What is Spandex fabric?

Table of Content

1. What is Spandex fabric? How to distinguish the three names Spandex, Elastane, Lycra

2. How is Spandex fabric made? Pros & Cons

3. How is Spandex fabric used?

1. What is Spandex fabric? 

Spandex fabric is a lightweight synthetic fiber prepared from petroleum, coal, additives. Term "Spandex", "Lycra", "Elastane" have the same meaning. 

Spandex: this term is not a trademark, it is an anagram of "expands". Spandex was never intended to be the primary term, but the term stuck in the consumer's mind.

Lycra: This term is a registered trademark of Dupont Corporation. Only Spandex made by Dupont can be called Lycra.

Elastane: is the most chemically correct way of referring to this fabric.


What is Spandex fabric?

2. How is Spandex fabric made?

a) Production of a Prepolymer:
This step is accomplished by mixing macro glycol with a diisocyanate monomer within a special type of reaction vessel.
b) Chain extension Reaction:
When the dry spinning method is used, this prepolymer is then reacted with diamine acid.
c) Diluting:
Next, this solution is diluted with a solvent to make it thinner and easier to handle, and it is then placed inside a fiber production cell.
d) Extrusion:
This cell spins to produce fibers and cure the elastane material. Within these cells, the solution is pushed through the spinneret.
e) Heating:
These fibers are heated within a nitrogen and solvent gas solution, to form the liquid polymer into solid strands.
f) Twisting:
The strands are then bundled together as they exit the cylindrical spinning cell with a compressed air device that twists them.
g) Finishing:
Next, Magnesium stearate or another polymer is used to treat the elastane material as a finishing agent.
h) Weaving:
Once it is loaded onto a spool, it is ready to be woven into fabric.



3. How is Spandex fabric used?

In some cases, pure spandex fabric may be used to make incredibly stretchy or fully form-fitting garments. However, this fabric is relatively expensive, so Spandex fabric can be combined with Cotton or Polyester fabric.

When Spandex fabric is added to Cotton, for instance, this fabric becomes much more elastic and has high stretchability and high moisture-wicking abilities. So, this Cotton Spandex fabric is used in sportwear like swimwear, bicycling apparel, or underwear.

When Spandex fabric is added to Polyester, this fabric becomes more soft and cool. This Polyester Spandex fabric is used in dresses, party outfits,...


Spandex fabric is the one of most popular fabrics in the textile. Pure spandex is expensive but it can be combined with other fabrics to reduce cost. With many advantages and applications of Spandex fabric, it is an important fabric in the textile industry.

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