The Olympics has since concluded, and you had continued to hope that your little girl would soon forget about the amazing feats that she witnessed when the American Gymnasts competed in Rio this summer, to no avail. After months of begging and pleading, you finally enroll your daughter in her first gymnastics class. She is beyond excited to start! The living room floor has now become a stage for rolls, cartwheels, turns and jumps. While scrolling through the procedures of the class, you come across a word that you have scarcely heard since you were a child yourself.....leotard! You vaguely remember back to your childhood, when you were made to wear one of these uncomfortable garments for dance class. Your memory jumps back to being forced to endure the itchy and barely flexible outfit. As you recall, with dismay, the embarrassment of continually needing to pull the fabric from creeping up your tush every time you raised your arm to perform the "fourth crossed position". Luckily, the options for leotard fabrics has greatly improved and expanded. Now, you are struggling with a different problem....what kind of leotard should I buy? There are several common fabrics that are used to manufacture leotards. For most, it is a matter of personal preference. The following are our most popular fabrics, and the most common attributes of each. Please note that these are generalizations and are not 100% accurate in all instances.
Spandex or Lycra (a brand name of Spandex) is what gives the fabric its stretch and recovery.
Nylon Spandex: Better known by many as swimsuit fabric, this blend is generally very stretchy with a typical spandex content of 20%. Smooth and sleek, this fabric is available in matte (non shiny) or regular (shiny). This fabric tends to be popular with printed designs, and is very colorfast and durable. Nylon spandex represents our most inexpensive category of leotards, selling at just $25 each.
Cotton Spandex: Cotton lycra is another name for this type of fabric. Many favor this fabric for its natural breathability and softness. Cotton lycra fibers tends to shrink after being washed and dried, so purchasing a size larger is a common practice (some of our leotards are preshrunk). Cotton lycra lends itself to printed designs, and represents our most inexpensive category of leotards; selling at just $25 each.
Stretch Velvet: Stretch velvet is very popular as a fabric for leotards. Generally made with a blend of 90% poly and 10% spandex, it is not usually as stretchy as some other fabrics. Many gymnasts feel that the soft plush feel more than makes up for the loss of stretch. Velvet is also used in conjunction with other fabrics as the solid color bottom of split style leotards. Velvet is available in both crushed and flat varieties. Flat velvet is more uniform in its look and feel, whereas crushed has an almost patterned look to it.
These represent base fabrics only. Foils, holograms, and glitter are all added to these fabrics and may change the price and attributes of fabrics.