Since its invention over sixty years ago, LYCRA® fiber set the standard as the world’s best-known spandex fiber brand. Lightweight and nearly invisible, LYCRA® fiber became the active ingredient in our clothes and revolutionized the way we wore them. Whenever it’s used in fabrics, LYCRA® fiber transforms garments into better fitting, durable clothes that move with our bodies, delivering fit, shape and comfort that lasts. Day after day. Wash after wash. Run after run. Swim after swim.
Why choose LYCRA® fiber?
The LYCRA® brand has over 60 years’ experience innovating unique fibers for the clothes you love to wear.
In that time, LYCRA® fiber has become renowned for its quality and durability, and has become the most recognized brand of spandex fiber in the world today. People choose it for its exceptional elasticity, lasting shape, and the comfortable fit it delivers to all types of apparel.
Where is LYCRA® used?
This fiber adds lasting comfort, fit and shape to virtually every type of apparel -from underwear to outerwear- and it even has non-apparel uses too. Normally and more commonly you will find it in:
- sportswear and activewear,
Lycra is almost always mixed with another fabric -even the stretchiest leotards and bathing suits are less than 40% Lycra mixed with cotton or polyester. Due to its ability to mold to the body, Lycra is ideal for compression garments, surgical stockings, swimwear and sportswear. It's also used to add stretch to jeans, tops, dresses and even fitted sheets.
So what is Lycra as a Fiber?
Also known as Spandex, Lycra is a fully synthetic fiber that has become highly popular throughout the world. It is a highly synthetic elastic polymer based on the polyurethane composition found in many plastic polymers.
Despite the different names, this fabric can stretch 5 to 8 times its usual size. Lycra is a brand name for Spandex, and is heat resistant to a great extent, making it a suitable addition to heat-sensitive synthetic fabrics such as polyester and nylon.
Composition of Lycra
As mentioned above, Lycra is a synthetic polymer, composed of long chains of monomers. These monomers are connected with a special kind of acid, and polyurethane makes it heat resistant and imparts elasticity. All the components of Lycra are composed in the laboratory with some organic components synthesized over and over to an extent that they lose their organic composition.
Methods used in Lycra production
There are four ways to manufacture Lycra with one being the major constituent of total Lycra production around the world. The methods used are: solution wet spinning, solution dry spinning, reaction spinning, and melt extrusion.
Solution dry spinning contributes 95% share to the global Lycra production. Most of these methods are entirely discarded due to production costs, quality standards, and environmental impact.