The Best Fabric for Swimsuits

The Best Fabric for Swimsuits

02/08/2021 Off By Dasha Redkous

It doesn’t take much effort to find a swimsuit that you fall in love with at first sight. You see the color, you admire the silhouette, and you imagine yourself wearing it. All understandable. It’s hard not to put aesthetics before everything else. It’s the make-or-break factor in most cases since the silhouette and even the shade can play significant roles in how comfortable you feel when you’re in the water or lounging poolside or on the sand.

But there’s another critical feature that requires just as much of your attention: the fabric. You might not necessarily consider it above everything else, but the right type of material can make an enormous difference to your comfort, inside and outside of the water, and as the day wears on. Here’s what you should keep in mind before you grab the prettiest suit on the rack.

 

Spandex

It’s all about control. You reveal a lot more skin than you would on a normal day when you step out in a bathing suit. Naturally, you might want to focus a little more on security than you would in, say, a T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Whether you’re wearing a one-piece swimsuit or a bikini, the control factor can play into your comfort significantly. That’s what makes spandex, or elastane, such an important fabric in the swimwear world.

This is true whether you swim for leisure or for sport. The material does it all by hugging your form without constricting your movement. You’ll feel light and airy as you wear it, something that’s especially important when you’re competing. Spandex has a tendency to “bounce back,” so you don’t have to worry about it losing its shape or integrity when you wear it.

 

Lycra

While spandex alone is amazing, and innovative material like Lycra fabric is completely transformative. Think of it as a hyped-up version of standard spandex. It’s stretchable—up to seven times the length of the suit!—and it won’t lose even a hint of its beauty, strength, or resilience. This is vital to anyone who wants a tankini, bikini, or one-piece that actually stands the test of time and holds up well through countless washes and uses.

Another big bonus is the material’s ability to handle all sorts of common swim concerns with ease. Ever wonder how to deal with a bathing suit with stretchy straps? Odds are it ends up in the donation pile at some point, but those made with Lycra fabric remain in wonderful condition from top to bottom no matter how much you may stretch out the straps. You also don’t have to worry about the material thinning away over time. While frequent use and exposure to everything from chlorine to salt have the potential to ruin the integrity of your favorite suit, pieces constructed of Lycra fabric are far less likely to suffer issues like breakage, breakdown, and other types of damage. In other words, if it looks good today, it will look just as good in years.

 

Nylon

Durability is the greatest benefit of nylon, and it’s the key reason why it’s among the most popular fabrics used in the fabrication of everything from bikini bathing suits to swim skirts. What makes nylon such a reliable material? Its tensile strength sets it apart, making it an especially reliable material that’s proven to remain strong through endless wear and washes.

Of course, it’s best to stick with suits that feature a percentage of spandex built into the fabric for added strength and resilience. Nylon alone has a wonderfully soft texture that makes it particularly appealing, but elevating its stretch factor contributes to a more practical piece of swimwear that’s comfortable to wear.

 

Polyester

Another wonderfully durable material to consider is polyester. Whether you’re shopping for women’s swim tops, bottoms, one-pieces, dresses, or skirts, you’ll find dozens of stylish pieces made with this dependable fabric. It holds color beautifully, and it retains its shape exceptionally well. Another benefit is its soft texture—the material has improved dramatically over the years, and today it’s among the most reliable and comfortable to wear.

Again, look for suits blended with a touch of spandex for added comfort. You’ll appreciate this whether you’re a competitive swimmer or just enjoy taking an occasional dip in the backyard pool.

 

Comfort is everything when you’re in the water. The right fabrics won’t weigh you down, feel great to the touch, and even offer added benefits like resistance to chlorine and the ability to retain shape. These key factors can make all the difference to your choice, so take your time and select wisely. Don’t judge a suit solely by its gorgeous exterior—that matters, of course, but nothing means more than your comfort.