Seams And Stitching
The way your wetsuit is stitched makes a massive difference on how it performs. The stitching can affect the durability, performance and the price of your suit. Seams can be a key point of weakness and they can be the cause of letting in water and leading you to become cold. We will talk you through each style of stitching.
This is the most simple way of stitching neoprene, similar to the way your clothing is stitched. The way it is done is the two sections are folded inwards and then stitched together. This results in a loss of flexibility and a bulge under your wetsuit which can lead to rubbing. You will only find this method of stitching in low end suits or summer suits.
Flatlock stitching is where one panel of neoprene is layered over the other and the stitching goes through both pieces. This creates a durable and flexible seam. Due to the amount of holes that this style of stitching causes, therefore, it is mainly used on summer suit.
This method of stitching is perfect for the colder waters. Blind stitching is when the panels are glued together and then stitched on the inside of the suit. However, the stitching doesn’t go all the way through the suit, this results in a fully water tight seam and lots of flexibility. This form of stitching makes the wetsuit very strong too. You will often see the seam referred to as GBS or Glued Blind Stitched.
Similar to GBS stitching, the neoprene panels have been glued together before being stitched, making them waterproof and super strong.
Some wetsuits have taped seams, this is where on the inside of the seams, tape is applied to strengthen where necessary. Some have strategic taping, which is where seams have been reinforced with tape in areas which go under the most stress. Fully taped means all seams have been reinforced.
this is when liquid rubber is put onto the seams making them completely watertight. Some brand have this on the inside and outside.