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What are the different types of mermaid tails? Fabric, Mythic, and Silicone: Pros and Cons


As a professional mermaid, I am often asked which gear I prefer to use and the answer is not black and white as each tail comes with both positives and negatives. So how do you decide which tail to buy? Let’s discuss the fascinating differences between fabric, mythic, and silicone mermaid tails and their different levels of realism.


  • Fabric Tails:

Fabric tails are the perfect choice for mermaids who are just starting out as they provide flexibility, comfort, and affordability. These tails are made from stretchy materials like spandex or scuba-knit, which allows for weight loss/gain, fluid movements and makes them easier to put on and off (especially great in an emergency). To swim safely in a fabric tail, you do require a monofin (inside the fluke/bottom part of the tail) which helps propel you through the water (similar to flippers); larger-fluked fabric tails, often require a vinyl addition, which helps to keep the shape of the tail, but causes drag, making it harder to swim. Fabric tails are more widely available, and come in different colours and designs which can help in building your mersona (mermaid identity); this can be useful if you want to have more than one ‘look’. Since these tails are made from fabric, they’re lightweight and dry quickly, making them an excellent option for both beginners and seasoned mermaids, especially when travelling. 

Pros: Cons:
  • Best starting tail to learn in and practice in safely
  • Easy to get in and out of
  • Affordable
  • Quick-drying
  • Flexible and comfortable
  • Wide variety of colors and patterns
  • Looks great in photos
  • Can stretch
  • Less realistic appearance and feel compared to other materials (especially in person)
  • Scuff/damage easily on gritty surfaces e.g. rocks, concrete in pools, etc. 


Photographers Instagram: Bottom left: @hunter.v.photography – Top right: @palemoonemporium 

  • Mythic Tails:

Mythic tails are a hybrid between fabric and silicone tails. The body is constructed from thick neoprene, with iridescent resin scales lining the outside to create a shiny look and 3D feel, while the fluke and fins of the tail are made from silicone. These tails are beautiful although, it can be hard to replace scales. They do take a little longer to get into than fabrics as once your feet are in the monofin you, or someone else will need to zip the tail up from the back (can be tricky alone) but, it’s still less than the amount of time it takes to get into a silicone. Mythic tails do look and feel more realistic compared to fabric tails, both while swimming and to onlookers, however, silicone tails are the most fish-like.

Pros: Cons:
  • More realistic than a fabric tail: 3D
  • Individual scales: iridescence 
  • Lighter than a silicone
  • Cost more than fabric tails
  • Slightly less realistic than full silicone tails
  • Hard to replace missing scales
  • Heavier than a fabric
  • May need a second person to help zip you up


Mermaid Elmora (Me) on the left; Mermaid Sepha on the right

  • Silicone Tails:

Silicone tails are the epitome of mermaid luxury, they are what is used on movie sets such as ‘H20’ and ‘Spash’ as they mimic the texture and movement of a real fishtail: they are the most realistic tail option on the market. They are custom-made to your measurements, allow for personalised designs, and are made entirely from medical-grade silicone. The silicone helps to provide a more lifelike weight and buoyancy, allowing mermaids to gracefully maneuver through the water and onlookers to have the most immersive experience.

Pros: Cons:
  • Realistic appearance and feel
  • Customizable designs
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • More expensive than fabric and mythic tails
  • Heavier than fabric and mythic tails i.e. harder to travel with
  • Harder to store
  • Takes significantly longer to get on (10-40 minutes)
  • Can’t gain/lose too much weight


Mermaid Sharina & myself in our custom silicone tails

When choosing your mermaid tail it is important to take into account what you want to use the tail for and your preferences. If you are starting as a hobbyist fabric tails are lighter, easier to use, clean, and safer to remove. Ultimately it depends on your budget, preferences, and desired level of realism. As a professional mermaid, I love each of these tails and they’re all beautiful in their own way. I love my custom silicone tail as it resonates with me most, I use it regularly for gigs and photoshoots, however, for swims with friends or training, I definitely reach for my fabric tails more frequently as they’re more convenient to travel with, store and wash. Many professional mermaids continue to use fabric tails throughout their career just as many hobbyist mermaids buy mythic or silicone tails to have fun in, there is no right way or wrong way; just find what suits you best and make your way.

Mermaid Elmora

Mermaid Elmora


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