Elastane, a.k.a. Lycra, is a highly elastic synthetic fiber. Lycra, elastane, and spandex are interchangeable brand names for the identical stretchable material, capable of expanding to five to eight times its original dimensions. With such great characteristics, it's no surprise why it's a preferred fabric of most clothing manufacturers. Here's everything you need to know about the Lycra fabric.
The Lycra Fabric Material
The material was developed by the DuPont Company in the 1950s, yet the existence of the Nazi chemical company IG Farben owes its roots to the discovery of polyurethane in the 1930s. Lycra, along with other polyurethane-based polymers, is manufactured using the same fundamental chemical synthesis processes employed in the production of these other plastics.
Lycra fabrics, akin to other polyurethanes, constitute a polymer consisting of extended chains of monomers interconnected by a specific acid. In contrast to various synthetic fabrics, Lycra exhibits outstanding heat resistance, leading to its fast recognition as an excellent companion to synthetics prone to melting at elevated temperatures, such as polyester and nylon.
Benefits Of the Lycra Fabric
There are several reasons we commonly see the material Lycra printed on the care tags of clothes, especially activewear. Let's take a look at why this is the preferred fabric of certain clothing companies.
It is durable.
Lycra boasts amazing durability. Lycra fabric is crafted from high-quality materials, making it durable, elastic, and resistant to deformation. A high-quality Lycra fabric exhibits excellent extensibility and can withstand daily washing with ease.
Woolen materials has gained flexibility and strength through the incorporation of spandex, preventing the fabric from aging prematurely. Consequently, the cloth is less prone to wrinkling or tearing.
It is comfortable to wear.
Woolen clothes are essential during the winter season to keep the body warm. However, when it comes to selecting comfortable winter wear, it's common to make mistakes. Lycra, with its limited tensile strength, provides both comfort and flexibility for winter clothing.
Lycra fabrics, as highlighted by manufacturers, are ideal for athletic wear due to their exceptional stretch. The elastic nature of Lycra makes clothing comfortable to wear while also enhancing breathability. This allows you to enjoy the warmth of the fabric while benefiting from the stretchability provided by Lycra.
While it's true that cotton is exceptionally comfortable, in winter, the need for warmth makes Lycra the most suitable and comfortable choice to keep your body warm.
It is stylish.
Everyone desires a stylish look, and with new trends emerging regularly in the market, people find satisfaction in staying stylish. However, when it comes to winter wear, choosing the perfect style can be challenging.
Lycra fabrics offer both style and warmth. Crafted from high-quality materials, these fabrics provide a stylish look, impeccable finishing, and a perfect fit.
It is low-maintenance.
Nowadays, the market is teeming with a variety of blended fabrics, making it challenging to choose the perfect ones from the available options.
Many blended fabrics, including those with Lycra, are prone to damage after a single wash and can be difficult to clean. However, Lycra fabric stands out for its simplicity in maintenance. The high-quality component in Lycra requires extra care, often involving professional dry cleaning.
It is lightweight.
In the marketplace, we come across overly heavy garments, posing challenges and discomfort during wear. Nonetheless, Lycra Fabric, is naturally lightweight, providing wearers with ease of movement, the ability to run, and comfort while walking. This characteristic has made Lycra fabric as a preferred choice among customers.
It is flexible.
The Lycra fabric boasts exceptional flexibility and resistance to deformation. Its outstanding stretch elasticity allows it to seamlessly integrate with various fibers, whether natural or synthetic, without altering the fabric's appearance or texture. This high flexibility ensures ease of use over the long term.
Thanks to its elastic nature, Lycra Fabric offers an ideal combination of perfect fit, drape, shape retention, and resilience even after multiple washes.
Cotton Lycra fabric, in particular, is more form-fitting, supple, and comfortable, blending the natural air-permeability and softness of cotton with Lycra's superb elasticity and non-deformable properties. Lycra imparts three distinct advantages to garments: wearability, mobility, and durability.
How To Wash Lycra Fabric
Caring for your clothes made of Lycra fabric can help them last longer for several uses.
Wash in lukewarm water and avoid chlorine bleach.
Steer clear of chlorine bleach as it has the potential to damage elastane fibers. Instead, choose oxygen bleach for efficient stain removal and brightening of white clothing. When washing, use lukewarm water (30 degrees Celsius) for optimal care.
Lycra, undoubtedly a leading fabric in the fashion industry, is a resilient synthetic material valued for its elasticity and durability, with its breathability stemming from its unique texture.
Don't use cloth dryer sheets.
Refrain from using cloth dryer sheets and fabric softeners when washing Lycra. While detergents are generally safe for washing Lycra fabrics, it is advisable to avoid products that combine fabric softeners with detergent. The inclusion of fabric softeners in such products can diminish the finish of spandex and attract bacteria, resulting in unpleasant odors.
Never iron clothes made of the Lycra fabric.
Avoid using iron on clothing with high Lycra content as the heat can damage the fabric. Fortunately, Lycra fabrics are resistant to wrinkling. If ironing is necessary, use the lowest temperature setting, especially if it's a blend. Ensure that you keep the iron in motion and avoid leaving it stationary on a particular spot.
Set the dryer to medium to high heat to tighten again the fibers.
To restore the shape of leggings and other form-fitting Lycra garments that may have loosened over time, a simple method is available. Gently drying the item in a dryer set to medium to high heat for 20 to 30 minutes can help tighten the fibers without causing damage. Afterward, store the garment in a place shielded from direct sunlight or heat.
Baleaf Loves the Lycra Fabric
At Baleaf, we use only high-quality Lycra fabric for the creation of our activewear line. Most recently, we created the Freeleaf collection that fits every body type with the latest innovation in Lycra - Lycra Adaptiv. With this fabric, experience great freedom of movement, flexibility, and comfort.
Check out the amazing colors and designs of the latest Freeleaf collection.