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home>>beauty & fashion>>wardrobe basics>>swimwear>>What Are Bathing Suits Made Of?

What Are Bathing Suits Made Of?

by: Chris Molnar

Beach wear grows up

There was a time not too long ago when beach wear products consisted of a polyester or nylon bathing suit. However, in the last few years, new fabrics and techniques have meant new choices, such as sleek sports suits designed to increase speed, clothing treated with UV protection, and micro fibers designed to let you tan through your suit.

Traditional Suits

An overwhelming percentage of bathing suits today are made of synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and Lycra (spandex). They are comfortable, keep their shape, and are elastic and quick-drying, making them a great general-use fabric.

However, there are several factors that decrease the lifespan of a traditional swimsuit. Lycra is a fragile fabric, and chlorine and other chemicals are particularly harsh to it. Rough surfaces can also break the fibers, creating that piled look of an older suit. Hot tubs, washing machines and suntan oils will also cause damage. Swimwear that is constantly damp from either spending a long time in the water or being rolled up in a bag will also weaken the fabric as well as breed bacteria.

A bathing suit with a higher percentage of polyester is more durable to the elements, but you lose the comfort of spandex, which gives a swimsuit its sleek lines and ability to stretch.

As long as care is taken, traditional polyester/spandex/nylon blend products are still a great choice, as long as care is taken while wearing and cleaning your suit.

High-Performance Fabrics

Today, advances in technology have created a whole new range of fabrics and special weaving techniques. Micro fiber was introduced in the late 1980s, and consists of both traditional synthetic fibers and completely new fibers that are much thinner than before, yet retain all the strength, durability, and stretch of traditional fabric. How thin? Many are 100 times thinner than a human hair! These fibers are then packed together to make an incredibly strong, versatile and comfortable fabric. They can be constructed to be impervious to water, yet loose enough to allow perspiration to escape from the skin, cooling the body.

For the swimsuit industry, this has meant a huge variety of new fabrics and techniques. Athletes can now wear special fabrics that reduce drag in the water, and those worried about the sun have the option of UV-blocking materials. Sun worshippers can buy a tan through swimsuit, where the material is porous enough to let 50% of the suns rays through and yet still be opaque to the naked eye.

Every year, new micro fiber fabrics are introduced to the market. Browse online or walk through specialty swim stores, and you can see and feel the difference. There is a bathing suit out there for you. Now its easier to find one.

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About The Author
Chris is the author and owner of http://www.no-tan-lines.com, an information and resource site on tan through clothing, tanning tips and beach sportswear.
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