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Sewing swimwear and swimsuits can be challenging, especially if you have never done it before. There are several aspects to consider when sewing swimwear, such as the conditions of the pool or beach, exposure to salt water, chlorine, pool chemicals, and UV rays. In this blog post, we will discuss how to choose the best swimwear and swimsuit fabric. Read on to find out more.

Tips for Choosing Swimwear and Swimsuit Fabrics

When planning to sew swimwear and swimsuits, consider factors like comfort, coverage, and range of movement. Determine the type of swimwear you will be sewing, such as a bikini, one-piece, board shorts, or rash guard. Follow these tips to find the best fabrics for your project:

Consider the Swimwear Type

The type of swimwear you are making will influence your fabric choice. For women’s one-piece or bikini, men’s trunks, or Euro-style swimmers, opt for stretch swimwear fabric. Woven or non-stretch fabric is suitable for board shorts, although some board shorts can be made from knit fabrics.

Look for Desired Qualities

When selecting swimwear and swimsuit fabrics, consider the following qualities:

  • Adequate Stretch: The fabric should have the right amount of stretch to ensure a proper fit and ease of movement.
  • Chlorine and Salt Water Resistance: Choose a fabric that can withstand exposure to chlorine, salt water, sunscreen lotion, and pool chemicals.
  • UV Protection: Look for fabrics that provide protection against sun damage by offering UV protection.
  • Quick Drying: Consider the water absorption and drying time of the fabric. Swimsuits should not become excessively heavy when wet to ensure a comfortable swimming experience.

Swimwear fabrics are designed with negative ease, meaning they may appear smaller than your body measurements but are stretchable to fit snugly. It is crucial to use fabrics with stretch properties that allow for easy wearing and removal, facilitating comfortable movement while swimming.

When making swimsuits, ensure they have 30-50% or more 4-way stretch, meaning the fabric stretches both vertically and horizontally. Before sewing, check the stretchiness of each fabric to ensure it is suitable for swimwear.

Additionally, swimwear fabrics should have good recovery, meaning they bounce back to their original size and shape without sagging or becoming baggy. Synthetic fabric blends containing high amounts of Spandex, Lycra, or Elastane offer excellent recovery properties.

Commonly Used Fabric for Swimwear

The two most commonly used swimwear fabrics are:

Nylon Spandex

This fabric is widely used for swimwear due to its durability, soft feel, and sheen. However, it is less UV-resistant, prone to pilling, and less colorfast compared to polyester-blend fabrics.

Polyester Spandex

Polyester spandex has gained popularity in recent times due to its impressive properties. It is resistant to pilling, holds color well, and offers durability. However, it may not have the same soft feel as nylon spandex.

Other fabrics suitable for swimwear and swimsuits include:

  • Scuba or Neoprene: Traditionally used for wetsuits, these fabrics can be utilized for thicker swimwear, offering increased durability and longevity.
  • Repreve: Made of spandex and recycled polyester, this fabric provides a sustainable option for swimwear.

Most swimwear fabrics have a weight of 180-200 gsm (grams per square meter). Fabrics lighter than this may become see-through when wet.

Fabric Choices for Board Shorts

Board shorts are typically made from woven polyester microfiber, which can be brushed on one or both sides to achieve a furry texture. Brushed polyester microfiber is sometimes referred to as “peach skin.”

Although woven nylon fabric can also be used for board shorts, it can be challenging to find in fabric stores and may require sourcing from wholesale suppliers. The liner or inner shorts of board shorts are often made from power mesh or swim lining fabric.

Swim lining fabric, made of lightweight and breathable mesh fabric like nylon or polyester spandex, is used as the inner layer in some swimsuits. It prevents transparency when wet, keeps the swimsuit in place, and avoids shifting or riding up on the body.

Power mesh can also serve as swim lining fabric and is available in 2-way and 4-way stretch options, which should be considered when selecting the appropriate swimwear fabric.

Fabrics to Avoid for Swimwear

When sewing swimsuits, it is best to avoid using the following fabrics:

Cotton and Wool

Natural fibers like cotton and wool absorb water, making them heavy to wear and restricting movement while swimming. These fabrics take a long time to dry and become saggy and clingy when wet. They are also prone to damage from chlorine, saltwater, and pool chemicals, and do not last as long as nylon or polyester fabrics.

Wholesale Swimwear Fabric at Spandex Warehouse

If you need to buy wholesale swimwear fabrics online, Spandex Warehouse in Los Angeles, California is worth considering. With over 25 years of experience in the fabric industry, we can help you find the best fabric for your swimwear needs. You can contact us through our website’s contact form or place an order using the provided order form.

For wholesale swimwear and swimsuit fabrics in Los Angeles, California, choose Spandex Warehouse. With our expertise and wide range of fabrics, we can assist you in finding the perfect fabric for your swimwear projects. Contact us today by calling 213-629-7416 or emailing [email protected]. Trust Spandex Warehouse as your reliable wholesale supplier of fabrics. Contact us now!