‘See-through’ swimwear

At last there is someone who has invented swimwear material that allows us to have an even tan without those horrible strap lines on our body!

The Tan Through range from Kiniki is made so well that despite the fact the human eye cannot penetrate the fabric the UV rays which cause the skin to darken can pass through, allowing people to bronze all over.

About 80 per cent of sunlight reaches the skin through thousands of microscopic holes in the stretchy patented Transol yarn that was described by the company as ‘chicken-wire mesh material’.

The fabric is entirely transparent when held up to the light but the wearer should not worry about that as special animal prints and abstract patterns confusing the eye make the onlookers see only a solid block of fabric.

The line includes one-piece swimsuits, bikinis and wraps for women, and briefs, hipsters and tangas for men. The price ranges between $28.21 for the briefs and wrap to $56.13 for the swimsuit or full bikini set. Women’s sizes available start at eight and go up to 20, while men can choose from small to XXL.

John Walker, 58, who owns the Staffordshire-based firm and has been producing underwear and swimwear for over 35 years, said:

They are selling like hot cakes. We only officially launched four weeks ago but we cannot keep up with demand at the moment.”

He explains how he had an idea of such a swimsuit six years ago:

I had some fishnet material in the cutting room and light was coming in from the overhead skylights.”

I realised using a fabric with holes would be brilliant for taning through – if it wasn’t totally inappropriate.”

Then I came up with the idea of prints to confuse the eye and have been working on design for the last six years.”

If you hold it up to a window you can see right through it but once on the body it looks just like a normal swimsuit.”

Mr Walker claims wearers are guaranteed a smooth all-over tan as long as they remember one piece of advice:

There is an elastic seam on every garment which we advise customers to move regularly because the sun cannot penetrate it. If you’re not careful it will get in the way of a tan,” he said.

However, skin cancer campaigners warn that wearing such swimwear can cause the increase in cases of malignant melanoma. According to their predictions the number of people who will be diagnosed with the condition is expected to reach 10,000 this year.

Richard Clifford, who is a secretary the Karen Clifford Skin Cancer Charity, says:

By virtue of the fact they are putting a swimsuit over the skin it would be very difficult to apply sun cream underneath.”

I think it is a dangerous idea and in the interests of vanity. We recommend UV protected clothing and this is the very opposite.”

Five people a day are diagnosed with malignant melanomas. It is a killer and affects more people here than in Australia.”

Mr Walker doesn’t agree with the fact the invention can bring so much harm. He insists that customers are advised to use sun block all over.

We recommend that you put the same sun protection on underneath the swimsuit as you would on the exposed parts of your body,” he says.

The Tan Through range is made of a common yarn, polybutylene terephthalate known as PBT, a synthetic material with an elastic stretch which contains no lycra. This makes it more resistant to suncream, chlorine and seawater and thus it is more breathable for the wearer.

John Walker says:

No one else in the world has developed the yarn in this way. ‘Imagine a fish net or string vest material. We have made a very very minute form of that by shrinking any holes right down.”

You can find information and the items themselves at www.kiniki.com

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