Speedo Swimsuit Fabrics Explained

January 22, 2024

The technology that goes in to the design of fabrics is incredible, and swimwear fabric is no exception. Big swimwear brands, like Speedo, put a lot of time and thought in to deciding which fabrics are best suited (pun intended) for their products. Often times, you’ll see different styles composed of various fabrics, depending on the purpose they are trying to achieve.

Why Is It Important?

In swimming, a sport where you’re trying to glide seamlessly through the water, the fabric and composition of the swimsuit makes a world of difference. Each material will feel and fit differently when in the water, depending on the person and their level of expertise. Additionally, different fabrics have diverse lifecycles. While one swimsuit may fit better, another may have greater longevity. Finding the best swimsuit for you is vital to your success in the pool. 

What Are The Different Kinds of Speedo Fabrics?

Speedo swimsuits in particular use a lot of unique blends to come up with their signature fabrics; Aquablade (80% Polyester, 20% LYCRA® Spandex), Endurance Lite (51% PBT, 49% Polyester), Endurance+ (50% Polyester, 50% PBT), XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber (74% Nylon, 26% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), PowerFLEX (74% Nylon, 26% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), PowerFLEX Eco (78% Econyl, 22% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), PowerPLUS (79% Nylon, 21% XTRA LIFE LYCRA® Fiber), and ProLT (85% Polyester, 15% Spandex).

While these fabrics all sound super fancy (and confusing), each of their swimsuits are made up of a blend of the following materials, and we're breaking them down for you in this guide.


- Ideal for drag suits and training suits
- Very common fabric in swimwear
- Often blended with Spandex for elasticity

- Offers a lightweight, smooth fit
- One of the strongest manufactured fibers
- Quick-drying and low-water absorbency
- Lower-cost

- Has poor resistance to prolonged sun exposure, so fabric will fade and fray. (To help, rinse with cool, fresh water after each use.).


- Made from recycled materials
- Offers an eco-friendly alternative to standard Nylon

- Eco-friendly

- More expensive


- Ideal for competition suits
- Competitive swimsuits should contain higher percent of spandex
- Also known as Elastane or as brand name LYCRA®

- Form-fitting fit
- Mid-range cost
- Commonly used because of durable elasticity
- Excellent elasticity and stretch, so even a small amount is vital for swimsuits

- Can be itchy if not blended with other fabrics
- Does not hold up well in chlorine. Rinse with cool, fresh water after each use.


- Ideal for competition suits
- Often blended with other fabrics

- Longer-lasting than LYCRA® Spandex
- Comfortable material
- Retains color and shape
- Chorine-resistant
- Stronger elasticity than Spandex/LYCRA®    

- More expensive cost.


- Ideal for fitness and competition suits
- Best for outdoor swimming
- PBT stands for polybutylene terephthalate, a texturized polyester
- Often blended with Polyester

- Cost-effective and durable
- Chlorine- and heat-resistant
- Great stretch and elasticity, similar to spandex
- Quick-drying and low-water absorbency

- More expensive cost


- Ideal for competition suits
- Durable alternative to Spandex
- Common alternative to Spandex in competition swimsuits

- Form-fitting fit
- Chlorine-resistant and colorfast
- Durable material, even if not cared for properly
- Doesn't stretch as much as Spandex; holds shape well
- 2-3 times longer lasting than Spandex

- Not as comfortable as Spandex
- Higher cost
- Not super stretchy, harder to put on at first

Keep in mind that there are different blends of these fabrics in Speedo competition swimsuits. While one material may not have good shape retention, the other blended fabric will. Compare the materials listed to ensure you are getting exactly what you need. There's plenty of fabric and fabric blends available, but it is up to you to determine which composition best fits your swimwear needs. Now that you understand the differences between the Speedo swimsuit materials, you're ready to get out there and choose.


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