Make a Splash: Top Best Fabrics for Swimwear

Jump right in, the water’s fine!

With the holiday season fast approaching and summer months not far behind, our minds turn to beaches and pools, one too many cocktails in the sun, and swimwear. Finding a swimsuit or the ideal pair of trunks can feel like a chore. Instead of traipsing through aisles of endlessly samey swim shorts or dusting off that old bikini for the fourth or fifth consecutive summer, turn your swimwear blues into a sea breeze.

Get to know what swimwear really is. Everyone has a beach style which reflects their personality, but it’s often difficult to match your exact style to what’s in the shops. You might find the perfect style which simply doesn’t go up to your size or the perfect fit with a pattern that’s less than flattering. Whether you’re going to exotic beaches or just the local spot, it’s important that your outfit is comfortable, durable, and looks fabulous! Ensure all three by turning your hand at making your own swimwear.

Always wondered what swimsuits are made from?

The wide world of fabrics may seem daunting when it comes to swimwear, even for the more seasoned sewers. Luckily for us, there are already tons of fabrics perfectly suited for swimwear in all its forms. However, they often hide in categories like ‘dancewear fabrics’ and ‘sports’ or ‘technical fabrics’. Combat any confusion by getting to know the traits of the best swimwear fabrics.

Customizeddesignprinting’s Swimwear Fabrics

Our selection of swimwear fabrics covers a range of characteristics; some are most suited to beachwear and garments worn near water and in the sun, and some of our fabrics are perfect for swimsuits and made to be immersed in the water with you. Have a look at our top picks, starting with our best swimwear fabrics for swimsuits and trunks. Next, we’ll go onto fabrics for wetsuits and warmer garments, and finally, we’ll introduce a splash-proof fabric for a variety of beachwear.

Breathable Waterproof

This fabric does exactly what it says on the label! The printable side of the fabric is coated with PU. While being 100% waterproof, it also allows water vapor out so you can keep cool in the heat. The stiff handle and tight weave mean your designs show up gloriously, perfect for intricate details.

Lighter in weight than our Lycra options, Breathable Waterproof is a stiff fabric so has zero of the stretch that the Lycras have. This makes it suited to swimwear with an independent shape such as tailored swim shorts. Breathable Waterproof is easy to work with so you can add zips, buttons, and pockets with relative ease.

Leaping Leopards

It reared its fierce head in Autumn, lived strong through winter, and it’s here to stay throughout the spring/summer season. Harking back to the nineties (read: Scary Spice catsuit), leopard print has slipped back into our lives and nobody’s sorry. Not exclusive for the girls, turn boy cubs into jungle kings with Breathable Waterproof swim shorts rippled with leopard print. Think outside the box with less conventional hues and diverse pattern directions.


You may love your feather-clad crop top or your semi-see-through briefs, but we all know there’s a time and a place. Versatile garments are a hot trend that we’ve already seen as we battled the dismay of high temps in mid-winter. Create swimwear out of fabrics that can dazzle and protect, be beautiful bare and flattering layered.

The Swimming Sixties

Take a plunge even further into the decade of free love, cheap thrills, and fabric frills! The 1960s was the first decade to liberate women’s swimwear. Skimpy one-pieces and bikinis were all the rage. Modern styles merged with traditional fabrics; terry-cloth with its stand out texture was a very popular swimwear fabric.