Swimwear Guide: Choosing the Best Swimwear Based on Fabric 

Swimwear is an essential part of swimming process, whether you are a professional sportsman or just a beginner. In order to make the most of your training or enjoy a casual swim, you need to choose the right swimsuit fabric. It will help you find the swimwear which fits your needs—as well as your body. 

There are six popular types of swimsuit fabric to choose from. These are nylon, spandex, polyester, PBT, and cotton. Each fabric has its own particular features and characteristics that make them the best choice for some people but an unwise option for others. So, when you’re shopping for swimwear and thinking of which fabric to choose, also keep in mind what you’ll be using the suit for.  

The main criteria to keep in mind when considering which fabric to choose are: 

  • elasticity of the fabric 
  • resistance to chlorine 
  • durability (how long the swimsuit stays in good shape)  
  • how well the swimsuit fits your body 

Nylon Swimwear

This is one of the most common fabrics used for swimming suits. Nylon is quite a popular choice for swimmers of non-professional level. Since this fabric is not very expensive, the price of such swimwear is significantly lower compared to others.
It boasts low-water absorbency and quick-drying features. The lightweight makes this variant a good choice. Unfortunately, the fabric of this type loses all of its characteristics under continuous influence of the sun, meaning it’s not the best choice for beach bums who love laying in the sun. 

swimsuit fabric

Hi-neck one piece by G. Sonsie is made of spandex and nylon.

Spandex Swimwear

Spandex, also known as elastane, is the generic version of LYCRA®. This type of fabric is an amazingly elastic variant and improves durability and elasticity when combined with any other fabric. Manufacturers often add spandex to nylon in order to provide better elasticity. Such durability and adaptability are advantageous to your wallet (no need to go through a bunch of swimsuits when you have an elastane suit) and make swimwear fit and flatter your body easily. 

When this fabric is worn by itself, rather than combined with another fabric, it’s unfortunately not as comfortable as it might seem to be. The problem with spandex is that it feels a bit itchy when not combined with other types of fabric. 

Xtra Life LYCRA®

As for this type of fabric, it is mostly used for blending purposes. This material enhances properties of swimming suits when added to the process of manufacturing. It is a comfortable fabric which is extremely durable, making it a grade above typical spandex. As a result, your swimsuit will retain its color and shape for longer time. Xtra Life LYCRA® also provides longer durability and higher resistance to chlorine. However, its price is also much higher. 

PBT Swimwear

The short name of this material is derived from the main components of the fabric—polybutylene terephthalate and texturized polyester. As a result, PBT is a good choice for those who prefer outdoor swimming. Its features are numerous, including: 

  • Protecting your body against water 
  • Quick drying  
  • Resistance to chlorine  
  • Resistance to heat  

However, all of these features influence the cost of PBT significantly and it can be overpriced in certain shops. 

Polyester Swimwear

The competitor of polyester is spandex. Polyester fits various forms perfectly and provides high resistance to chlorine. This is an incredibly durable swimsuit fabric. Another advantage of polyester is that this material does not require any specific care. It can retain the best features for many years.
This fabric differs from spandex in that it does not stretch that well, which can be a good thing because it holds its shape well. The downside is that without much stretch, it’s uncomfortable and difficult to put on at first. What is more, the cost of this fabric is typically much higher than the cost of spandex.

Cotton Swimwear 

Cotton is perfect for those who like the fashionable approach to swimming. It looks great but can be not good enough for a proper training or serious competition. Cotton absorbs water immensely which will make its weight much heavier when swimming.
This swimsuit fabric is not made to fit a sportsmen body. Cotton loses its shape easily after a few hours of being in water. Nevertheless, it is a soft material, making it comfy to wear and perfect for someone who likes to lounge in the sun.

Choosing Your Swimsuit

Since each of the materials described has unique characteristics, they are often blended together. For example, some materials boast better resistance while others provide better elasticity. It helps manufacturers reach lower price and provide higher quality. 

Swimwear by G Sonsie is a blend of nylon and spandex, giving you the best of both fabrics! Not only is the combination buttery soft to the touch, it’s also constructed to perfectly fit your body. 

It is a good idea to compare swimming suits made of different types of fabric. In this way, you will be able to understand which kind of swimming suits works best for you. Try to start from mid-priced variants because it will give you a general understanding of the fabric. However, if you are a professional athlete, it is better to give preference to more expensive variants because they will support your body in a more delicate way.