Is your swimwear suitable?

If you’re wearing your swimsuit in chlorinated or salt water on a regular basis it can be hard on the fabric however, there are a few choices you can make when purchasing swimwear to make sure it suitable for the task.

The fabric blend your swimsuit is made of will determine how well it lasts during training sessions, competition or salt water swimming.

See our short guide below on common fabric materials and blends:

Nylon

Nylon is a very common fabric in swimwear, it is often blended with Spandex for elasticity.

Pros:
Nylon offers a lightweight, smooth fit
It is one of the strongest manufactured fibres
Quick-drying and low-water absorbency
Lower-cost than other fabrics

Cons:
Nylon has poor resistance to prolonged sun exposure, so fabric will fade and fray (To help, rinse with cool, fresh water after each use.).

See ‘Zoggs’ swimwear for Elastomax fabric (80% nylon 20% spandex)

Spandex

Competitive swimsuits should contain higher percent of spandex, it is also known as Elastane or as brand name LYCRA®.

Pros:
Spandex offers a form-fitting fit
Mid-range cost
Spandex is commonly used because it has excellent elasticity and stretch, so even a small amount is good for swimsuits

Cons:
Spandex can be itchy if not blended with other fabrics
It also does not hold up well in chlorine, so not usually suitable for training or competition swimwear.

See ‘Zoggs’ swimwear for Elastomax fabric (80% nylon 20% spandex)

PBT

PBT stands for polybutylene terephthalate, a texturized polyester with natural stretch similar to Spandex. The most important characteristic of PBT is chlorine resistancy as well as resistant to salt water and colour fading so ideal for any swimwear, but particularly fitness and competition wear.

Pros:

Highly resistant to the effects of chlorine, salt water and colour fading.

Best for outdoor swimming.
Often blended with Polyester

Cost-effective and durable.
Great stretch and elasticity, similar to spandex.
Quick-drying and low-water absorbency.

Cons:
Due to quality and durability, swimwear can be a higher cost

See ‘Swimmers’ brand in Boys Swimwear for this material (55% PBT 45% Polyester)

Polyester

Polyester is often mixed with PBT and is a durable and common alternative ideal for competition suits.

Pros:
Form-fitting fit.
Chlorine-resistant and colourfast.
Durable material, even if not cared for properly.
Doesn’t stretch as much as Spandex; holds shape well.
2-3 times longer lasting than Spandex.

Cons:
Not as comfortable as Spandex
Higher cost.
Not super stretchy, harder to put on at first.

See ‘Swimmers’ brand in Boys Swimwear for this material (55% PBT 45% Polyester)

Xtra Life LYCRA®

This fabric is often blended with other fabrics and commonly found in competition suits.

Pros:
Longer-lasting than LYCRA® Spandex.
Comfortable material that retains colour and shape.
Highly chorine-resistant with stronger elasticity than Spandex/LYCRA® to retain shape and fit

Cons:
More expensive cost.

Keep in mind that there are many different blends of these fabrics in competition swimsuits and many have their own name.

Be sure to check out the composition of the fabric to confirm it’s fabric blend and ensure you are getting exactly what you need.