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The Most Suitable Swimsuit Material For You

Whether you’re an individual looking to start up your own swimwear brand or an established brand with more knowledge of the swimwear fabrics available, this page explains the main swimsuit fabrics available & the difference between selecting plain-coloured fabrics from stocks & plain or printed fabrics to be imported.

Selecting Imported or Stock Fabrics

When starting your own swimwear business, the first consideration will be your fabrics & colours & whether to add custom prints to your collection. As swimwear fabric colours are purchased in 70m rolls, enough to produce 100 bikini sets could result in your collection consisting of only a few colours. That’s why selecting your colours from stock allows you to add more colours is the most popular way to work.

Imported Swimwear Fabrics VS Local Fabrics

Most of the swimsuit fabrics available in Bali are of a lower grade, referred to as BS Bali Swim fabrics, which are copies of higher-grade recycled Italian and American fabrics. Compared to overseas swimwear fabrics, local fabrics differ greatly in terms of quality, hand feel, how they fit the body and how they fit the body.

What is the Best Swimsuit Material?


Nylon is the softer of the two swimsuit materials, making it the most preferred fabric for brands selling in the middle and upper segments of the market.

Nylon provides the finest body-enhancing and body-hugging properties & is blended with Xtra Life Lycra or recycled elastane.

The technical name for Nylon is Polyamide (PA)

When it comes to swimwear fabric printing, Nylon printed digitally offers the highest grade of print, with deep rich colour tones that never bleed or fade in contact with salt water or the sun.


  • Super Soft Hand Feel
  • Body-hugging properties 
  • Quick Dry
  • Suitable for high-grade digital print 
  • High Solar Protection U.P.F. 50+ 
  • Saltwater resistant


Polyester is the cheaper of the two swimwear materials and is typically used by brands at the lower end of the market for their plain colours. Although there are now many poly blends with a nice hand feel, none can match the feel of Nylon. A good example would be printing via sublimation on Polyester Vita PL compared to digitally on Nylon REPREVE®.

To print on Polyester, a sublimation printer is used, which heat-presses the colours onto the top of the fabric, often fading over time in contact with salt water & sunshine. 

Polyester is less likely to be used for swimwear & more likely to be used for Activewear, as Polyester adds greater compression to leggings & sports tops.

Polyester is often used for super bright colours, like football shirts etc.


  • Semi-Soft hand feel 
  • Limited stretch 
  • Quick dry
  • Printed via sublimation
  • Solar Protection U.P.F. 30+ 
  • Saltwater resistant


Recycled fabrics must be certified by GRS, U Trust & or OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 to be Eco-friendly and contain no harmful substances, the standard nowadays for custom confidence, providing maximum consumer safety.

During the past few years, consumer awareness of recycled fabrics has increased significantly. Additionally, brands offering a low carbon footprint in their production chain will become a necessity, making brands using new fibres obsolete in the future.

We work with two of the world’s most known producers of recycled, sustainable yarns, ECONYL® & REPREVE®.

Best Fabric Producers


REPREVE®, produced in the US, is a leading, branded performance fibre made from recycled swimwear materials such as post-consumer Nylon waste and discarded plastic bottles. 

REPREVE® is one of the world’s most loved & softest fabrics.

REPREVE® is used to produce plain colours & prints in Polyester & Nylon & offers stunning deep organic & ultra bright tones. REPREVE® Hawaii is the most requested fabric for prints.


ECONYL® consists of Nylon and Polyester regenerated fibres from salvaged fishing nets and post-consumer waste & was introduced in 2011 by Aquafil, made entirely from ocean plastic & ghost nets.

Every year, eight million tons of waste and 640 thousand tons of fishing nets end up in our oceans. (data sourced from UNEP & FAO). If the current level of dumping is not addressed, by 2050, our oceans could contain more garbage than fish.

We use ECONYL in the Carvico Vita & RENEW range of plain-dyed fabrics.

You can read more about them here.

Related page: Sustainability

Luxe Swimwear Fabrics
at Lowest Prices

The lowest-priced suppliers are bonded or tax-free companies, allowing them to import higher-grade fabrics at much lower prices than what is often available on the local market, which is good for both the producer & the consumer. Lower prices facilitate higher sales seeing your customer base returning over & over again. Further, high-grade imported fabrics come with branded fabric hang tags attached to each swimwear article, allowing end buyers to know the fabrics’ quality and how sustainable they are, again increasing sales.


The majority of swimwear fabrics range from 170 to 220 g/m².

Lighter fabrics are often used by brands seeking to produce swimsuits that resemble lingerie, sometimes even appearing almost see-through. The heavier weights, between 200 and 220g/m2, produce swimsuits that enhance the body’s characteristics and maintain the shape of the bust and bottom.

Last Words

This pretty much covers everything. The above information should help you choose the fabric that’s right for you & you’re your brand in either plain or points.

Contact us if you have any questions about fabrics & printing & we will go over the options & discuss the best options to suit you in both price & quality.

Email | WhatsApp

The fastest way to get started is by downloading the guide below or setting up a callback with one of our specialists.

The Swimwear Bali Team

For simple, easy steps on how to get started into your own profitable, sustainable swimwear business in the fastest possible time at the lowest cost, Download our 2023 Guide

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