Why Most Swimsuits Are Polyester

Why Are Most Swimsuits Made of Polyester?

Because They Are Vegan

The first pro-polyester argument doesn’t hold enough water for the majority of the population. Hardcore vegans do not eat or wear animal products, including shorn wool. It’s called cruelty-free clothing. Vegetarians are not as particular, as they generally eat eggs and wear natural fabrics. If you want to impress your vegan gentleman or lady, don’t negate the order for a cashew cheese pizza with cauliflower crust while wearing leather sandals and a cotton swimsuit.

With proper care, natural fabrics like wool, cotton, and leather are generally long-lasting investments. Rayon (viscose), made from polished cellulose (wood pulp), is also considered a natural fabric. Most wool and rayon require professional dry cleaning. Cotton can be laundered but, depending on the weave tends to wrinkle easily.

Natural fibers are biodegradable so have less environmental effects when discarded. Polyester is not biodegradable but may be recyclable.

Nylon Versus Polyester Comparison Chart

Chemical NamePolyamidePolyethylene Naphthalate
ManufactureCreated as a liquid, mechanically spun and dried into individual fibers.Spun into the thread from the chemical solution.
UsesMore common to certain kinds of apparel, including lingerie, tights, raincoats, and swimwear. Carpets, drapes, and bedding. More wide range of industrial uses.More widely used in all kinds of apparel. Carpets, drapes, and bedding. Some industrial use.
WearabilityLow moisture absorbencyWrinkle resistant
DurabilityExceptionally strong, abrasion resistant, resistant to damage from oil and many chemicals.Strong, resistant to stretching and shrinking, resistant to most chemicals, crisp and resilient wet or dry, abrasion resistant.
FlammabilityMelts then burns rapidlyMelts and burns at same time
Environmental impactMost nylon made from unavoid­able oil refinery byproductsNon-biodegradable, but can be recycled—possible to purchase 100% recycled polyester
ComfortLight-weight, warm, smooth, soft, quick drying.Quick drying, lightweight, smooth.
StylesBlouses, dresses, founda­tion gar­ments, hosiery, lingerie, under­wear, rain­coats, ski apparel, wind­breakers, swim­wear, cycle wear.Every form of clothing
AppearanceLustrous, wide range of colors.Wide range of colors, slightly slick.
Allergic reactionsPossible, more likely caused by finishing resins, fibers repel typical allergens.
MaintenanceEasy to wash, mildew resistant.Easily washed, mildew resistant.
CleaningEasy to wash, mildew-resistant. Can be dried on a low heat cycle, but must be removed as soon as finished. Can be ironed. Cannot be dry-cleaned.Easy to wash, mildew-resistant. Can be dried on a low heat cycle, but must be removed as soon as finished. Can be ironed. Can usually be dry-cleaned.
MaterialsPolya­mide made from petro­leum.Polymer produc­tion of coal, air, water, petroleum products.
UV ResistanceSomewhat UV resistantVery UV resistant
First MadeFirst U.S. commercial nylon fiber produc­tion—1939, DuPont Company
Worldwide ProductionAround 3.9 million metric tons, 11% of synthetic fiber produc­tionAround 21 million metric tons, 58% of synthetic fiber production

Polyester Swimwear is More Durable

Chlorine is harsh on fabric fibers and colors. Natural fabrics are dyed. The pigment can be mixed into synthetic fibers before weaving fabric (or imprinted after­wards). So synthetic fabric is often better suited for swimwear. But not all synthetics respond the same to chlor­inated water.

Polyester swim­suits stretch, but not as much as Lycra. Spandex (Lycra), and nylon offer a smoother feel and more contoured fit than poly­ester. For pool swimmers, poly­ester is more resistant to chlorine. Spandex will eventu­ally lose its shape. The combina­tion of sun­light and chlorine beach can deterio­rate dyed fabrics.

Polyester swim­suits have the most consis­tent fit over the life of the garment.

Polyester swimsuits have the most consistent fit over the life of the garment and resist bagging. Natural fibers shrink when laundered. The stability of poly­ester is an important consideration since swimsuits are more frequently “washed” (wetted) than other garments. Because each fabric has inherent strengths and weak­nesses, it is not uncommon for textile manufac­turers to combine fabrics for durability, wrinkle resistance, vibrance, or texture.

Always rinse your bathing suit out in clear cool fresh water after a swim in a chlori­nated pool. Do not wring excess water out. This abuses the fabric. You can pat excess water out with a towel before hanging it up to dry.

Sizing Things Up

ClinicalPosters imports current fashions from around the world. Countries use different sizing formulas. Outside the US, centimeter (cm) is the most common linear fabric measurement. Even small, medium, and large have different numeric equivalents.

Some garments offer small, medium, and large versions of what are essentially petite—Asian sizes. Others may begin at large and offer up to 8X. ClinicalPosters endeavors to present a comprehensive chart for each garment. As a relative comparison, sizes (S, M, L+) are followed by an integer representing the hip circum­ference in inches, where applicable. (For blouses and other garments, it may be the bust.) keeping in mind considerable deviation from one style to the next, the following table depicts interna­tional standard sizes followed by a featured swimsuit.

International Standard Women’s Sizes
S-364–66–832–34A–B32–34" (81‑86cm)24–26" (61‑66cm)34–36" (86‑91cm)
M-386–88–1034–36B–C34–36" (86‑91cm)26–28" (66‑71cm)36–38" (91‑97cm)
L-408–1010–1236–38B–C36–38" (91‑97cm)28–30" (71‑76cm)38–40" (97‑102cm)
XL-4210–1212–1438–40C–D38–40" (97‑102cm)30–32" (76‑81cm)40–42" (102‑107cm)
Allow 1–2 cm variance.

Fabric, weave, and cut alter the assessment of what represents a particular size. A stretchy form-fitting fabric can have a variance of two inches. Garments that stretch less may have fixed measurements for the bust, hip, and waist. For some swimsuits, thigh circumstances may be provided. Using a soft tape measure, write down your measurements. Then select the closest size offered. This may require choosing an alternate garment style.

Summer Sell-Out

Get your summer fashion, including small through super plus-size swimsuits with free global shipping from ClinicalPosters. If you prefer, you can match up a durable synthetic fiber swimsuit with a cotton kaftan. During summer, popular styles sell out quickly so order now.

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