Best fabric for swimwear

June 9, 2020
GCSE and GCE Design and

Whether you are shopping for a new swimsuit or you decided to sew one of your own, choosing the right fabric might be just as important as, say, choosing the colour and pattern that best suit you. However, finding the best swimsuit material can be rather tricky as there are several options to choose from and each of them has its pros and cons.

So, imagine. It's a hot summer morning and you have a day off. You go out into your back garden, install a brand-new Intex Easy Set pool and decide to have a swim. What are the most important qualities that you would like to have in your swimming suite? Is it durability? Or stretch? Or maybe both of them? Whatever your expectations and goals are, it is crucial for you to make the right choice, regarding the swimsuit material.


There is a fairly good chance that if you pick up any piece of swimwear nowadays, it will contain at least a small portion of nylon in it. And actually there are a few reasons for that. Firstly, nylon is lightweight and soft, which makes it a smooth fit. Secondly, it has an ability to wick moisture from skin and then dry quite quickly. Yet, this fabric doesn't come without disadvantages: it's not chlorine-resistant and fades on the flip side after prolonged periods of sun exposure.


A fabric that at one time really dominated the world swimwear industry is polyester. It seems to have all the qualities needed for such a type of clothing: it is strong, resilient, soft, durable, chlorine and UV resistant. On the other hand, polyester is heavier and not as stretchable, as, for instance, nylon, although they both look really similar.

However, new technologies have done a lot to improve the quality of polyester and substitute for some of its flaws. PBT, or polybutylene terephthalate, has a much faster speed of drying up and it is almost as elastic as nylon. More than that, it is lightweight due to its ability to repel water.


When nylon and polyester were not yet discovered, and even for quite some time after they were, cotton had been widely used for making swimsuits. One may still use it on that purpose and achieve a vintage look for one's swimwear, although it will be a completely different type. The colour and pattern choices for this fabric are endless as are the styles, so anyone can find what is best to their liking. No, it doesn't dry up quickly but the feel of the material on a hot summer day is, undoubtedly, amazing.

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