The elastane is a synthetic fiber characterized by its enormous elasticity. Also known as spandex (by brand Spandex) or lycra (by Lycra, another trade name), it is a material made from polyurethane that is used, among other things, to make clothing.
The invention of elastane is attributed to the chemist Joseph Shivers, who worked in the company DuPont. On 1958, Shivers created elastane and DuPont patented it with him Name from Lycra.
To obtain elastane, two prepolymers are combined. The result is a polymer with structure of polyurethane. When making clothes, it is usual for elastane to be used in conjunction with other types of fibers.
The clothing made with elastane, due to its properties, conforms to the body. As it is very light and flexible, and as it does not absorb moisture, it is commonly used for sports.
The possibility of stretching the garments up to 700% and that they regain their original shape without being deformed or damaged is one of the main advantages of the use of elastane in the textile industry. On the other hand, this fabric offers good resistance to sweat and dries quickly. On the downside, elastane tends to capture and retain odors.
Elastane is used to produce leggings, bathing suits, stockings and other items. The cyclists and the professional swimmers, for example, they usually wear garments made with elastane for the benefits provided by this material.