Understanding Competition Swimsuit Fabrics
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Understanding Competition Swimsuit Fabrics


Shopping for competition swimsuits can be confusing, especially if you don't what you're looking for. To best select a swimsuit, you must first determine the right fabric. Each material feels and fits differently in the water, so it is important to choose the right fabric to fit your needs. This guide will explain the pros, cons, and purposes of each competition suit fabric.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-solid-piped-thin-strap-swimsuit-19796/?color=9606 Nylon

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

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

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

Suit Pictured: Sporti Solid Piped Thin Strap Swimsuit

 

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/a3-performance-female-sprintback-lycra-8117467/?color=Spandex

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

   Pros:
  - 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.

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

Suit Pictured: Speedo Women's Learn To Swim Pro LT Superpro Swimsuit

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-micro-back-swimsuit-25516/?color=Xtra Life LYCRA®

   Details:
  - Ideal for competition suits.
  - Often blended with other fabrics.

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

    Cons:
  - More expensive cost.

Suit Pictured: Sporti Micro Back Swimsuit

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/tyr-durafast-solid-diamondfit-2849/?color=PBT

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

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

    Cons:
  - More expensive cost.

Suit Pictured: Arena Adult Madison Swim-Pro Back

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-polyester-linear-thin-strap-swimsuit-8118997/?color=Polyester

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

    Pros:
  - 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.

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

Suit Pictured: Nike Swim Polyester Cut-Out Tank Swimsuit

Cotton

   Details:
  - Ideal for fashion swimwear or cover-ups.
  - Not recommended for competition swimwear.

    Pros:
  - Soft, comfortable material.

    Cons:
  - Absorbs water.
  - Not fitted to body.
  - Water will cause it to lose its shape.
  - Rare to find in swimwear.

Keep in mind that there are different blends of these fabrics in 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 swimsuit materials, you're ready to get out there and choose.

Shop all Women's Competition Swimsuits

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Trish
7 months ago.
Hi, I'm allergic to Latex and Polyester. I have the worst time fitting into a bathing suit that won't aggravate my skin and fill so darn uncomfortable. Is there a bathing suit out there for people like me? HELP!?
Swimoutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hello Trish,
The materials you want to look for are nylon, lycra or spandex. These three materials have no latex in them or polyester. Stay away from PBT since this is a polyester by product. On the left hand side of the screen you can narrow down your search by choosing the type of material you want, also on each product page about halfway down the page, there will be product details which will tell you the exact percentage of material in the suit.
Zee
1 year ago.
Hi there, great article. I am a little over weight and need a suit that helps suck in my flabby bits. What is the best material combo to look out for pls? Both from technology and comfort point of view? Those spank style suits, are not comfortable!
swimoutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Zee,
I would suggest a blend of polyester and spandex. You'll have the benefit of a long lasting suit from the polyester so it retains it's shape really well and you'll have the stretch from the spandex for comfort. It's a great material blend. I hope this helps!
Kate
1 year ago.
Because of severe arthritis in my hands, I have difficulty getting swim suits on and offf....please tell me what fabric might make this easier...I love to swim and do this regularly.

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swimoutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Kate,
I would suggest a swimsuit that has mainly nylon. Nylon is often blended with other material such as xtra life lycra or lycra spandex. This would be easier to put on, but the downside is it doesn't last as long as polyester. Here are some options to check out: Speedo Contemporary Ultraback One Piece Swimsuit, Reebok Fitness Swim Zig Zag U-Back Tank, Speedo Ultraback Conservative One Piece Swimsuit.
Brittany
1 year ago.
What's the best fabric for cover ups?
swimoutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Brittany,
Polyester is a great material for cover ups. When looking at a product, check out the product details for the material type.
DINAISA RAYNOR
1 year ago.
IAM STARTING MY OWN SWIMSUIT LINE , AND I WANTED TO USE
83% LYCRA AND 17% ELASTIC
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE FABRIC IM USING ? WOULD YOU CONSIDER SOMETHING ELSE ?
Swimoutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Dinaisa,
Polyester is also a good fabric to keep in mind.
Lex
1 year ago.
What is the best swimsuit material for open water swimming in salt water 1-3 times a week?
swimoutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Lex,
Polyester or a blend of polyester and PBT will work well.
Annie Lee
1 year ago.
What material is best for a swimsuit worn daily for 2 hours in a chlorinated pool?
swimoutlet.com
1 year ago.
Hi Annie,
Polyester will provide a long life for the swimsuit. You are able to filter by fabric when checking out swimsuits on the left hand side of the page. I hope this helps!
Maria
2 years ago.
Hi

I am on a proccess of making my swimwear collectin,
and after reading the above article, i would like to have your advise on the best fabric combination to make the best quality in fabric to my collection.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENT OF FABRIC MATERIAL TO BIKINIES AND DIFFERENT FABRIC MATRIAL TO OTHER SWIMSUIT???

your reply will be appreciated
Maria
swimoutlet.com
2 years ago.
Hi Maria,
The best fabric combination would be Polyester/Xtra Life LYCRA. Yes, bikini bottoms and tops are generally made from Nylon/Lycra. If you have further questions, feel free to reach us anytime!
jewelinvernale@nyc.rr.com
2 years ago.
Which is the best material in swim wear for a55 year young woman.? Nylon or polyster
swimoutlet.com
2 years ago.
Hi,
The best material will depend on how often you will be using the swimsuit. If you will be using this suit very often, for example about 5 days a week. I would suggest Polyester as it will last longer and maintain color better. If you will be using the suit a few days a month, I'd suggest Nylon. Nylon will provide more comfort. If you have any questions, feel free to reach us anytime!
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