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AgonSwim.com Swimwear Fabric Information Guide

Summary by fabric:
Lycra®: Lycra® fits the best, snags some, and wears out in chlorine
SpeedLine: SpeedLine has the next best fit after Lycra®, snags some, and doesn't wear out in chlorine.
PolyRidge: PolyRidge fits the best, snags the least, and wears out in chlorine
PBT: PBT snags the least, doesn't wear out in chlorine, but doesn't have the most comfortable fit
StreamLine: StreamLine has the fit similar to Lycra®, snags some, and wears out in chlorine less than Lycra®

SpeedLine Lycra® StreamLine PolyRidge PBT
Chlorine Resistance 1* 4 3 4 1*
Stretch 3 1* 2 1* 4
Speed 3 2 1* 2 4
Snagging 4 3 2 1* 1*
Price 1* 1* 4 1* 1*

*1 is best 4 is worst

Detail Information:

  SpeedLine Lycra® StreamLine PolyRidge PBT What does this mean?
Fabric Specifications SpeedLine is knitted 45% polyester, 55% PBT. (PBT is texturized polyester with natural stretch similar to spandex.)  Lycra® is knitted 82% polyester, 18% Spandex. Spandex is the generic name for Lycra®. StreamLine is knitted 87% polyester, 13% polyurethane, with water-repellent resin stripes.  PolyRidge is knitted 80% polyester, 20% Spandex. Spandex is the generic name for Lycra®. PBT is knitted 100% PBT, which is a texturized polyester with natural stretch similar to spandex. These are the technical descriptions of the fabric. What these mean is explained below.
Feel SpeedLine is sleek to the touch. It has less give or stretch than Lycra®, so it may feel a little stiffer than Lycra®. Nevertheless, it is smooth and slides through the water. Polyester Lycra® is sleek and smooth to the touch. It slides through the water. StreamLine is sleek and smooth to the touch. It is a denser fabric than Lycra® so it feels thicker than Lycra®. The resin bands theoretically enhance how it slides through the water. PolyRidge is sleek and smooth to the touch with narrow ridges. PBT has a matte finish (less shiny than Lycra® or SpeedLine). It has less give or stretch than both Lycra® and SpeedLine, so it may feel stiffer than these other fabrics. It also feels lighter than Lycra® and is smooth and slides through the water. This is a description of how the fabric will look and feel when you touch it and wear it in the water.
Chlorine Resistance SpeedLine has excellent chlorine resistance; it is not hurt by chlorinated pool water. Chlorine eventually destroys the Spandex in Lycra®  StreamLine will last longer than Lycra® because it is denser, but in the end, it too will eventually be destroyed by Chlorine. Chlorine eventually destroys the Spandex in PolyRidge  PBT has excellent chlorine resistance; it is not hurt by chlorinated water. PBT and SpeedLine are definitely the best choices for frequent swimming in chlorinated pools.
Stretch SpeedLine has two-way stretch, but it has less stretch than Lycra®. However, SpeedLine has much more stretch than older 100% nylon suits or 100% polyester suits. Lycra® has the most stretch of any of our fabrics. StreamLine has less stretch than Lycra® because it is denser. StreamLine has more stretch than SpeedLine. Lycra® has the most stretch of any of our fabrics. PBT has two-way stretch, but it has less stretch than Lycra® or SpeedLine. It is similar to other manufacturers 100% polyester suits. If you have a hard time getting swimwear to fit just right, stick to Lycra®. If you sometimes develop a rash because your suit rubs you, stick to Lycra®. If you are willing to trade off a little bit of fit for a lot of durability, try SpeedLine. However, if you tend to be very comfortable wearing swimwear, then try PBT.
Weight SpeedLine is our lightest fabric. However, this suit is typically lined with Lycra® fabric which increases the weight of the suit. The weight of Lycra® is in between that of SpeedLine and StreamLine. This suit is also typically lined with Lycra® fabric, which increases the weight of the suit. StreamLine is technically our heaviest fabric, due to its dense weave. However, it is typically made into unlined suits to decrease drag (and its denser weave reduces transparency problems). The weight of PolyRidge is in between that of SpeedLine and StreamLine. This suit is also typically lined with Lycra® fabric, which increases the weight of the suit. PBT is one of our lightest fabrics and is typically unlined, which makes the suits especially light. Lining increases the weight of a suit, but prevents transparencies. Agonswim.com can make most of our styles with or without lining, front and/or back.  You must decide what is more important to you, whether the suit is see-through or whether the suit weighs less.
Speed                          (Please note that in scientific tests, there is no evidence that any one of these fabric types is faster than any other. We include this category in response to the hype given by our competitors that their “sports technology” enhances performance. We encourage you to train hard, since this is the only way we believe you will swim faster.) This fabric does not stretch as much as Lycra®, therefore it may not be considered to be ideal for racing suits. However, there is technically nothing “slow” about this fabric. Scientific studies can not detect a difference between Lycra® and the “high technology” fabrics (including StreamLine and all the other types of “high tech” fabric promoted by our competitors). This “high technology” fabric is designed to reduce drag by its water repellent stripes. Therefore, it is theoretically the fastest of the three materials described here. Scientific studies can not detect a difference between Lycra® and the “high technology” fabrics (including StreamLine and all the other types of “high tech” fabric promoted by our competitors). This fabric does not stretch as much as Lycra®, therefore it may not be considered to be ideal for racing suits. However, there is technically nothing “slow” about this fabric. The trend in high level swimming is to workout in lined Lycra® or SpeedLine suits, then switch into unlined StreamLine suits for competition. We believe this is a phenomenon based more on sports psychology than in true physiology. All of our suits are perfectly suited for competition, especially for those swimmers who are not involved in competitions where small fractions of seconds determine the outcome. (We do not recommend our drag suits or our swim skirt for competition, however.)
Snagging SpeedLine will snag if it comes in contact with a rough surface, similar to Lycra®. Lycra® will snag if it comes in contact with a rough surface, similar to other Lycra® products, such as hosiery. StreamLine will snag if it comes in contact with a rough surface, but less than Lycra® due to its dense weave and resin bands. PolyRidge does not snag in the traditional sense. However, with extremely rough treatment, fine hairs may appear on the suit. PBT does not snag in the traditional sense. However, with extremely rough treatment, fine hairs may appear on the suit. If your goal is longevity, or the user is too young to take special care of a lycra suit, your best option is PBT.
Price SpeedLine costs the same as Lycra® Lycra® costs the same as SpeedLine StreamLine costs a bit more than Lycra® and SpeedLine. PolyRidge costs the same as Lycra® PBT costs the same as Lycra® StreamLine costs the most, while SpeedLine, PBT, and Lycra® are priced the same.
Appearance Shiny Shiny Shiny/matte alternating (resin bands) Matte Matte This describes the visual appearance of the fabric

Polyester versus Nylon:
Polyester is hydrophobic, meaning it does not absorb water. This means that when it is dyed, only the color of the dye dissolves into the fabric (not any water-base), making the dye permanent. Nylon® possesses hydrophilic qualities (that is, it absorbs water). Its inability to repel water causes the fabric to swell and ultimately weakens the molecular structure. The dyestuffs used on nylon® tend to oxidize, a reaction which is catalyzed by light. The microscopic effects range from color fading to complete degradation of the polymer matrix. This is why the colors fade in nylon-lycra® swimsuits over time, but do not fade in polyester-lycra® swimsuits (Man-Made Fiber Yearbook, August 2000).

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