What material is ideal should be one of your top priorities when looking for swimsuits. You want something that you can wear repeatedly without worrying about being uncomfortable, lightweight, and strong. Which substance do you decide on then?
What is the ideal material for swimsuits is a common question. When selecting a swimsuit, there are many things to think about, but one thing you should have in mind is how your suit will hold up over time.
For instance, if it's made of cotton, it might not hold up as well as something made of nylon or spandex. The advantages and disadvantages of each form of swimwear are covered in this blog post.
What material makes the greatest swimsuit? There are numerous different materials available for selection. What kind of aquatic activities do you intend to engage in while wearing the suit should be your first consideration before purchasing one?
A simple nylon/polyester blend might be the ideal choice for you if all you intend to do is swim or relax at the beach. A polyurethane-coated cloth would be more appropriate if surfing, diving, or other sports like jogging and biking are involved, though.
Whichever one you choose, be sure that it has been treated with chlorine or salt that is resistant to water so that it won't fade after numerous washings!
When visiting their favourite businesses, many ladies ask themselves this question, but there isn't always an obvious solution. This is due to the wide variety of swimsuits available in terms of colours, styles, and fabrics.
Your needs for the suit will determine the type of fabric you select. For instance, cotton can be a wonderful option if you're looking for clothing to wear while relaxing by the pool or simply sitting about because it dries quickly and won't result in any skin rashes from sunburns.
However, polyester might be a better option if you're looking for something more adaptable, like, say, one-piece suits, as they have a tendency to last longer than cotton ones do.
Today, there are numerous options available when choosing a swimsuit fabric, including nylon/polyester blends, cotton spandex or elastane, lycra or polyamide microfiber blend materials.
Whether you are purchasing a bikini for the first time or if you already had one in mind from the previous season, the sort of fabric that is appropriate for your needs may depend on where you intend to wear it (at the beach vs. besides the pool).
It can be challenging to select the best swimsuit material, but fortunately for you, we have put together a list of premium materials to assist you in your search.
Consider the activities you have planned for this summer; neoprene is probably the finest material if you intend to spend the day in the water or wearing the suit.
Spandex will work well if it's just going to be worn at night and on a few particularly hot days.
Let's get going!
All You Need to Know About Swimsuit Fabric
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 rapidly and readily while maintaining its shape while damp. For this reason, elastane fibres are present in practically all swimwear fabrics.
When elastane, a synthetic fibre 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.
Elastane is combined with other synthetic fibres to create a stretchy fabric that is pleasant. According to 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.
Choosing Swimsuit Fabric
In the world of fashion, there is a lot of discussion about the ideal swimsuit fabric. However, the reality is that there aren't many possibilities at all.
The basic requirements for swimwear materials are quick-drying, colorfastness, and a certain level of stretch. So let's start by talking about some of the many swim fabric options and their distinct features. After this, choosing the ideal swimsuit material for your requirements will be simple.
Swimming is a fantastic activity for both keeping fit and having fun. If you haven't gone swimming recently, now is the ideal time to consider some new swimwear. However, there are a tonne of fabric options. How do you decide which to choose? What material works best for swimwear?
A combination of polyester and elastane is the ideal material for swimwear. The extremely elastic cloth known as elastane goes under the brand names Lycra or Spandex.
Polyester is a great option because it is chlorine-resistant and colorfast. Another good fabric for swimwear is nylon, but it has a higher propensity to pill over time.
Is Swimwear Fabric Important?
Making the ideal swimsuit material choice for competition or training might be challenging. It can be difficult to decide between the many high-quality brands available today, including Kiefer, Speedo, TYR, Arena, and Dolfin.
Style, colour or pattern, and fabric options all differ. 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.
Types of Swimwear Fabric
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 also maintains its colour and is chlorine-resistant.
Characteristics of polyester fabric are:
- Strong, resilient fibres
- Soft and comfortable fit
- Durable, resistant to shrinkage
- Abrasion/pilling resistant
- Chlorine Resistant
- UV Protection
- Holds its shape
- Exceptional breathability
- Four-way stretch
- Launders easily
2. Polyester PBT
PBT or Polybutylene Terephthalate
PBT has a natural stretch factor comparable to Lycra when used with polyester yarns.
Characteristics of PBT fabric are:
- Chlorine resistant
- Matte finish
- Fast Drying
- Repels water
- Snag Resistant
Fabric made of nylon is an alternative to polyester. Lightweight and providing a comfortable fit, nylon. Nylon fabric is not as durable as polyester and is not resistant to chlorine, which are both drawbacks.
Characteristics of Nylon fabric are:
- Abrasion Resistant
- Lustrous, soft
- Low in moisture absorbency
- Excellent elasticity
- Launders easily
Different Types of Swimsuit Fabrics
1. Natural Swimwear Fabrics
When wet, natural fibres like cotton and wool quickly lose their structure. They often retain a lot of water and dry slowly. They are heavier and less useful than synthetic alternatives as a result.
Unquestionably not the best choice for swimsuit material. Unless you just want to relax and look good on a sun chair!
For retro-style swimwear, cotton and bamboo-based knit and terry fabrics are frequently utilised. They convey a very 1950s–1960s–or even earlier–era vibe, nevertheless.
Why? Since elastane was created in the 1960s, as we learned, materials created before that time were unable to have the stretchy properties that later materials did.
Natural fibres are generally not a good choice for swimwear that is intended to be worn for swimming. If you have any questions about natural fibres if your particular swimsuit design requires them, please get in touch with us.
2. Polyester Swimsuit Fabric Blends
The most durable swimwear materials are those made of polyester and Lycra (or spandex). However, stretch polyester is a fairly broad category.
Numerous fabric mills produce hundreds, if not thousands, of different blends. The ratio of spandex to poly will vary to some extent with each variety.
There will also be variations in the knit's softness and density. The grade of the filament used in the textile mill to make the fabric accounts for a large portion of the quality differential. Because of this, there are many variations in how polyesters feel and look.
A thick filament (akin to thread) will typically produce a fabric that feels coarser. A smoother, silkier feel will be produced by a thin, smooth filament. Before making a decision, it's crucial to feel the fabric and stretch for yourself.
You will frequently find the terms "Lycra," "Spandex," and "Elastane" when looking at blends for swimwear. So what makes Lycra and spandex different from one another? Easy. The DuPont company's brand name and trademark is Lycra.
The rest are merely general words. All of them have the same meaning. Thus, in terms of functionality, there is no difference between swimwear made with any of these three materials and that created with any other brand-name elastane fibres you might come across.
The eco-friendly elastane choices that are starting to appear on the market are an exception to this, as you'll read below.
Qualities of Polyester Swimwear Fabric
The characteristics of polyester most important for swimsuit textiles are:
- Durability: Polyester is a very strong fibre. Both in and out of the water, it maintains its shape effectively. Additionally, it prevents pilling (the little balls of fuzz that can appear in the crotch and armpit areas). The suit continually contacting the board is a problem that frequently affects surf swimwear.
- Colourfastness: Both dyes and prints keep colour quite well on polyester.
- Cost: One of the more affordable swimwear materials available is polyester.
- Look/Feel: Polyester has a negative reputation because of how "rough" it feels in the hand. But that idea is a little archaic. Modern poly textiles have significantly improved and are now fairly soft, though not as soft as nylon.
- Digital Print: Sublimation can be used to digitally print on polyester. Colors will be vivid, saturated, distinct, and lasting. Polyester is the only material for which sublimation dyes and equipment are created specifically.
Sustainability in Polyester
Polyester is made from a number of materials and is easily recycled. Polyester that is "post-consumer" refers to material that has been recycled, such as carpet fibres, carpet padding, and plastic bottles.
Therefore, all of the material used in the fabric filaments has come from waste if a fabric advertises that it is "100% post-consumer" recycled. The greenest choice is that one.
Some post-consumer recycled materials for sustainable swimwear are pure, while others are blended. Consult your supplier to be sure you are receiving exactly what you are paying for.
Is polyester sustainable? Is it eco-friendly?
That is a challenging question. What we're comparing against determines the answer. Natural fibres don't behave the same manner when wet as synthetic fibres, as I've already said. Thus, it is impossible to compare polyester to anything natural fairly.
There aren't any synthetic fibres that are truly "sustainable" or environmentally friendly. All of these contaminate our water supplies by producing microplastics. What a bummer! That's the unfortunate reality of the situation.
The level of sustainability in swimwear materials is simply not as high as we would like. However, employing recycled polyesters is undoubtedly a better option than using virgin polyester.
3. Nylon Swimwear Fabric Blends
Some of the most common swimsuit materials are nylon and spandex. This is mostly because of its incredibly delicate texture and capacity for a glossy or satin shine.
Qualities of Nylon Swimwear Fabric
- Durability: Since nylon has a high tensile strength, it is durable enough to be used as a fabric for swimsuits. However, it is far more prone to UV (sunlight) degradation and pilling than polyester.
- Colourfastness: Compared to poly, nylon does not maintain colour as well.
- Cost: Nylon prices might vary greatly, however they are often slightly higher than poly.
- Look/Feel: In addition to the larger selection of sheens available, nylon's popularity is mostly due to its wonderful, soft hand feel.
- NOT Printable at Low Volume: Many printers will print artwork to nylon fabrics, but it is NOT INTENDED for sublimation printing. It can be done, but it is not colourfast, washes out fairly quickly and has a poor definition with vector artwork. Therefore, it is not recommended for a quality product.
Sustainability in Nylon Fabrics
Pre-consumer recycled material, which is a little less environmentally favourable than post-consumer, is commonly used to recycle nylon. This indicates that the components are derived from a waste stream that has not yet been utilised by the consumer.
Since this material is upstream of the customer, it has not yet been utilised by the consumer and is therefore more "raw" than post-consumer material. Sometimes the origin of this material raises some red flags, which makes it simpler to "green-wash" this recycled product.
However, because it uses waste from the fishing industry in its recycled nylon filament, Econyl, a recycled nylon swimwear fabric, has received a lot of coverage. As a result, many businesses have started creating goods using recycled polyester fabric.
Upcycling plastic trash into the fashion industry is undoubtedly a good thing, even though there is some controversy about the environmental impact of the recycling process itself.
The Surprising Truth About Chlorine Resistance
After a month or so, do your swimsuits start to come apart? There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your swimsuits if you frequently wear them in chlorinated water.
If colour fading is a concern, seek for swimwear with a high percentage of polyester. Depending on how frequently they are worn, 100% polyester swimwear should maintain their colour for at least a year and up to two years.
This is why suits made of 100% polyester are referred to as chlorine proof. Because polyester, unlike the most popular swimsuit materials of nylon or spandex, is not degraded by chlorine, chlorine-proof swimsuits also have a tendency to maintain their shape. contain no fibres of elastane.
Chlorine-proof swimwear's only disadvantage is that it has less stretch, which results in a tighter fit that some women find restricting. You might want to order one to two sizes bigger than usual to have a looser, more comfortable fit. You will have a few more inches of space as a result.
Some swimwear is referred to as chlorine resistant because the Lycra® was created especially to endure longer than regular swimwear. One of these materials is Xtra Life Lycra®. We do not advise these for frequent pool users as they are the least chlorine-resistant suits we provide.
The best of both worlds, perhaps? Some swimwear producers combine a little amount of Lycra® with high levels of polyester for a more comfortable fit.
You can extend the life of your swimwear by taking care of it properly. After swimming, gently rinse your swimsuit in cold water to remove the chlorine. Your suits should never be washed or dried in a machine with soap or detergent.
Why Chlorine Resistant Swimsuits Are Essential To Water Fitness
What makes a swimsuit that is resistant to chlorine so great?
You probably already know how quickly a traditional spandex swimsuit went out of style if you've ever started a water exercise class like water aerobics in it. Swimsuits made of traditional materials like spandex and Lycra® literally fall apart in front of your eyes when exposed to chlorine.
We can verify that there is nothing worse than having a friend tell you in the middle of class that your swimsuit has gone see-through without your knowledge.
For anyone who spends more than the occasional dip in a chlorinated pool, we advise chlorine resistant swimsuits.
Maybe you're saying, "Okay, great. How can I determine whether a swimsuit is chlorine resistant? This is quite simple. PBT, also known as polybutylene terephthalate, and polyester both exhibit superb stretch and flexibility. PBT has a low water absorption and dries quickly as well. These two materials are hence resistant to chlorine.
The amount of polyester and PBT and the absence of spandex or Lycra® determine how resistant a swimsuit is to chlorine.
This does not imply that a swimsuit made of a polyester/spandex combination is not resistant to chlorine. Although a blend like that, depending on the percentage of spandex, would deteriorate over time, it will still last longer than a swimsuit made entirely of spandex or Lycra®.
Remember that with regular exposure to chlorine, spandex/Lycra® only normally lasts 4-6 weeks in a conventional swimsuit. This is why if you regularly participate in water fitness courses, selecting the ideal chlorine-resistant swimwear is crucial!
Now, just because a swimsuit can withstand chlorine doesn't mean it has to be uninteresting, unattractive, or out of date. Chlorine-resistant swimsuits actually come in a wide variety of designs to accommodate various water fitness requirements.
For instance, if you plan to participate in water aerobics sessions, you will likely leap, twist, race through the water, and use a variety of arm motions. For water aerobics exercises, perhaps racer backs, active backs, keyhole, and pretty much any other athletic back design out there are preferable.
These back patterns are offered in polyester, PBT, or a polyester/spandex hybrid that is chlorine resistant. In contrast, if you take a stretching water class where motions are slower, you might find it more comfortable to wear a swimsuit with a high scoop back that is chlorine resistant.
Numerous of the bikinis mentioned above are available in stunning designs, hues, and textures! The gaps between dull water fitness equipment and stylish swimwear are closing as well-known brands like Krinkle® and Dolfin® explore the realm of aquatic fitness.
10 Tips To Make Your Swimsuit Last Longer
There are a few things you can do to extend the life of your swimwear.
Starting before you even purchase a new swimsuit will help it last longer. It will be more comfortable to wear and prevent stretching out over time if you find a bathing suit that fits well.
If you follow these recommendations, chlorine resistant swimsuits made of polyester or polyester mixes can last up to ten times longer than traditional swimwear.
1. Shower with fresh water before entering the pool
Your swimsuit will absorb less chlorinated water if it is already covered in clean water.
2. Wash your chlorine resistant swimsuit in cool, clear water
You should hand wash your swimsuit in cool, clean water after each use, as directed by the manufacturer.
3. Do not machine wash your swimsuit
NEVER wash a bathing suit in a washing machine since the agitation and detergent can quickly break down the fabrics and drastically shorten the lifespan of your bathing suit.
Avoid using electric washing machines to clean swimwear. Even if your washing machine is set to run gently, it might still be operating too harshly. Consequently, hand-wash your swimsuit in cool water.
4. Roll your suit up in a clean, dry towel and squeeze
Roll your suit in a fresh, lint-free towel of a light colour, then squeeze it once more. Do not store your suit in a gym bag or a roll of wet towels. Long-term moisture retention in your suit will cause an unpleasant odour and suit breakdown.
5. Use Suit Saver™ to extend the life of your swimsuit.
The chlorine residues in your swimsuit that persist even after washing are neutralised with Suit SaverTM.
In order to prolong the life of swimwear and preserve its colour and elasticity, Suit SaverTM chorine remover is specifically made to remove 99.9% of any remaining chlorine after swimming. Guaranteed!
6. Air dry, not sundry
Your wet swimsuit's fabric will become bleached and lose its suppleness if you dry it outside in the sun.
7. Do not use a dryer or spinner
Any type of machine will cause the fabric of your swimsuit to quickly fail and shred. Towels, not swimsuits, are typically spun in gyms.
A dryer has a detrimental impact on the fabric and almost as rapidly as chlorine will ruin the elastic or lycra.
8. Don't put a wet swimsuit on a hanger to dry
The chemicals will gather at the bottom if you hang your suit to dry, causing more wear. To avoid this, lay the suit flat or hang it from a chair, etc.
9. Rotate your polyester swimsuits
Each costume will have more life if you buy two or more and alternate them.
10. Cut out your liner when necessary
Liners typically have a shorter lifespan than the Krinkle® polyester outer shell of your chlorine-resistant suit, particularly those with tummy control.
Since the Krinkle® fabric is opaque when wet, if your liner in a Krinkle® suit should fail, you can gently take out the liner and keep wearing the suit for many more months. Liners couldn't be taken out of clothing with a modesty panel.
So, what’s the best fabric for swimwear?
The fabric that makes the most sense for your needs is the one that works best for swimsuits. We appreciate polyester's robustness and simple printing capabilities from a practical standpoint. Additionally, I think polyester's environmental impact can be better controlled than nylon's.
Polyester still cannot match the feel and quality of nylon, though. While polyesters get a little closer to nylon's appearance and feel every year, they still have a ways to go.
The best of both worlds is yours if you can find a polyester that you adore both in terms of appearance and texture!