Speedo Swimsuit Fabrics: A Guide to the Materials That Make Speedos So Fast

Photo of author

Swimsuits have come a long way in terms of design and technology. Among the leading brands in the industry, Speedo has consistently been at the forefront of innovation, offering cutting-edge swimsuit fabrics that enhance performance and comfort for swimmers of all levels. In this article, we will delve into the world of Speedo swimsuit materials, exploring their features, benefits, and the technology behind them.

Speedo swimsuits made from different fabrics

The Evolution of Speedo Swimsuit Fabrics

Over the years, Speedo has continuously pushed the boundaries of swimsuit fabric technology. From traditional materials like cotton and nylon to highly advanced textiles, the brand has revolutionized the swimming experience. Let’s take a closer look at the key milestones in the evolution of Speedo swimsuit fabrics:

  1. Cotton and Nylon Blends: In the early days, swimsuits were primarily made from cotton and nylon blends. While these fabrics provided basic functionality, they were heavy, absorbed water, and did not offer much in terms of performance enhancement.
  2. Lycra: In the 1980s, Speedo introduced Lycra, a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional stretch and recovery properties. Lycra revolutionized the swimwear industry, allowing for a snug and comfortable fit that enhanced performance in the water.
  3. Endurance+: In 1999, Speedo launched the Endurance+ fabric, a blend of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) and polyester. This fabric offered superior chlorine resistance, durability, and shape retention, making it ideal for competitive swimmers who spend countless hours in the pool.
  4. Fastskin: In 2000, Speedo unveiled the Fastskin swimsuit, a groundbreaking design that incorporated advanced hydrodynamics and compression technology. The Fastskin fabric, made from a combination of Lycra and polyurethane, reduced drag and improved muscle support, enabling swimmers to achieve faster times in the water.
  5. LZR Racer: In 2008, Speedo introduced the LZR Racer, a revolutionary swimsuit that took performance to a whole new level. The LZR Racer featured a unique water-repellent fabric, bonded seams, and compression panels strategically placed to optimize hydrodynamics and muscle support. This suit shattered numerous world records and sparked controversy in the swimming community.

Unleashing the Potential of Speedo’s Swimwear Fabrics

Speedo’s swimsuit fabrics are engineered to provide swimmers with a competitive edge. Let’s explore the key features and benefits of these cutting-edge materials:

  1. Hydrophobic Properties: Speedo’s swimwear fabrics are designed to repel water, reducing drag and improving glide through the water. This hydrophobicity helps swimmers maintain their speed and efficiency, allowing them to swim faster with less effort.
  2. Compression Technology: Speedo incorporates compression panels in their swimsuits to provide targeted muscle support. These panels apply pressure to specific muscle groups, enhancing blood circulation and reducing muscle vibration. The result is improved performance, reduced fatigue, and faster recovery.
  3. Chlorine Resistance: Speedo understands the harsh environment of chlorinated pools. Their swimsuit fabrics are engineered to withstand the damaging effects of chlorine, ensuring long-lasting durability and color retention.
  4. Shape Retention: Speedo’s fabrics are specially designed to retain their shape over time, even with frequent use. This ensures that the swimsuits maintain their optimal fit and performance characteristics, providing swimmers with consistent results.
  5. Breathability: Speedo utilizes breathable fabrics that allow for efficient moisture management. This helps to regulate body temperature, keeping swimmers cool and comfortable during intense training sessions or competitions.
  6. UV Protection: Some of Speedo’s swimsuit fabrics offer built-in UV protection, shielding swimmers from harmful sun rays during outdoor activities. This added feature is particularly important for open water swimmers or those training in sunny climates.

Exploring the Technology Behind Speedo’s Swim Fabrics

Speedo’s commitment to innovation is evident in the technology behind their swim fabrics. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key technologies that set Speedo apart:

  1. Bonding: Speedo utilizes advanced bonding techniques to create seamless and streamlined swimwear. Bonded seams eliminate the need for traditional stitching, reducing drag and enhancing comfort. This technology ensures a second-skin fit that maximizes performance in the water.
  2. 3D Body Scan: Speedo employs 3D body scanning technology to create swimsuits that fit like a glove. By scanning the body in multiple dimensions, Speedo is able to design swimwear that contours to the swimmer’s unique shape, improving hydrodynamics and reducing drag.
  3. Fabric Engineering: Speedo collaborates with textile engineers to develop fabrics with specific performance characteristics. Through extensive research and testing, Speedo creates fabrics that balance factors such as compression, stretch, breathability, and water resistance to optimize swimmer performance.
  4. Fluid Dynamics: Speedo works closely with fluid dynamics experts to analyze and improve the flow of water around the body. By understanding how water interacts with the swimmer, Speedo can develop fabrics that minimize drag and maximize efficiency, ultimately leading to faster swim times.

Demystifying the Technology Behind Speedo’s Swim Fabrics

While the technology behind Speedo’s swim fabrics may seem complex, understanding the basics can help swimmers make informed choices when selecting their swimwear. Let’s demystify some of the key terms and concepts:

  1. Lycra: Lycra, also known as spandex or elastane, is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional stretch and recovery properties. It provides the necessary elasticity for a snug and comfortable fit, allowing swimmers to move freely in the water.
  2. Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fiber known for its durability and resistance to stretching, shrinking, and wrinkling. It is often blended with other fibers, such as PBT, to enhance performance characteristics like chlorine resistance and shape retention.
  3. PBT: Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is a type of polyester that offers superior chlorine resistance and shape retention. It is commonly blended with other fibers to create durable and long-lasting swimwear fabrics.
  4. Polyurethane: Polyurethane is a versatile polymer that can be used to create fabrics with specific properties, such as water repellency, breathability, and compression. It is often used in high-performance swimwear to enhance hydrodynamics and muscle support.
  5. Hydrodynamics: Hydrodynamics is the study of how fluids, such as water, interact with objects in motion. In the context of swimming, hydrodynamics focuses on reducing drag and optimizing the flow of water around the body to maximize speed and efficiency.
  6. Compression: Compression refers to the application of pressure to specific muscle groups through the use of tight-fitting garments. Compression technology in swimwear enhances blood circulation, reduces muscle vibration, and improves overall performance and recovery.


Q1: Are Speedo swimsuits only for professional swimmers?

A1: While Speedo is known for its high-performance swimwear, the brand offers a wide range of swimsuits suitable for swimmers of all levels, from recreational to professional.

Q2: How do Speedo swimsuit fabrics compare to other brands?

A2: Speedo is widely regarded as a leader in swimwear technology. Their fabrics are known for their quality, durability, and performance-enhancing features, setting them apart from many other brands in the market.

Q3: Can I use Speedo swimsuits for open water swimming?

A3: Yes, Speedo offers swimsuits specifically designed for open water swimming. These suits often incorporate UV protection and additional features to enhance comfort and performance in outdoor environments.

Q4: How should I care for my Speedo swimsuit?

A4: To ensure the longevity of your Speedo swimsuit, it is recommended to rinse it in cold water after each use and avoid wringing or twisting the fabric. Hand washing with a mild detergent is preferable, but if machine washing is necessary, use a gentle cycle and place the suit in a mesh laundry bag.

Q5: Are Speedo swimsuits suitable for all body types?

A5: Speedo offers a wide range of swimwear styles and sizes to accommodate various body types. Whether you prefer a one-piece, bikini, or swim brief, Speedo has options designed to provide a comfortable and flattering fit for all.

Q6: Can I wear a Speedo swimsuit for activities other than swimming?

A6: While Speedo swimsuits are primarily designed for swimming, their comfortable and durable fabrics make them suitable for other water-based activities like water aerobics, paddleboarding, or beach volleyball.

Q7: Do Speedo swimsuits come with a warranty?

A7: Speedo offers a limited warranty on their swimwear products. The specific terms and conditions may vary, so it is best to refer to the warranty information provided with your purchase or contact Speedo customer service for more details.