A leotard is a type of outfit used for activities such as dancing, gymnastics and even yoga. It's a single piece of clothing similar to a one-piece swimsuit, but it may or may not have sleeves and leggings. Whether you're trying to make your own dance leotards or want to buy the perfect leotard, the type of material used can make all the difference.
Qualities of a Good Leotard
Leotards are typically used by dancers, gymnasts and those participating in activities that utilize flexibility and involve a lot of movement. Because of this, a good leotard will need to be stretchy and flexible to allow for the various types of necessary movements. Leotards should also be form-fitting, as an excess of fabric can inhibit movement and be uncomfortable for the user. These qualities make it necessary for users to choose the best type of fabrics for their leotards.
Lycra or spandex is the preferred material for leotards. Lycra and spandex are examples of a material that's highly stretchy but maintains a tight fit. This is because these materials hold their shape particularly well, which means along with being moveable, it will also return to its original form after it has been stretched and flexed. Most importantly, these qualities make Lycra or spandex long-lasting, making it the best value as well.
Cotton is another fabric that can be used for leotards. Although cotton is comfortable and provides a tight fit, it isn't likely to remain that way for long. The elasticity of cotton tends to wear out more quickly than a fabric such as Lycra or spandex, so while it may initially provide all of the same qualities that make Lycra and spandex ideal for leotards, it will most likely need to be replaced very quickly when it starts to lose its form.
Another important aspect of good dance leotard material is the color and pattern you choose. While it doesn't particularly lend it its functionality, it can add a great deal to the performance value. Velour is a fabric accent that's a popular choice for leotards. Additionally, there are a variety of patterns such as glittered, shiny and printed fabrics that can add a great deal of visual appeal to your dance leotard.