Spandex is a synthetic fabric made from a polyurethane-based polyether-polyurea copolymer. It is known for its exceptional elasticity, which allows it to stretch up to five times its length. Spandex is often used in clothing, such as leggings, swimwear, and athletic wear, as it provides a comfortable and snug fit. It is also used in a variety of other applications, such as upholstery, bedding, and medical devices.
Spandex is a relatively new fabric, having been invented in 1958 by chemist Joseph Shivers at DuPont's Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, Virginia, US. It was originally marketed under the name Lycra, but the name was later changed to Spandex to avoid trademark infringement.
Spandex is made in a variety of ways, but the most common method is solution dry spinning. This process involves dissolving the polyurethane-based polyether-polyurea copolymer in a solvent, and then spinning it into a continuous filament. The filament is then drawn to increase its strength and elasticity.
- Clothing: Spandex is often used in clothing that requires a snug fit, such as leggings, swimwear, and athletic wear. It is also used in a variety of other types of clothing, such as outerwear, dresses, and skirts.
- Accessories: Spandex is also used in a variety of fashion accessories, such as belts, gloves, and headbands.
- Home furnishings: Spandex is also used in a variety of home furnishings, such as bedding, upholstery, and window treatments.
Spandex is a popular choice for fashion designers because it is comfortable, stretchy, and durable. It can be used to create a variety of different looks, from casual to formal. Spandex is also a relatively inexpensive fabric, which makes it a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers.