BREAKING DOWN THE CONSTRUCTION OF ERES BIKINI
Eres is a French company that is often called the Rolls Royce of swimwear. What is still different for the company in their philosophy of making swimwear, is not using much padding or underwires commonly found across many other brands.
In 1996 it was bought by Chanel, and it started focusing on fabric technology and ergonomic design. The patented fabric called Peau Douce is used in most styles, and its content is 77% polyamide and 23% elastane. It’s soft to the touch, has a matte finish, and has a great amount of stretch and recovery. Even with French sizes graded more generously between sizes than in the American grading system for smaller range, the company suggests sizing up or down in a suit depending on your tight-ness preference. If you want a swimsuit to feel snug when you’re in the water, size down. It’s somewhat similar to my suggestion of sizing up in bias pieces if you want them to be more relaxed on your body.
When I was working on a swimwear project a few years back for work, Eres was one of the companies I looked at in great detail. I’ve spent roughly 2 years thoroughly researching the swimwear market for this project, so you can be assured I was thorough. It involved a lot of reading, trying things on, photographing different details and techniques used by many companies, hunting vintage and second hand pieces for fabrics and construction (I was very selective of companies I was targeting), and that was just the beginning stages.
Later I was involved in a search for a “perfect” swimwear fabric, developing hardware, choosing the type of thread and elastic, pattern making final styles, and even making first samples.
What I’d like to show here is the details of and Eres bikini. There is definitely a reason why you pay top dollar for this brand: only color matching 5 different materials (self-fabric, nylon thread, enamel-covered metal hardware, plastic closures, and cotton lining) is extremely difficult to do. Classic styles also assure the longevity of these pieces, so you can say I’m a fan, when I can afford it.
More interesting to me is how this swimwear is constructed and looks from the inside.
Rubber elastic provides longevity to this piece (given you’re taking care of it by hand washing or using a super gentle cycle, and never EVER using a dryer). Using only soft nylon thread makes seams flat and soft to the touch.
What’s not seen in this picture are little hooks that are hidden on a main hardware piece to hold the fabric in place, but unless you’re developing your own hardware, this information is not important.
If you’re choosing rubber elastic for making swimwear for yourself, I recommend going for a softer kind if you’re able to find it, so the difference between the self fabric and elastic isn’t too great, and while it performs its function, it doesn’t dig into the skin to much (aesthetics and comfort).
At the end, it’s a combination of raw materials and construction techniques, and I hope you understand the construction a little better now, so only thing left is to find good materials.