Swimwear materials that never took off
When we started the design process of the swimdress, a rigorous research phase on vintage swimwear was initiated. We crossed paths with some interesting historic swimwear materials that deserve some recognition.
In the 20s the glitterati took their mediterranean dips in nothing less but flannel. The soft, medium weight cotton fabric has a fuzzy finish on both sides. The napped finish comes from a process of brushing or from its characteristic loose weave. Ideal to stay warm and cozy during the winter holidays.
“Why don't we work with something else. Something a bit more water resistant. Like wool!”
In the 30s the swimwear fashion makers realized that flannel with its slow drying, blanket-like properties was not ideal for swimming. “Why don't we work with something else. Something a bit more water resistant. Like wool!” Wool with its moisture wicking, hypoallergenic properties became the swimwear material of the 1930s. Fortunately the material is odor resistant, as a wool dress during summer vacations must have been stifling.
In the search for the optimal swimwear material wool gives way to velvet in the 1940s. Velvet can hold three times more moisture than cotton and is commonly used in home decor. With its high water absorbent properties you needed only one dip a day in order to stay soaked in the sun.