What is spandex fabric

What is spandex


Is it actually called elastane or elastane? Spandex is one Chemical fiber from the field of elastomer, which is used in industrial areas as Elastane is known and colloquially often as Spandex referred to as. Elaspan, creora and Linel are also just brand names for elastane. In the past the abbreviation for elastane was EL, today elastane is labeled with PUE. While elastane is called elastane or Dorlasthan in German, the material is called in other countries elastane fiber (English) or spandex fiber (Asian language area).

Elastane has been produced since 1959, nowadays elastane is mainly found in Sportswear and fitted sheets Use. In the field of fashion for women and men, material with elastane is often used as a Stretch marked. However, there are no fabrics made from pure elastane; instead, spandex is always used mixed with other fibers.

Spandex clothing with elastane is usually at least 80% made of another material, for example polyamide, polyester, viscose or cotton. Often the stretchy elastane fiber is not even mixed with the actual fabric, but only provides the necessary in the cuff, for example in socks or corsetry Extensibility.

Elastan: the history of its origins

In 1959 the American Joseph Shivers brought the synthetic fiber elastane as Fiber K on the market. Together with the American chemical company DuPont, he had developed a process for the industrial production of elastane. The stretchable fabric became known under the name Lycra from 1962, and elastane was later marketed under the brand name Spandex.

The rubber-like elastane fibers are obtained from plastic, in particular from Polyurethane and polyethylene glycol. While polyurethane for the enormous Tear resistance the fiber, justifies itself Extensibility in the use of polyethylene glycol. This is how it arises Extensibility for the elastic synthetic fiber elastane, which is between 500 and 700%. Thus, elastane is an extremely stretchy material.

Special elastane properties

But what are the properties of elastane? Above all, elastane fabric is extremely stretchy and elastic, thus elastane resembles rubber. The synthetic fiber, however, has a higher strength. By the extremely great extensibility of the synthetic threads woven into fabrics, elastane adapts to its subsurface and can expand enormously. Even so, spandex has a long-lasting effect Dimensional stability - after expansion, it therefore returns to its original shape. Textiles with elastane do not lose their shape.

In addition, elastane can be dyed well, so fabrics with elastane are not only offered in plain colors, but also colorful pattern. Fabrics with elastane often feel soft and smooth at. In addition, stretch materials with elastane are very light and often incredibly thin and fine. Due to the enormous tensile strength of the fiber, elastane still has one high resilience and is more durable than its elasticity suggests.

Elastane does not become statically charged and does not fluff. You can use almost all elastane fabrics at 40 ° C wash, but you should study the care label before washing, because you can often find valuable tips on it. With regular 60 ° washing or the use of fabric softeners, elastane loses its elasticity - the synthetic fiber becomes cracked. Otherwise, elastane mixtures are mostly very easy to care for, a textile with elastane usually does not need to be ironed. While polyester has hardly any negative properties, a mixture of elastane and cotton is nonetheless to recommend. Natural fabrics are particularly easy for children and baby textiles indispensable.

The advantages of elastane at a glance

  • stretchy and elastic
  • dimensionally stable and resilient
  • fine, but tearproof
  • very easy to care for

Uses for spandex

Because of its impressive elasticity, elastane is mainly used in Garments used that should be close to the body. So you can find elastane mainly in swimwear, hosiery, tights, sportswear, underwear and in clothing that comes with Stretch is designated. The fashion term serves as a super-category for all elastic materials in the fashion segment.

Even small amounts of elastane can be used in stretch jeans best fit. If jeans are made of spandex, they can stretch well and fit nicely. In the jersey shirt, the stretch component prevents it from wearing out quickly, clothes for children, accessories and accessories such as hats are prevented from slipping by straps made of elastic material.

Elastic Tights are made of fine yarn with elastane practically, because they join in every movement, let themselves be drawn out and sit skin-tight. Mixtures of elastane are less suitable as decorative fabrics, but there are also stretch fabrics decorated with sequins, for example. By the way, sewing with elastic (spandex) yard goods is not that easy, Instructions and help on this subject can be found on the Internet.

Of course, elastane is also used in bed sheets, but there the fibers are usually only found in small quantities, often with an elastane content of less than 5%. If you are looking for stretchy fitted sheets that will not go out of shape even after long-term use, you should look for one Model with elastane decide.