Every summer, you can’t wait for the weather to warm up so you can slip on your swimming trunks or bathing suit, put on your favorite pair of shades, and spend a pleasant afternoon cooling off at your local pool. But have you ever wondered how your swimsuit is made? The manufacturing process begins with spools of cotton and synthetic thread being loaded onto knitting machines, which weave threads into rolls of fabric. Afterward, the rolls are fed into a large tank where premeasured concoctions of bleach and colored dyes are then released into the tank and stirred. After the fabric reaches the desired color and is cleared, it is then sent to dry and stored until it is time to make your bathing suit.
When the fabric is ready to be used, a worker will bring it to a measuring table and they use an encoder to measure and cut it into smaller pieces. It is then taken to another station where computerized machinery cuts out the swimsuit pieces from the smaller lengths of fabric. The number of pieces cut at this step depends on the type of swimsuit design. For example, a one-piece swimsuit will require two pieces to be cut (the front and back sides) whereas a two-piece swimsuit will be cut into four sections.
The swimsuit pieces are then taken to individual seamstresses for them to be sewn together using industrial sewing machines. Depending on the swimsuit style, this is also the stage of manufacturing where the bra cups are sewn into the design using two small strips of fabric and a strategic sewing pattern.
If the design includes straps, lengths of elastic are placed between two strap pieces and the three pieces are sewn together. The straps are then either sewn onto the suit or attached using a hook design in which two small pieces are sewn on for the removable strap option. The finished pieces are pressed, labels are added, and then they’re ready to go from manufacturer to making waves.