As well as the considerations of style and colour, the material that a leotard is made from must be taken into account. Lycra (known as Spandex in North America) has often been the material of choice for the manufacture of leotards because of its exceptional elasticity. Lycra/Spandex is a very stretchy fabric but it does not soak up perspiration in the same way that cotton does, meaning that dancers and gymnasts can get a little uncomfortable in Lycra.
When Lycra has been dyed a gorgeous colour which matches the mood of the performance perfectly, large sweat stains can be unsightly. Cotton/Lycra or Cotton/Spandex mixes can help with this problem but the weight of this mix may cause even more problems with sweating than the more lightweight Lycra/ Spandex.
Tactel is a relatively new material that is soft, strong, lightweight and breathable. As Tactel also dries very rapidly it is an ideal fabric for the manufacturing of leotards and now most styles are available in Tactel in most dance stores.