Bemis Claims Gold with Speedo LZR Racer's Success

Bemis Associates Inc. is basking in the afterglow of the Olympics.

The Shirley, MA-headquartered manufacturer of thermoplastic adhesives, coatings, tapes and specialty film products provided bonded technology for the celebrated "LZR Racer" swimsuit that dominated headlines, as it was donned by several gold medalists and record-breaking swimmers in Beijing.

The touted LZR Racer is manufactured by Speedo, part of publicly traded Warnaco; according to the company 23 out of 25 world records set during the Olympics were achieved in the high-tech swimsuit. 

Commenting in the aftermath of the games, Chris Parlee, marketing manager of Bemis, said Speedo "utilized our films in truly innovative ways to enhance the performance of this record breaking swimsuit." According to Parlee, Bemis' "Sewfree" adhesive film, a decorative overlay film designed specifically for Speedo, and reinforcement tape, were all engineered into the LZR Racer to contribute to its lightweight design while also enabling it to limit drag and abrasion credited for dramatically improving swimming times. According to Parlee, the Bemis chemistries customized for Speedo also reduced the usage of threads that typically weigh a swimsuit down by soaking up water.   

"Not only does the adhesive film bond a component or create a seam, it can also enhance body shaping, improve stretch and recovery or make a seam flat," she commented. All of Bemis' materials helped reinforce the ultrasonic seam within the LZR Racer (introduced this year), said Parlee.

Bemis' products are also prevalent in intimate apparel said Parlee, who noted that both swimwear and intimate apparel designers often look to attain similar benefits including a slim/sleek profile, less abrasion to the wearer and enhanced aesthetics.  

"The design possibilities are truly endless and apparel like this is illustrative of how Bemis adhesive films can be used in pioneering ways," said Parlee, whose company has provided apparel technology for more than 50 years. "Demanding applications like these require innovation. It demonstrates the importance of good working relationships between fabric/trim suppliers and the brands."

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