Warning: Neoprene Can Shrink

-- Last Updated: Dec-21-09 7:10 PM EST --

Admittedly, at least in my case, it may take a little while, but neoprene can shrink. As an example, the farmer john wetsuit I packed away seventeen years ago is much tighter than it used to be. What the heck?!! :)

How tight is a wetsuit supposed to fit?

if it’s not tight enough to sing soprano
when you put it on, then you’ll sing that way when you hit the 50 degree water.

Not Just Neoprene
Every darn thing that goes into my closet comes out smaller; the wife says the same thing about hers. Our closets are just terrible about shrinking stuff! WW

when I’m in my wetsuit
I observe shrinkage too

Different parts shrink more
My farmer john seems to have shrunk most in the front just above my waist. I think they put cheaper material there.

Neoprene shrinks over time because
the gas (nitrogen I believe) used to inflate the little bubbles will slowly escape over time.

But I want to attack another myth I saw recently. Neoprene fabric, when new and unabused, does not leak. It does not pass water, though people who think their neoprene leaks may have passed their own water.

I’ll remeber that little alibi in
spring. No doubt there is truth…but in older neoprene can I get away with that?

LOL… I was just looking for a “reason” that neoprene is smaller in spring than when put away in the fall.

Heck in the winter its just fleece under drysuit and its like everyone is a Michelin doll anyway.

One thing about neo
Is not to store it in a closet that has any type of electric motor in it (furnace/water heater closet, etc). Increased ozone levels kill neo quicker.

Uhmmm…I’ve been taught the lesson before that jokes don’t always translate so well on the internet. SO–the joke is that the wetsuit didn’t shrink…I GOT FAT.

I can still get in it, but it sure feels tight!

I am a loner here.
Every piece of clothing I own is falling off me. It is not for lack of effort. Still, when I put the wetsuit on Sunday, I was wondering how I ever got into this two years ago. And when I went swimming in the river, I still sang soprano! And couldn’t find my turtle for a day.

Recognized the joke, but fact is,
neoprene does shrink with time. Combined with normal, age-related weight gain, an old wet suit ain’t likely to fit.

Was your turtle sick? There was a
thread on sick turtles.

Just frozen and hibernating;))

Neoprene may leak
at the seams, but you are correct, the fabric itself is water/air tight.

You have also made the fat people feel better.


Also the skin shrinks too
The lycra or whatever is used on the outside shrinks too. I used to buy custom wetsuits and in 3 years I would have to sell them yet I wore the same pants size.

Is that what happened to my wet-suit over the holidays?

PFD’s too?
I’m like’n the whole neoprene can shrink thing. I’d like to show this to my wife, but I don’t know how to explain my life jacket doing the same thing.

If true, that’s planned obsolescence.
The fabric on the outside and/or inside of neoprene is Nylon. Usually Nylon would not shrink, but perhaps in the strange weave patterns used for facing neoprene, it would shrink.

Otherwise, I would blame shrinkage on nitrogen leaking from the bubbles.

Perhaps the foam panels in PFDs also
shrink with time because the gas in the bubbles escapes. But that might actually make a PFD fit better, not worse. Foam panel collapse would increase the effective torso fit range.

Yes, on some
I’ve had one wetsuit that stretched over time, another that shrank. I can’t explain the first, but I believe the second (shrinkage) happened after I dried it in a dryer instead of just hanging out to dry. Odd thing was I had also machine-dried the other wetsuit and it still ended up stretching as time went on. (Both wetsuits were in the same dryer, so it was not a case of different heat levels.)

Different weaves and weights of nylon, I guess.