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Where to Buy Swimsuit Fabric

Ready to sew a swimsuit? On Monday we discussed swimsuit patterns and today we’re talking about where to buy swimsuit fabric and supplies! The swimsuit sew along kicks off the 1st week of June so now is a great time to get your supplies ordered 🙂
swimsuit shopping guide

*All information is current as of May 2014. Availability and pricing may change at anytime and may vary from store to store

Check your pattern to see what supplies you will need and then browse the list of stores below and do some shopping 🙂

1. 4-way stretch nylon or lycra blends (swim fabric): This fabric feels just like a suit you’d pick up at the store. It stretches in all directions and is cool and slippery to the touch. This is what you’ll use for any of the girls suits, the Aloha Burn Blocker, Hang Ten Rash Guard and the Monaco Swim Trunks
2. Swimsuit Lining: Lightweight poly blend with 4 way stretch. Generally comes in white, nude or black
3. Power Mesh: Lightweight and stretchy poly blend. Can be used for the optional lining in boys board shorts
4. Swimsuit Elastic: Comes in varying widths and is either clear or cotton. Swimsuit elastic is designed to stand-up to saltwater and chlorine without becoming brittle. You can use regular elastic  instead just make sure to rinse the suit out after each use. I typically use regular elastic for boys shorts since it’s hard to find swimsuit elastic in wider widths.
5. Board Short Fabric/Micro Fiber: Polyester woven fabric. Dries quickly and is perfect for boys board shorts.

Brick & Mortar Stores

1. Joann Fabrics: You’ll find the swim fabric, swimsuit lining and power mesh in the dancewear/performance section. Price is $16.99/yard for the 4-way stretch fabrics but you can use a coupon. Online the only options are solids but my store also carries a few prints. From my experience I’ve found the swim fabric to be a bit slinkier and harder to work with than others I’ve used. They also carry swimsuit elastic.

2. Hancock Fabrics: We don’t have a Hancocks so I’ve never been but I know they do carry swim fabric. Price is also $16.99/yard and you can use coupons. Online they have solids listed and one print but I know they carry more selection in some stores. They also carry swimsuit lining and swimsuit elastic. I couldn’t find it online but I have heard that they carry board shorts fabric .
Small White and Pink Check Swimwear FabricNylon Lycra Stretch Light Blue FabricStretch Yellow Nylon Lycra Fabric

3. Local Stores: Call around as you never know what you might find 🙂


1. The Fabric Fairy: This is my go-to for swim fabrics. Tons of prints and solids to choose from for both girls and boys. Prices range from $8-11/yard and you can also order 1/2 yard cuts. Shipping is flat rate ($5 for orders up to $25, $8 for orders up to $50). All of the fabrics I’ve used from here have been nice and thick and easy to work with.
Circles and Polka Dots Patchwork Swimsuit FabricPurple and White Stripes with Silver and Gold Accents Swimsuit FabricEnchanted Skyline Swimsuit Fabric
White Skulls on Black Nylon Lycra Swimsuit FabricSlate Grey and White Stripe Nylon Lycra Swimsuit FabricCamoflauge Nylon Lycra Swimsuit Fabric

They also carry the largest selection of board shorts fabrics that I’ve seen. Lots of fun prints and coordinating solids. Prices are $8-10/yard and you can order 1/2 yard cuts.
Large White Stars on Navy Boardshort FabricLime Microfiber Boardshort FabricHibiscus Floral on Creme Microfiber Boardshort Fabric

Fabric Fairy also has swimsuit lining and swimsuit elastic so it’s a great option for one-stop shopping

2. Girl Charlee: The selection is a bit limited and they aren’t always in stock but they have some really cute swim fabrics. Pricing is $9.25/yard. I did notice that one of the fabric uses is noted as “swimswear with a lining” so it might be on the thin side. I’ve never ordered it so I can’t vouch for that but it’s something to be aware of.
LS-1079-large LS-1081-large LS-1084-large

3. Selection is decent sized for swim fabrics and prices start as low as $4-5/yard for sale items. They also carry swimwear elastic.

Nylon Lycra Swimwear Lines Orange/PinkNylon Lycra Swimwear Floral White/BlueSwimwear/Activewear Knit Animal Skin Cream/Lime

4. Spandex World: Tons of swim fabrics to choose from. Price is a bit steeper at $14/yard for most prints

5. Rockywoods: Selection is limited but they do carry swim fabrics with UPF protection, board shorts fabric, and power mesh (prices range from $7-11/yard).

6. Seattle Fabrics: Lots of solids to choose from for swim fabrics (Italian Nylon/Lycra $14.75/yard) and they also carry power mesh and board shorts fabric (micro suede polyester)

7. Purple Seamstress: Selection comes and goes but she does have some swim fabrics for $10-12/yard
993595_650423934987811_594449042_n 1385519_696785123685025_1071265508_n

8. Amazon : Surprisingly good selection of swim fabrics and board shorts fabrics and a lot of it offers UPF protection. You can also find swimsuit elastic, power mesh, and swimsuit lining. However most of these items are sold through Amazon’s partners so you will probably end up paying separate shipping if you are ordering a variety of items.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Have a favorite supplier I forgot to include? Please share it with us in the comments 🙂

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Amy is the founder and owner of Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. She is a wife and mother to 3 children. Amy loves to sew, read and spend time outdoors.

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  1. I have also had some great buys from Sew Sassy Fabrics. Both of these sites are great for solids and syFabrics offers Remnant Lots which are great for small projects.

  2. Hi Amy,

    I’m having the hardest time finding the white mesh lining used for boys swim shorts. Any idea where i can find this material?

  3. Thank you for the fabric resources! I’m actually making an adult swimsuit rather than a kids… but I’ve given it a try once before and after looking for swimsuits that fit poorly and are low-quality I’m willing to try again!
    The Fabric Fairy has some great choices!

  4. Spandex House has one of the largest selections of swimwear fabrics (thousands of options) including regular swimwear fabric, stretch mesh, stretch lace, stretch faux leather, stretch velvet, cotton knits- basically anything with a stretch ( and even some woven/ non-stretch fabrics.) They also sell elastics as well.

    Price Point is $8 for most solids and around $13 for the prints. They offer wholesale pricing as well for orders of 15 yards and up.

    They also have a brick and mortar location in NYC.

  5. On a recent trip to Miami, (I’m from PA), I purchased some swimwear fabric at Nunez Fabrics in downtown Miami. They had a great selection of prints imported from Spain. Unfortunately they do not have a website, so you would have to go to their store. Fabric Depot in Portland, OR also has a nice selection including lining.

  6. Just a thought but I know several bloggers have used that stretch ruffled fabric for swimwear as well.

    • I’ve actually done that and completely forgotten about it! Thanks for throwing that idea out there 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for posting this! I knew about some places but not this many! Since I haven’t sewn with swim wear fabric I’m hesitant to buy, particularly for board shorts. The last thing I need is see through swim suits for my girls and board shorts for my son!

    • Haha too true! I know The Fabric Fairy stuff is nice and thick since I use it a lot 🙂 If you do end up with something thin though you can always line it

  8. I have also good luck finding swim fabric on ebay when you buy from a fabric shop that has an ebay shop (I got some of the purple/pink chevron print and lavendar solid fabric just like the tankini above for less than $6 a yard) and I have gotten a great deal on swim elastic from the lace and trims store on there. Also Etsy is a good source for unique prints!

  9. Wow, That is the BEST fabric write up I have ever seen, Thank you so much for the research and being so detailed. I get so confused when I walk into a store and have no idea where to look, or look online and have no idea what to ask for. This is why I continually buy your patterns!

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