making a bikini

4 Things You Need To Know Before Making A Swimsuit

How to make swimsuit that really fits and lasts is not an easy question to answer. There are so much things you have to consider you never even thought about. and that’s why I decided to share these Information. It will cover the very important sewing Information and common sewing techniques for high quality swimwear in the latest swimsuit industry.

1. Swimsuit fabric

One of the most important decisions we have to make in the swimsuit business is what fabric we should use for our swimsuit. The higher the quality of the fabric the better the swimsuit fits and the longer it lasts. The major common fabrics you come across the female swimwear industry are Nylon and Polyester.

Which one is best suited for swimwear is hard to tell. It really depends on your demands and purpose. 

It is though important to heed the composition and weight information of the swimsuit fabric you want to purchase.

If you choose swimsuit fabric that is too light, it will show trough and look more like lingerie. Or if you choose fabric with low Nylon-to-Spandex ratio your swimsuit fabric won’t be as durable.

If you really want to dig deep into swimsuit fabric then you might want to read Choosing The Right Swimsuit Fabric . It will help you to understand which fabric fits best for you.

It not only points out the advantages and disadvantages of Nylon and Polyester blends but also share some very useful infomation about the latest swimsuit high-tech fabrics, that you really need to know.

2. Sewing stitches

No matter what high quality swimsuit fabric you use to make swimsuit if it isn’t sewn with the proper yarn and stitch, your perfect swimsuit won’t last long.

For home sewists who just want to make their own swimsuit, a conventional sewing machine with a ziczac stitch (3 cm wide) will work well. But For those who want to make swimsuit for sale you really need an overlock machine also known as serger. It will cut and sew the edges of the swimsuit fabric and make it look professional.

An overlocker can have between 3 and 5 threads with four being typical. If you want to achieve maximum stretch ability of your swimsuit you are better off using a 3-thread super stitch with 1 needle. The seam will have the greatest stretch. 

The stitch width for sewing a swimsuit depends on your overlocker and elastic you are using. It varies from 4 – 8mm. Most Overlocker have a stitch width between 4 – 7 mm. But when it comes to elastic there are so many varying widths. I will come to them later.

3. What yarn to use

Let’s talk about yarn now.

You might have heard you should use wooly nylon in either your bobbin or your looper, as it sits flater and softer than nylon.

But this is only a side effect of low powered overlocker that drop stitches when you cross one seam with another.

Some say wooly nylon adds a greater stretch, but you will hardly notice. Besides, conventional Nylon is not chlorine resistant. But 100% polyester thread is. Personally I use polyester thread. Frankies Bikinis for example also use polyester thread for their bikinis.

4. What elastic to use

For a great fit you need to add elastic to the arm, leg and waist openings and shoulder strap application.

There is a wide selection of elastics at the market. Swimwear is manufactured almost exclusively with flat rubber elastic. These come in varying widths and thicknesses. The most common widths are 5 – 12mm and around 0.6mm thick.

If you choose narrower elastic it would not only lack the strength to stabilize the garment, but it would also dig into a soft part of the body.

Which elastic is appropriate depends on its application. Elastic in arm, waist and leg openings and are typically 5 – 8mm wide.

From my experience, 6mm for those openings are the best choice. They just fit tight to the body and don’t get wrapped up in the fabric.

For Shoulder strap application aren’t any standard sizes. Some swimwear designer like wider shoulder strap application, others like them to be thin. I also love thin shoulder strap application that are around 3 – 4mm.

12mm Elastic is typically used as extra hold under the bust or around the was

A simple fold over elastic in a swimsuit for example in a leg line is usually 8 – 12mm wide.

Short recap to make swimsuit

Remember to make swimsuit like a professional that lasts long doesn’t mean just picking a premium swimwear fabric and that’s it. You need to focus on the interaction between all: fabric, elastic, stitches and yarn.

Nylon and Polyester blends are the two major swimsuit fabric in the female swimwear industry.

100% polyester yarn for sewing swimsuit is chlorine resistant. The Stitch width for sewing swimsuits is 5 – 8mm depending on your overlocker and elastic.

Most common used elastic in leg, arm, waist and shoulder strap application is flat rubber elastic. The width of the rubber elastic should be 5 – 8mm and 0.6 mm thick. Or for strap application 3 – 8mm

I really hope this article helps you to make swimsuit like any other big brand out there.

Please let me know what you think about this article. If you have any suggestions would be great if you’d share or questions I will reply as soon as possible.

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