What Is The Best Swimsuit Fabric?

Are you looking for a fabric for your swimwear? If so, you should be aware of the many types of fabrics and which one is best for your swimsuit.

The fabric used to construct swimsuits, their varieties, and attributes will all be covered in this article.

Remember that one fabric is superior than another; rather, the qualities of each cloth make them the finest for particular applications.

Additionally, the fabric's quality has distinguished it from competitors. Let's talk about the numerous swimwear fabric possibilities and their unique qualities.

Your purchase will be more convenient if you choose the swimsuit material that best suits your requirements.

The majority of swimsuit material is designed to stretch to fit all those lovely curves and enable a secure and pleasant swim.

Additionally, the cloth must be able to dry quickly and readily as well as keep its shape while wet. For this reason, elastane fibres are present in practically all swimwear fabrics.

When elastane, a synthetic material with elastic properties, was created in the 1960s, it completely changed the fashion world.

The general word for Spandex or Lycra is elastane. Don't get too caught up in the branding because lycra, spandex, and elastane are all essentially the same material.

For a cosy stretch, elastane is combined with other synthetic fibres. Depending on the manufacturer and the desired fabric properties, the blend varies, but generally speaking, it is created with 10%–20% elastane to 80%–90% other fibre (s).

What Material Are Swimsuits Made Of?

Natural Fabrics

Natural fibres were used to make swimsuits before synthetic fibres or stretchable Lycra were developed.

Oddly enough, wool was one of the most widely used materials.

Wool was chosen because, because to its flexibility, it could be knit into swimwear that was closely fitted.

Additionally, wool was inexpensive and widely accessible, allowing swimmers to knit their own swimming costumes. They could do this because knitting patterns were available in fashion magazines.

It may seem a little strange to people now, but it was all they had in the past, before Spandex and Lycra. 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 textiles. It enlarges, gets heavier, and stretches out of shape as a result.

None of which make bathing suits particularly endearing.

Wool and polycotton mixes are gradually making a comeback in swimwear thanks 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.

The design of swimwear underwent a revolution. resulting in ground-breaking advancements in the design of swimwear.

Synthetic Fabrics

There are countless synthetic fibres and fibre combinations that are ideal for swimwear materials.

The basic characteristics that modern swimwear requires to succeed in both the competitive sports and fashion spheres 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. Elastane and nylon can be combined to form a fabric for swimwear that goes by the names Spandex or Lycra.

Nylon can be harmed by chlorine and is less resistant to UV rays. Even 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. Because it contains some natural fibre, it takes longer to dry and ages more quickly. Despite this, and depending on the polyester to cotton ratio, this fabric may end up being a strong and practical option.

What is the Best Swimsuit Fabric?

Swimwear materials have a certain degree of stretch, are colorfast, and dry quickly. The majority of swimsuit materials are designed to stretch to fit all of those beautiful curves and enable a secure and comfortable swim.

The best swimsuit material dries quickly and maintains its shape when wet. Elastane fibres are present in almost all types of swimwear fabric, making them the ideal material for swimsuits.

Elastane is a great synthetic fibre that may be used with other synthetic fibres to create a comfortable stretch and has elastic properties. In the 1960s, the fashion industry developed it.

Depending on the manufacturer and the desired fabric properties, the blend varies, but generally speaking, it is created with 10%–20% elastane to 80%–90% other fibre.

Spandex or Lycra are also known as elastane. Avoid getting too caught up in the branding because lycra, spandex, and elastane are all the same material.

For more information on swimwear fabric, scroll down.

Swimsuit Fabric Types

Swimming suits are obviously quite pleasant to wear outside; if you maintain your composure at sea and look decent, you might assume your task is done.

A well-designed swimsuit should not only look nice; it also needs to be made of a sturdy, lightweight, and water-resistant fabric because it treads the line between utility and fashion.

Many suits, both for men and women, are made of a variety of fabrics, including both natural and synthetic materials, each of which has unique properties.

Nylon Fabric 

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

There is a considerable likelihood that a swimsuit rack you take contains nylon. The lightweight nylon spandex fabric used in swimwear allows for several stretches to spread the moisture, resulting in faster drying periods.

On the other hand, nylon swimwear is susceptible to shrinking or fading after prolonged sun exposure.

While straight nylon swimwear is available, it can also be blended with spandex to enable improved stretching.

Typical forms consist of 80–90% nylon and 10–20% spandex, with the spandex being bigger and the swimsuit being more body-hugging.


  • Enduring and simple to clean
  • To wear, soft and comfortable
    Having a high degree of flexibility
  • Not resistant to UV
  • Chlorine is readily corrosive.
  • Cannot to be printed on due to colour bleeding issues


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 now 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. It is the perfect fabric for swimsuits because of its elastic qualities.


  • Extremely elastic and flexible
  • Form-fitting clothing produces appealing shapes.
  • Characteristics that wick away moisture


  • Unable to decompose
  • Comprehensive and thorough production method
  • Can be pricey

Polyester Fabric Blends

Lycra (or spandex) and polyester mix to create highly durable swimwear materials. But the most popular type is stretch polyester.

Numerous fabric mills produce hundreds, if not thousands, of different chemicals.

The ratio of spandex to poly will vary to some extent for each variety.

Even though it is not the only fabric, spandex swimsuits greatly influence contemporary swimwear.

Soft and flexible spandex, which is part of a combination of fabrics, improves the stability of the swimsuit; more spandex in a suit significantly shapes the body.

As a result, it plays a crucial role in competitive swimwear. Spandex slims the form, but over time, chlorine damages its elasticity.

Additionally variable are the knit's elasticity and firmness. The quality of the thread used in the fabric mill to create the cloth is what makes the difference in quality the most noticeable.

Because of this, polyesters come in a far wider variety of looks and textures.

Usually, the cloth used for the thick thread will have a thick feel. A thin, silky thread will result in a silky, smooth sensation. Before selecting the final option, it is imperative that you personally feel the cloth and stretch it.

When looking into swimwear mixes, the words "Lycra," "Spandex," and "Elastane" are frequently used.

Functionally, there is no discernible difference between swimwear made with any of these three materials and swimwear made with any other name-brand elastane you may come across.


  • Long-lasting and colorfast
  • Resistant to UV radiation and chlorine
  • Easy to clean and maintains its shape
  • Resistant to moisture


  • Depending on the blend of polyester, quality could suffer.
  • Not sustainable or friendly to the environment

What Other Fabrics Can Be Used in Swimwear?

Spandex bikinis

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.


Neoprene is not technically a cloth because it is a synthetic rubber. Neoprene, the inner layer of insulating foam used for wetsuits, keeps surfers and divers warm.

especially during the winter or in waters that are known to be frigid all year.

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. Overheating can occur in warm weather as a result of the trapped warm air.

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.

Scuba Fabric

Scuba fabric is double-knit and extremely stretchy, and 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.

Despite not having an inner layer of insulating foam, scuba has a similar appearance and texture to neoprene.

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.

Lycra Fabric 

Spandex and Lycra are both familiar terms, but did you realise they are interchangeable?

As far as architecture is concerned, there is no distinction between Lycra and the brand of spandex produced by Dupont Company.

Spandex has the excellent capacity to advise on big quantities before reverting to its previous state, as anyone who has ever worn it will know.

In order to increase flexibility, spandex is frequently blended with other fibres. For example, when nylon or polyester are added, swimming gains outstanding control, stretch, and durability.

Just keep in mind that it will be more figure-hugging if the spandex content is higher.

Why is Polyester Swimwear Fabric best for Swimsuit Fabric? 

The following characteristics of polyester fabric are especially important for swimsuit fabrics:

Due to its durability, polyester is a highly suggested fabric for swimwear. Both in and out of the water, it maintains its shape effectively. It doesn't pill (the little balls of fuzz that can appear in the crotch and armpit areas).

Additionally, both dyes and prints keep colour quite well on polyester. Although not quite as soft as nylon, new poly textiles have improved significantly and become quite soft.


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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