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Rash guards have become popular swimwear for those who prefer more coverage while swimming or lounging on the beach. If you’re looking to purchase rash guard fabrics from an online wholesale supplier in Los Angeles, California, you’re in the right place. Here at Spandex Warehouse, we offer a variety of fabrics. In this blog post, we’ll share everything you need to know about rash guard fabric. Keep reading to learn more.

Also known as rashies or rash vests, a rash guard provides protection against rashes and harmful UV rays. It’s akin to a blend of a wetsuit and a swim shirt, designed to fit snugly. Commonly crafted from materials like neoprene, nylon, polyester, and spandex, rash guards are essential for surfers to prevent rashes caused by friction with their surfboards’ waxed surface.

Rash guards are worn in hot weather when a wetsuit would be too warm. Made from breathable materials compared to wetsuits, they offer comfort in sweltering conditions. While wetsuits retain body heat to keep the wearer warm in cold water, rash guards are ideal for sun protection, especially those made with UPF 50 fabrics. For avid surfers, rash guards are preferable to looser swimwear like swim shirts, as they minimize drag in the water, allowing for longer surfing sessions.

Benefits of Rash Guards

Rash guards, commonly associated with surfing, are increasingly favored by swimmers due to their numerous benefits:

  • Rash Protection: Designed to shield against rashes caused by friction with surfboards, rash guards offer essential protection. The wax applied to surfboards for improved traction can roughen the surface, leading to skin abrasions and irritation upon contact.
  • Sun Protection: While swimming at the beach may feel refreshing, exposure to harsh UV rays is unavoidable. While sunscreen provides some defense, it requires frequent reapplication. Swimwear, including rash guards, often features UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) fabric, blocking harmful rays. For instance, a rash guard with UPF 50 indicates that only 1 out of 50 sun rays may penetrate the fabric.
  • Form-Fitting: Despite the casual attire often worn to the beach, the benefits of a rash guard should not be overlooked. They are popular for their snug fit, offering optimal comfort for surfers and swimmers. In contrast, loose-fitting swim shirts can create drag during surfing sessions.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Rash Guard

Rash guards, initially crafted for surfers, now offer diverse styles and materials. Here are essential factors to think about when selecting one:


Rash guards are primarily composed of synthetic fibers like Lycra, neoprene, nylon-spandex, and polyester. The choice of material significantly influences comfort, warmth, stretch, and breathability.

  • Lycra: Known for its exceptional stretchiness, breathability, and rapid drying, Lycra allows unrestricted movement.
  • Neoprene: Often found in wetsuits, neoprene provides insulation and flexibility, ideal for surfers in colder waters, minimizing heat loss.
  • Nylon-Spandex: Combining stretch, breathability, quick drying, and a snug fit, nylon-spandex enhances comfort during water activities.
  • Polyester: Breathable and moisture-wicking, polyester efficiently transfers moisture from the skin, ensuring quick drying.


Although seemingly minor, the stitching of a rash guard significantly impacts its quality. Opt for flat-locked seams over over-lock seams to prevent skin irritation, rashes, and chafing. This ensures a smoother, more comfortable experience during water activities.

The Fit

The fit of your rash guard is crucial. Before making a choice, think about the water activities you’ll engage in. For intense pursuits like diving or surfing, a snug, form-fitting rash guard is ideal. It minimizes drag and allows for unrestricted movement. Conversely, if you prefer comfort during leisurely beach or pool activities, a looser fit may be more suitable.

Design Options

Rash guards come with different design methods, notably sublimation and heat transfer.

  • Heat Transfer: This method involves ironing designs onto the fabric, providing a quick application. However, over time, these designs may crack, fade, or peel.
  • Sublimation: A more intricate process, sublimation transfers the design into the fabric by applying heat to the ink, integrating it seamlessly. This results in designs that won’t easily fade, crack, or peel off, as they become part of the fabric.

Exploring Different Rash Guard Types

  • Regular Rash Guard: Lightweight and snug-fitting, akin to swim shirts, these guards dry quickly and offer UPF fabric for surfers’ rash protection.
  • Sleeve Length and Styles: Rash guards come in various designs:
    1. Short Sleeves: Guard against rashes and sun rays by covering the upper arms.
    2. Long Sleeves: Ideal for warmth in cold waters while providing sun protection.
    3. Tanks: Designed for hot days, offering flexibility without restricting arm movements.
  • Thermal Rash Guards: Also known as thermo rash guards, these provide a thick layer of insulation akin to wetsuits, perfect for extended periods in cold water. Typically crafted from neoprene, the material used in wetsuits.

If you seek a wholesale supplier for rash guard fabrics in Los Angeles, California, Spandex Warehouse is your go-to. With over 25 years of industry experience, we offer a wide range of fabrics to meet your needs.

Reach out to us at 213.629.7416, send a fax to 213.629.7433, or email us at [email protected] for more information. Choose Spandex Warehouse for top-quality rash guard fabrics. Contact us today! We’re here to assist you in finding the perfect fabric for your requirements.