams, think about the swimsuit pattern you want.

Here are some considerations for your project planning.


We're exposed in our bathing suits! It helps to feel comfortable in your swimsuit since although we aren't exactly naked, we are baring more of ourselves to the world than normal.

You might prefer a fabric that allows more—or less—control depending on your design.

It is advantageous to have a fabric that tightly adheres to your body while making a sleek one-piece for running laps.

While swimming, it will keep you aerodynamic and free from the possibility of bagginess or unwanted exposure.

To give you the most control, look for a fabric with high recovery—that is, one that quickly returns to its former shape while providing some resistance. When purchasing online, look for words like "compression," "firm stretch," and "recovery" in the fabric description.

Additionally, think considering lining your bikini with power mesh if you need to add more control; we'll cover that topic in more detail soon.

If you are planning to spend more time relaxing and splashing around rather than competing in swimming events, you may be sewing a ruched one-piece tied with a halter top. You don't need as much fabric control in this situation.

You can put an emphasis on aesthetics or even add metallics, glitter, and sequins, which can all change the amount of control the cloth provides.

Your fabric's texture and fibre content may change as a result of these design elements, giving it more flexibility for comfort and less overall recovery.

Fiber Content

Accepting synthetic fabric is crucial for your swimwear project.

Although we adore the concept of a cotton swimming suit, it will hold onto water so excessively that you will develop a droopy bottom—two phrases that make the majority of swimwear designers shudder.

But if you want to see what it looks like, you can peek inside a vintage swimsuit constructed of woven poplin here.


Since swimsuits are made to stretch to accommodate your body and move with it, they have a lot of negative ease.

Examine the finished garment measurement chart for your design carefully.

After that, thoroughly measure your body and have another look at the pattern's finished garment measurement table.

Then—and only then—make your size selection.

On the actual pattern pieces, you should measure the length, ties, and leg holes.

Make sure your clothing is snug yet neither too tight nor too loose. If you have a favourite swimsuit that is ready to wear, take measurements of it.

Two-way stretch or four-way stretch textiles are available for swimwear. Be aware that these phrases are frequently used in the same sentence.

Selvage to selvedges, two-way stretch fabrics will stretch. In addition to stretching along the length of the grain, fabrics with four-way stretch also extend from selvedges to selvedges.

You need that four-way stretch for one-piece swimsuits. However, if you are sewing a two-piece, two-way stretch will probably keep you safe.

If you're unsure, look up the two- or four-way stretch information in your pattern's directions. Choose a four-way stretch if you're unsure.

Make careful to match the direction of stretch for your lining and primary textiles as these guidelines also apply to your lining.

Wait, I Need Swimwear Lining, Too?

You want a high-quality lining to complement your expensive swimwear fabric. After all, while you swim or perspire in the sun, the lining is right next to your skin. Here are a few alternative linings to think about, but always prioritise quality.

After all the effort you put into making your own swimming suit, it would be incredibly frustrating if the lining fabric you chose were to wear out, run, or rip.

Again, keep an eye out for the same characteristics in your lining fabric that you did in your main fabric, particularly with regard to stretch.

Power Mesh

Power mesh, which frequently consists of a nylon and spandex blend with four-way stretch and powerful recovery, is a terrific choice for adding more support to your swimwear.

Many activewear items that need extra support and flexibility have power mesh.

This is a terrific option for two-piece swimsuits that rely on shape or for adding control to one-piece swimsuits. When choosing a size, keep in mind that power mesh could have less elasticity than regular bikini fabric.

Lightweight Swimwear Fabric

If your primary fabric isn't too thick, you can use it as the lining. Alternately, keep a look out for lightweight swimwear fabric, which frequently comes in solid colours and may be used as lining. If the fabric is suitable for lining, many fabric stores will say so.

That Stuff That’s In Rtw: 100% Nylon

Your RTW swimwear's tags will likely indicate that the linings are frequently made entirely of nylon.

If you are using a fabric with 4-way stretch, it does work for lining your bathing suit because it typically has mechanical elasticity in both directions. Furthermore, it will dry rapidly, which is a benefit.

Types Of Swimwear Fabric

There are two main types of fabric:

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.

Around 80% nylon and 20% flexible material compose a common combination. Depending on where in the world you are and whether it is branded or not, that portion is either spandex (SP) or elastane (EA). 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. The group name for some specific Polyamides is nylon.

It is not recommended to print on nylons since the image will bleed and become indistinct.


  • 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

Polyester Blends

Polyester blends are primarily seen in competition swimwear.

For many years, polyester fabric has controlled the fiercely competitive swimwear market. Polyester is the most popular material for competition swimwear, whether it is combined with Lycra® or used on its own.

The hand and feel of polyester have been improved by new technologies, making it superior to other materials. Polyester maintains its colour and is chlorine-resistant.


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

Pbt Or Polybutylene Terephthalate

PBT has an inherent stretch factor that is comparable to Lycra when combined with polyester yarns. The Kiefer Team Accent PBT Flyback bikini is an illustration of this style.


  • Chlorine resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Matte finish
  • Fast Drying
  • Repels water
  • Snag Resistant

What Else Look For In Swimwear Materials


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

It will feel and appear more like lingerie or underwear when made of a fabric that is as light as 150 g/m2, like Carvico's Gemma.

We'll discuss textured and other fabrics later. Heavier fabrics around 200-220g/m2+ are frequently better suited for competition.


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.

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.


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.

In 4 steps, ECONYL® promotes their procedure:

  • Finding trash in landfills and waterways all over the world, such as fishing nets, fabric remnants, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic.
  • Regenerate: The process of regeneration and purification. identical to virgin or new nylon after being recycled to its original purity.
  • Remake: The nylon is transformed into the yarn for swimwear.
  • Reimagine: The recycled yarn is utilised to create brand-new swimsuit items, which are used until they are no longer necessary and then recycled back into step one, rescue.

Other recycled swimwear fabric examples include REPREVE®, which creates its garments from used plastic bottles.

Consumer demand changes will continue to put pressure on manufacturers' production processes as well as fabric suppliers.

This is something that we as a manufacturer take very seriously.

Other Variations Of Swimwear Fabrics


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 brand success.

But if you look at Triangl in 2018, 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.

We observe a significant demand for textured fabrics at the time of this blog post, particularly ribbed and velvet.


Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that is excellent for insulation, displays good stability, and keeps its flexibility in a range of temperatures.

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. Finding a manufacturer who is already making scuba/wetsuits may be beneficial if you want to use this fabric for your brand or products.


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 constructed of nylon because it can be manufactured more compactly and tightly with less stretch.

Various mixtures produce various looks. For instance, the 92%/8% blend of the JL Bristol cloth gives a more sporty appearance due to its tight fit. A blend that is more 80/20 will have a more conventional appearance.


Velvet is a very soft fabric. This is why loungewear and robes employ it.

Cut, evenly spaced threads in the fabric are what give it a pile and a distinctly velvety or fur-like texture.

Swimwear can seem really opulent with the help of a suitable blend of these.


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. It can be severely impacted by harsh swimming settings (sun, salt, sea, chlorine).


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 has been useful and helps you choose the best swimsuits and bikinis for you.

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