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Caring for Swimwear and Summerwear
The amount of chlorine in any public pool or hot tub is difficult to assess. Chemicals are constantly being added as they are depleted by use. One day they may be very low and be of little threat to your swimsuit. The next day they may be very strong and able to do damage to your suit in just one visit.
Before purchasing a swimsuit, consider what your main uses of it will be. Will you be swimming laps three times a week, mainly lying in the sun working on your tan, or playing beach volleyball? Different suits are designed for different uses.
Endurance suits are more chlorine resistant than regular suits and will last much longer than conventional swimwear. To do this they usually have a much lower amount of Lycra Spandex. It is the Lycra the breaks down the fastest in chlorine. A suit without Lycra is less stretchy and harder to get on and off, which is why they tend to be less popular.
This is also the style suit you will want if you are doing water aerobics, swimming laps or other water activities. A tank suit or tankini with good straps that will stay on your shoulders and hold up to vigorous activity is your best choice.
Try to avoid oil based suntan lotions. Oils are harmful to swimwear elastic and will stain some fabrics. If you occasionally jump into the pool while tanning, try rinsing off under a fresh water shower after being in the pool. The heat of the sun will set the chlorine, eventually weakening the fabric's fibers.
Here are several tips to help your swimsuit to last longer.
Special care instructions:
High Performance Fabrics
With any fabric, one of the best things you can do is read and follow
the care instructions on the garment label. Keep aware of different
procedures for any the finishes, linings, insulations, trims, and embellishments
on the garment.
Treat stains quickly, blot don’t rub, as rubbing can make the stain move deeper into the fabric. Check the stain after washing. If the stain remains, try rewashing. Once the garment has been dried in the dryer, the stain is most likely set by the heat.
Sort and launder items made of natural and manufactured fibers separately. Natural fibers can release oils which can be attracted to and stain manufactured fibers like polyester and nylon.
Use the delicate cycle for items with spandex (bike shorts, yoga pants, stretch tees, etc.) and for good knits (Tees, polo shirts, shorts, etc.).
Do not bleach items with Spandex Lycra. Bleach damages the fibers of the Spandex.
Use a low heat dryer. Fibers such as acrylic, nylon, polyester, and polyolefin dry very quickly, and should be watched closely. Polyolefin can actually melt if the dryer temperature gets too high.
Fabrics, linings, or insulations could shrink or be otherwise damaged from using too hot a temperature or from leaving garments in the dryer too long. Take items out of the dryer when they're slightly damp. If they are hot to the touch, you waited too long
If care instructions say no fabric softener, do not use it. The material in a fabric softener attaches directly to the fabric and makes the fabric feel softer. However, fabric softeners can buildup over time, and can reduce the ability of the fabric to manage moisture and breathe.
Some new high performance fabrics have been coming onto the market
in the last couple of years. Here are some examples:
UV Sungear offers a wide selection of the highest quality, hard-to-find
sun protection items for infants through 12 year olds.
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