If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what exactly swimming costumes are made of, you’re not alone. This seemingly strange, elastic, moisture resistant fabric has evaded a lot of us in terms of its actual material.
Nowadays, however, as we all grow increasingly aware of the origins of our clothing, and its effects on the environment, we become more and more curious about the materials they’re made of.
So, if you want to find out more about what swimsuits are made of, keep reading, as we take a look below.
What Are Swimsuits Made From?
So, let’s jump straight into the question above. What exactly are swimsuits made of?
Well, there are actually a few different kinds of materials that manufacturers use to make swimsuits, and we’ve got them all covered below.
Synthetic fabric is one of the most popular materials used to make swimsuits.
There are so many different kinds of synthetic fabrics on the market today, and they make a great option for swim gear, as they boast some of the features that we’ve most come to associate with swimsuits.
For example, polyester, which is probably the most popular synthetic material used to make swimsuits, is actually chlorine resistant, so you can rest assured that it won’t get damaged in the pool.
As well as this, polyester is also sunlight resistant, so the colors of your favorite swimsuit won’t fade with usage.
As well as this, one of the main features that polyester demonstrates is its elasticity, so it has a comfortable stretch when you’re wearing it.
The way in which polyester takes on this elasticated feature is through the manufacturer blending it with elastane, which is also used in combination with a lot of other synthetic materials.
For example, another popular material that elastane is blended with is spandex. This figure hugging material makes swimwear that looks just as great as those made from polyester, but is slightly worse quality.
This is because nylon, which spandex is made from, does not have any chlorine resistant properties, so it could get damaged if you decide to wear it in the pool.
Finally, another synthetic material that’s blended with elastane is polycotton spandex. This is far less popular than the others mentioned above, probably because it fades quite quickly as it’s not sun resistant.
As well as this, it’s also less apt to dry as quickly as the others, because a part of its make-up consists of natural fibers.
Some swimsuits on the other hand, are made from natural materials rather than synthetic. These are not as common nowadays, and were popular when swimsuits were first invented.
Some reading this may be surprised to find that one of the most common materials used in swimsuits during previous years was cotton.
That’s right, even though it’s slow drying and prone to bobbling, cotton was a popular option for the swimsuit wearers of yesteryear.
You can probably guess why it was such a popular choice, as many of the women of the time were avid knitters, and were able to manufacture their own swimsuits by following patterns.
Swimsuit knitting patterns were circulated widely in ladies magazines, and you could make one cheaply and comfortably in your own home.
In addition to this reason, materials such as nylon weren’t found until the latter portion of the 1970s, and so there were no other options available for people of the day.
Wool could, as you can imagine, be incredibly uncomfortable to wear in the water, as it’s prone to sucking up moisture. This would result in the swimsuit becoming incredibly uncomfortable and heavy to wear.
Despite this, wool is far more sustainable than many of the synthetic materials that are used for swimsuits today.
Manufacturers are looking for ways to incorporate materials like wool into the making of swimsuits, whilst still trying to maintaining all of the comfort and versatility offered through synthetic materials.
What Is The Best Swimsuit Material?
What someone would classify as the best swimsuit material is completely dependent on what they want from the fabric.
For example, probably the most popular fabric which is used for swimwear is polyester.
It’s the most comfortable material out of all of the synthetic fabrics, and as we mentioned before, it’s chlorine and sunlight resistant.
As well as polyester, another popular fabric used for swimwear is nylon. Nylon is a great choice for those who aren’t planning on doing lots of arduous swimming, as it’s mainly built to be fashionable.
Nylon is the primary material used for many of the patterned, stylish swimming suits you see on the market today.
It has an incredibly glossy finish, as well as being incredibly figure hugging, which makes it an extremely popular choice.
Another popular synthetic material is PBT, and if you take a look at the appearance of this material, you’ll notice that it appears far firmer and stiffer than nylon or polyester.
The fibers are more tightly woven together, allowing it to move through water freely with less absorption.
As you can guess, this property makes it an excellent material for competitive swim sports, as you can easily move through the water.
It’s also extremely moisture resistant, which allows it to dry quickly. In addition to this, PBT can also withstand a host of different swimming conditions, as it’s highly durable.
Nowadays, swimsuits are primarily made from synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, or PBT.
They’re incredibly popular choices because they can withstand the effects of chlorine, as well as sunlight, and are fast drying.
Manufacturers are trying to include more natural materials in swimwear today, such as cotton, in order to make it more sustainable for the environment.