If you don’t know the first thing about swimsuits, then picking out the right one can seem like an uphill task. However, it all boils down to understanding the fabric as each material affords a different texture and in-water experience. Therefore, it essential that the fabric you choose matches your expectations to a tee. Today, we break down the purposes, cons and pros of a variety of swimsuit fabrics so as to enable you to make an informed purchase.
- Best suited for training and drag suits
- A very popular swimwear fabric
- It’s integrated with spandex that greatly enhances elasticity making it great for plus size swimwear.
- It is a robust material that is built to withstand the test of time.
- Offers a seamless lightweight fit
- Has low water absorbency and dries up fast
- It’s pocket-friendly
- It is susceptible to extended sun exposure which results in fray and fade of the fabric. This can be mitigated by rinsing with fresh, cool water after every use.
- The architecture of the spandex swimsuits designed for sporting purposes is predominantly made of spandex
- LYCRA® is the material’s brand name and it’s also often referred to as Elastane
- Averagely priced
- Provides a form-fitting fit
- Very popular as it offers a long-lasting elasticity
- Affords exceptional stretch and elasticity, both of which are essential swimsuit properties, making it the perfect plus size swimwear
- Use in its pure form can result in itchiness hence the need to pair it up with another fabric so as to counteract this effect.
- Vulnerable to the effects of chlorine. Therefore, after each use, rinse with fresh, cool water to mitigate this.
Xtra Life LYCRA®
- Perfect material for sporting purposes.
- Regularly integrated with other fabrics
- Affords peerless comfort
- Beats LYCRA® Spandex in longevity
- Has commendable shape and color durability
- Betters the elastic prowess of LYCRA® or Spandex which makes it a great alternative for plus size swimwear
- Holds up well against chlorine
- Has a hefty price tag
- It makes for a great fitness swimsuit
- Tailored to handle the harshness of outdoor swimming making it perfect for such a setting
- PBT is a texturized polyester whose acronym in full is polybutylene terephthalate
- Regularly paired with polyester
- Long-lasting and pocket-friendly as well
- Holds up well against both heat and chlorine
- Has low-water absorbency and dries up quickly.
- Makes for an ideal plus size swimwear as, just like spandex, it has excellent stretch and elastic properties
- It is quite expensive
- A popular spandex substitute thanks to its longevity
- Also an ideal and popular spandex alternative to sporting swimsuits
- Colorfast and tolerant to chlorine
- Provides a skin-tight cut
- Has considerable longevity even with little care
- Retains shape commendably and, unlike spandex, it doesn’t stretch too much.
- Doubles, sometimes even triples, the lifespan of Spandex making a more cost-effective option in the long run
- More expensive
- Comfort is a little low compared to Spandex
- Maiden wear is cumbersome given it’s not extremely stretchy
- Perfectly suited fabric for cover-ups or fashion swimwear
- Not ideal for sporting purposes
- Soft to the touch
- Very comfortable material
- Its form-fitting capability is low
- Has high water absorbency which increases weight significantly whilst swimming
- Loses its shape with continued use
- Seldom used to make swimwear because of all the above properties
Related: Read about different kinds of plus size swimwear for different body types
Well, there you have it folks, a breakdown of some of the most commonly used swimwear fabric so as to ease your shopping. It’s important to remember that there is a wide array of fabric blends for swimsuits. Therefore, be sure to examine many possible options against the characteristics of the materials listed herein so as to ensure you pick out the perfect one for you. Try out as many as you can as, almost always, a better option comes just when you’ve thought you’ve found the perfect match.
There are also countless fabrics and fabric blends at your disposal but at the end of the day, you have the last say. Your final pick ought to not only tickle your fancy but should also meet your swimwear needs particularly if you’re on the hunt for plus size swimwear. Armed with this knowledge of how each material works, you’re now ready to begin shopping for that swimsuit you’ve been dreaming about for ages.