I will be putting Textile World on my radar especially after reading this comment regarding the Speedo LZR material and it's mention of other materials out on the horizon, I feel Textile World is a worthy read since new fabric materials are at the forefront of our sport.
The image at the right features an athlete wearing a new material called Holofiber as mentioned in the below comment.
"... Tony, thanks for reading Textile World! I would, however, have to disagree. [Regarding my belief that the plasma process merged the fibers of the LZR into a solid state.]
The [LZR] fabric, as stated in Janet’s article, is a tightly woven 2-way stretch fabric. I found that unusual, because knit structures are much more common in swimwear. There is no doubt this is a highly engineered system. The fact that it is a woven seems to let the garment designer control where and in what directions the stretch is applied there by compressing certain parts of the swimmer’s anatomy.
Plasma doesn’t melt or merge anything; it changes the surface properties of the fabric, in this case making the fabric more water-repellent. Plasma is thought to be a more eco-friendly way of treating the fabric because a more traditional method would use water-repellent chemicals, like Scotchgaurd or Teflon, that are applied to the fabric for a similar result. The plasma treatment is dry, no chemicals, no effluent, etc.
I can see why your sport may be concerned about the leap these garments take. Competitive swimmers have gone from wearing high-coverage wool or cotton garments to wearing as little as possible, and now to wearing highly engineered garments that cover the majority of the swimmer’s body. With the way technology is changing, I am sure the next generation of garments will make you questions things further. But that is just the beginning. There are technologies at the fiber level, not used in this garment, like Holofiber from Hologenix LLC, that are said to raise the oxygen level in the wearer’s blood, this can help in training and in recovery after training or competing. It also is said to help with jet lag or help people with circulation problems. ..."
Could Holofiber be the next swimsuit material? Here is a link to the Hologenix LLC site: [Link]