To make a dry suit manufacturers start off with a number of basic designs. For custom orders these basic designs are then tailor made to suit their particular needs of the customer.
By cutting many layers of drysuit cloth in the same pattern it says the manufacture from having to redo the same walk over and over again. They can layer up to 50 layers of drysuit material on top of each other and using a special cutting machine they can cut out the required size material from multiple drysuits for sale.
Neoprene, vulcanized rubber and trilamized material are just some of the main materials which are used to create a drysuit. Using a die press, the neoprene cords are cut to size to suit their size of the corresponding water wear.
For dry suit seams glue makes the perfect sealant and is painted onto each material cutting to help attached to one another. Although there are machines to do this job, the best way to do it is manually by hand. The type of glue use is not regular household glue however, it is actually a type of flexible glue designed to hold the seams together even when submerged in water.
Although the seams will already have been sealed by stitching, the glue helps to reinforce this joint and creates a fully waterproof seal which is hugely important.
No dry suit would be complete without rubber soles since who wants to hurt their feet walking around and jagged rocks and hot sand, so the manufacturers glue rubber soles to the feet to help alleviate this problem.
Any protruding rubber on the neck and wrist seals is removed using an electric grinder to make the seal much more secure around these body parts.
When you wear a drysuit you create extreme tension around the neck and wrist areas some great attention must be paid to these areas when producing any of these waterproof garments.
When the glue has dried the manufacturer moves the finished product onto the main body of the suit.
As you would expect the manufacturer is always keen to put their branding on the finished product so special machine is used for stitching their logo into place. Unlike regular stitching you don’t want to penetrate both sides of the material; instead you just want to attach the logo to the dry suit itself.
Now that the neck and wrist seals as well as the logo are in place, the manufacturer needs to test that the drysuit is waterproof. By filling it with air and dipping it in a large tank of water before completely submerging it with the help of some weights they can test to see if any bubbles come out. This is much like testing a bike’s rubber tube for a puncture.
The final part of making a dry suit is their inspection process. There would be no point in shipping and drysuit out to retailers unless you had to firstly inspected it for any flaws beforehand. So, one final check is given to make sure that everything is in place and that there are no problems with the material. When this stage is complete the dry suits can then be boxed up and shipped off to retail stores around the world.