where to find fabric for boardshorts and swim trunks

Hello, I’m Roxanne (aka. Rox) and I’m here to talk about fabric. Summer is has arrived in the northern hemisphere! I live in a location with seasons, so swimming always become a big deal around my house this time of the year. Boardshorts and the closely related swim shorts have become a swimwear must have for kids who prefer the looser more comfortable fit.

Plus some designs even include pockets! Yeah!

Fabrics pictured starting at top left: Mabel Madison - King Shark, Club Tissus - Skeleton, The Fabric Fairy - Florescent Palms, Funkifabrics - RUB547 Toucan, The Fabric Fairy - Modern Eye, Funkifabrics - RUB1271 Lion Fest

Fabrics pictured starting at top left: Mabel Madison – King Shark, Club Tissus – Skeleton, The Fabric Fairy – Florescent Palms, Funkifabrics – RUB547 Toucan, The Fabric Fairy – Modern Eye, Funkifabrics – RUB1271 Lion Fest

I’m going to bet that many of you are a lot like me and find the idea of making boardshorts for your kiddos a bit intimidating. Where does this magical heavyweight fabric that does not get all waterlogged and saggy come from? Don’t worry, I’ve done the legwork and present you with resources on where you can buy your own fabric.

The ideal fabric is often polyester based with not much spandex if any, but ripstop nylon would also work. Many modern fabrics also have an extra resistant waterproof coating and UV protection.

Fabric pictured: Mabel Madison - Underwater World

Fabric pictured: Mabel Madison – Underwater World

Sources for boardshort and swim trunk fabrics:

Just to note: I am located in the United States and I buy 90% of my fabric from shops in the US. I selected the US sources based on shops that I have had positive experiences buying from in the past and having a nice selection of suitable fabrics. No affiliation of any sort . The non-US fabric sources I’m listing I have no first hand experience with.

Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
https://www.peekaboopatternshop.com/swim/

Raspberry Creek Fabrics
https://raspberrycreekfabrics.com/collections/swim-and-boardshort

Mabel Madison
https://www.mabelmadison.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=BOARDSHORT

The Fabric Fairy
https://www.thefabricfairy.com/collections/boardshort-prints

Fabric pictured: Fashion Fabrics Club - Pure White Athletic Mesh

Fabric pictured: Fashion Fabrics Club – Pure White Athletic Mesh

Boardshorts traditionally do not have any sort of lining and that works great if you plan on the shorts going over a more fitted swimsuit or something like a diaper. Swim trunks are often are lined with a white athletic mesh, though regular swimsuit lining also works.

Sources for athletic mesh/lining:

Fashion Fabrics Club (FYI: Shipping can be a bit on the slow side)
https://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/p262462_76635

Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
https://www.peekaboopatternshop.com/swim-shop-white-swimsuit-lining-1/

Non-US sources for boardshort and swim trunk fabrics/lining:

Canada
Peak Fabrics
https://www.peakfabrics.com/fabric/wicking-fabrics/sun-protection-fabric
Club Tissus
https://www.clubtissus.com/en/swimwear/beach-shorts-polyester/swimsuit_polyester

United Kingdom
Active Fabrics
https://www.activefabrics.co.uk/mila-uv-protective-fabric.html
Funkifabrics
https://funkifabrics.com/printed-fabrics/view-all.html?print_base=159

Fabrics pictured starting left: The Fabric Fairy - Parrots, Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop - Swim Shop Skulls, Raspberry Creek Fabrics - Teal Light Blue Fuchsia Pink Orange and Yellow Surf Stripe

Fabrics pictured starting left: The Fabric Fairy – Parrots, Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop – Swim Shop Skulls, Raspberry Creek Fabrics – Teal Light Blue Fuchsia Pink Orange and Yellow Surf Stripe

If you wish to venture into wild and source your own fabric to make the perfect shorts the following keywords might be of help:

  • polyester microfiber
  • sun protectant fabric
  • swimsuit polyester
  • boardshort fabric
  • athletic mesh
  • swimwear lining

Do you plan on sewing any swimwear in the future? Do you have any favorite shops with a wide selection of swim friendly fabrics? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

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