Swim Cap - History

History

Swim caps were made of rubberized fabric during the early 20th century. By the 1920s they were made of latex. The earliest chin strap caps were known as "aviator's style" as they resembled the strapped leather helmets of flyers of the day. During the 1940s swim caps became scarce as rubber was needed for war materials. It was a lucky girl who had a swim cap to protect her "wave" (hair style) during that period. The permanent wave hairstyle took time to obtain and was expensive, so many women wanted to protect their hair while swimming. The 1950s saw decorated caps come into vogue, and during the 1960s colorful flower petal swim caps became popular. Men's long hair styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s made swimming pool operators change rules requiring swim caps for swimmers with long hair. Without swim cap requirements wearing swim caps fell out of fashion during the early 1970s. Competitive swimming in the 1980s and 1990s and the worldwide construction of indoor lap swimming pools for fitness swimming, made the swim cap popular again. Today swim caps are available in competitive racing styles, traditional chin strap type with inner sealing to keep out water and colorful floral styles reminiscent of the 1960s as well as other graphic prints.

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