Whether you love your Karla Colletto suit for its flattering fit and construction, its reliable high quality, or are simply in love with the design, one thing is certain: it just wouldn’t be the same without LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber. To support our longtime trade partner INVISTA’s new “LYCRA® MOVES YOU™” campaign, we thought we would dedicate a post to everything we love about LYCRA®. INVISTA did not ask us to write this. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our swimwear and believe that when our customers have all the right information, our high quality designs sell themselves. And we truly believe that our swimwear is made better with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber.
You may have already known that we import our fabrics from Italy, but you probably did not know that what we use is almost exclusively Sensitive® fabrics with a high LYCRA® content for the perfect blend of function and aesthetic. Here are some other great things to keep in mind next time you’re out swimsuit shopping:
86% of women use their swimsuits for recreational swimming, with another 21% using swimwear for exercise or competitive swimming. This means a lot of time spent in the pool (big surprise, we know) and exposing your swimsuit to chemicals like chlorine, which can break down elastane fibers faster. This can mean anything from color fading to a loss of recovery (a suit’s ability to return to its original shape after being stretched). Tests have shown that fabrics with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ retain at least 60% of their power 10 times longer than with non-chlorine resistant elastane. But please, remember to thoroughly wash out all chlorine in between wears for even longer-lasting results.
We’ve been told by synchronized swimming sensations, the Aqualillies, that after years and countless, sometimes back-to-back performances, our suits show no sign of deterioration compared with other brands. Coming from ladies who spend a lot of time in the water and probably wear more swimwear than any other kind of clothing, this means a lot.
UV RESISTANCE + PROTECTION
In addition to withstanding the damaging effects of chlorine, LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fibers hold up well against long-term exposure to harmful UV rays. LYCRA® fibers also show strong resistance to unsaturated fatty acids like sweat, lotions, and other skincare, all of which can lead to quicker break down of the suit.
Yes, it’s true that Sensitive® Fabrics filter the sun’s rays and provide UV protection with a rating of UPF 50+. However, exposing your skin for an extended period of time is dangerous idea and there is no fabric out there that can fully protect you from the sun’s rays. 83% of women already wear sunscreen while in a swimsuit and 82% reapply it at least once throughout the day. Of course, the chemicals in sunscreens can contribute to fiber breakage in your suit, but unless you’re spending all your time at an indoor pool or under shade 24/7, there is really no better alternative to sunscreen. That’s one reason we are sure to choose a fabric whose fibers can stand up well to these elements.
The thing we love most about LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber is probably its excellent recovery. As with any stretch fabric, synthetic filament yarns can lose elasticity over time, and the damage is only sped up by exposure to harmful elements like those mentioned above: chlorine, lotions, sun, etc. “Bag and sag” is definitely the last thing women want when it comes to their swimwear.
77% of women expect their swimsuit to last for at least two full seasons, with 63% seeing their suits wear out before two full seasons. If having a suit that lasts is important to you, then identifying fabrics designed to withstand harmful elements is the key to your satisfaction.
A NOTE ON CARE
It’s important to keep in mind that your suit is not invincible and taking steps to clean and care for your swimsuit after exposure to sun, sweat, or lotions, is of equal importance when it comes to prolonging your suit’s life. Swimwear like ours, made with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™ fiber, is best if washed immediately in cool water, with a mild detergent (no bleach!), and then hang dried.
*source of statistical data: ICM Research via INVISTA