You know what’s cool? Being able to print your own designs onto the fabric of your choice. Now, I’m not clever enough to be able to design my own fabric, but I know what I like. Sometimes you’ll find the right fabric in a print that blows your mind, sometimes you won’t. Especially when it comes to fabric that is suitable for swimwear. It needs to be a magical combination of either polyester or nylon and spandex (or lycra, which is just the brand name for spandex).
I mean, where else could you find Iced Vovo fabric but Spoonflower?
The more I sew swimwear, the more I crave those unique prints that tickle my fancy.
Like these moths from Andrea Lauren on Spoonflower:
And these little kewpies from Ellie Whittaker on Next State Print:
That’s right, Australians. Next State Print (based in Melbourne and possibly the most helpful company around) now offer their own version of activewear and swimwear fabric. So of course I had to order a metre and test it out as I really wanted to see how it compared to the Spoonflower Sport Lycra. Because: (a) I’m nerdy like that and (b) I really like to support Australian businesses when I can. Also, I reallllly like the Spoonflower lycra, so could another product compare? Let’s see.
Here are the stats (I told you I was a nerd):
SF: Polyester (88%) and lycra (12%)
NS: Polyester (80%) and spandex (20%)
SF: $32USD/yard (approx $41AUD per 91cm, if we’re getting picky)
Now, if you’ve seen my last post, you’ll know this is a tricky number to nail down.
SF: Claim 75% in one direction and 50% in the other. I honestly find this hard to believe. It’s much firmer than that.
NS: No stretch listed but it’s stretchier than the Spoonflower version.
Sorry it’s not a more exact science than that.
General feel? They both feel good. Both are a decent thickness and nice quality. If you haven’t used digitally printed fabric before, know that they have their limitations and are different to their screen printed cousins – it’s the nature of the beast. But what I have found is the colour and quality is much more vibrant on synthetic fibres (like spandex) than natural fibres (like cotton).
The Next State Print Active is definitely lighter and stretchier than the Spoonflower Sport Lycra. But it’s also silkier and softer. It does work out a bit cheaper but of course, they don’t have as much variety in their prints as Spoonflower. My Spoonflower swimmers have been washed and worn many times now and are holding up well, I will update what happens with the Next State version as I’ve only just made them and worn them in the pool today.