Differences and similarities between Spandex and Lycra
Good garments should look well-made and also be of high quality. Along with that, a good cloth needs to be very comfortable and durable. The typical materials used in apparel by most brands are nylon, cotton, polyester, wool, etc. Even though they are great materials and do a great job independently, sometimes they do not fit perfectly. Often, customers find themselves struggling to get clothes that perfectly fit their body shapes and sizes. This is when synthetic fibers such as Spandex or Lycra come to the rescue.
These fibers are extremely elastic, making any garment made out of them a perfect fit for any person, irrespective of height and size. This material is also commonly known as Elastane, and it has revolutionized the apparel industry ever since it was invented in 1937. Elastane is especially used to make clothes for outdoor wear. In simple words, Elastane has only been a boon for the textile industry, and now all fashion and apparel companies are also switching to this material.
If you are looking forward to manufacturing clothes with the utmost comfort, elasticity, and durability, this article is for you. It is important to know the materials you work with, and the internet can be a confusing place because of its wide range of information. Hence, to make it easier for you, we will discuss the differences and similarities between Spandex and Lycra in this article.
How is Spandex different from Lycra?
The difference between Spandex and Lycra has been a debatable topic amongst fashion and textile experts. Both Spandex and Lycra are made of Elastane fabric. However, their names differ from one country to another and also depend on the brand that manufactures them. In the United States, regular Elastane is referred to as Spandex, whereas, in the rest of the world, Elastane is simply called Elastane. The name only varies if a company produces the fabric, and they personalize the name for it to stand out amongst other companies producing similar products.
For this very reason, Elastane has several commercial names such as Lycra, Creora, Elastam, Elaspan, or Dorlastan. Amongst these commercial names is Lycra, the patented name of Spandex by E.I du Pont de Nemours, an American corporation engaged with biotechnology. They primarily manufacture chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Later, they also started producing a broad array of petroleum-based fuels, synthetic fibers, etc. DuPont had extensively marketed Lycra in such a way that people have been interchangeably using the names Spandex and Lycra ever since to refer to any material or fabric that has a lot of elasticity and durability.
If you are looking for vast differences between Spandex and Lycra, you will not find them. To make it easier for you, all Lycra is Spandex but not all Spandex is Lycra. While Spandex is a generic name for any Elastane fabric, Lycra is a trading name specific to DuPont. This is the only essential difference between the two.
How Are Spandex and Lycra Similar?
As a matter of fact, Spandex and Lycra are fabrics made out of the same material – Elastane. Elastane was invented by DuPont in Germany as a substitute for rubber. In an effort to turn rubbers such as nylon and polyurethane less rigid, DuPont discovered that rubbers could be spun into much finer threads and made to be more stretchable.
Even though Spandex and Lycra both sound like personalized brand names for the Elastane material, Spandex is simply an anagram for the word “expands” and is self-explanatory through its name. Therefore, there is no major difference between Lycra and Spandex apart from their names. The fabric properties of both are the same. They are made of cotton/Lycra and cotton/Spandex blend. Through generations, Spandex has proved to be one of the greatest inventions in the history of fitness, especially because of the fabric’s durability and extreme elasticity.
Lycra is a major fabric used in sportswear nowadays. Some major Lycra products are Sports Lycra wear, Lycra lower wears, and 4 Way Lycra Trousers. Sports Lycra is among the most popular Lycra products, as they have a range of items such as shorts, t-shirts, leggings, and bras. Because of the material’s great elasticity and strength, they make great workout clothes. Any cloth made using them has five times the stretchability compared to the original size they are made in. Lycra lower wears are also popular, especially in men’s apparel. They make for comfortable, durable, and affordable pieces for everyday wear. Other types of clothing made out of Lycra or Spandex are bathing suits and wetsuits as they are also waterproof. Overall, in a broader term, Elastane is an extremely sought-after fabric in the fashion and apparel industries in recent times.
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