What Is Lycra Fabric?
Lycra is a brand name for elastane, a synthetic fabric with high elasticity. Despite their various names, Lycra, spandex, and elastane are all the same fabric that can stretch up to 5-8 times their original size.
The DuPont Corporation produced this fabric in the 1950s, yet it would not exist if polyurethane had not been invented by IG Farben in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Polyurethane is currently the basic material for a variety of plastics, and we manufacture Lycra using the Basic chemical synthesis method.
Lycra fabric is a polymer like other polyurethane materials. It means we make up of long chains of monomers bonded by a unique sort of acid. Lycra is extremely heat resistant. It recognizes as a great complement to heat-sensitive synthetics such as polyester and nylon.
This fabric’s ability to absorb heat and kinetic energy is amazing. They noticed this quality right after the production of this fabric. Polyurethane utilizes in many forms of insulation today. A number of IG Farben’s important experts went on to work for DuPont.
This collaboration between German academics and DuPont’s huge industrial power resulted in a variety of valuable inventions. It includes Lycra, which has had a particularly long-lasting impact on the global economy and consumer lifestyles in rich and developing countries. Lycra and similar fibers are still quite popular around the world. Despite the fact that this type of fabric can have a large negative environmental impact, its popularity is unlikely to decrease in the near future.
How Is Lycra Fabric Made?
Lycra is a totally synthetic fiber. It means that all of its components we manufactured in a lab. While many of the fundamental parts needed to make the chemicals in Lycra fabric have organic beginnings, we created and reformulated them to the point that they have no link to organic components by the time we made them into Lycra fibers.
Lycra Fabric Making Process
We can make Lycra in four different ways. Some manufacturers still use reaction spinning, solution wet spinning, or melt extrusion to make elastane products, a method known as solution dry spinning makes up almost 95 percent of global Lycra production.
The prepolymer serves as the foundation ingredient of Lycra which is made by combining macroglycol and a diisocyanate monomer. Firstly, they need to expose the solution precisely to heat and pressure, which initiates the chemical reaction that results in the prepolymer. The prepolymer will not develop if the volume ratio between these two components is out of balance, and in most applications, the ideal ratio is 1:2.
After that, the prepolymer needs exposing to diamine acid. It causes a chemical reaction known as chain extrusion. The substance is thick and vicious to the point of becoming sludge-like, then the use of a solvent makes it thin and easy to work with.
The fiber production cell of this machine has a specialized form of a spinneret. After filling it with the solution, the fiber production cell starts spinning, forcing the solution through the spinneret. The solution emerges from the spinneret as fibers. But these fibers must need exposing to heat nitrogen and solvent gas solution before transitioning from a liquid to a solid state.
Lycra yarn exposes to a finishing chemical such as magnesium stearate or a similar polymer before it can leave the factory floor. Finally, the Lycra yarn was wounded onto a huge spool and transported to a textile manufacturing facility.
How is lycra fabric used?
Lycra is a synthetic fiber that has a wide range of use for consumers. The elasticity of Lycra fabric is the most desirable criterion for consumers in fashion sectors since the early days of its production.
Lycra is most common for form-fitting clothes. It utilizes in men’s and women’s sheer underwear; most varieties of underwear that ride near to the skin contain at least part of this chemical. Even men’s boxer briefs, which are usually baggy, have some spandex in their waistbands to make them fit snugly around the abdomen.
Every type of sportswear contains at least some amount of Lycra. This fabric we commonly found in the waistbands of sweatpants, loungewear, and socks. It also has a place in motion capture suits in the film industry.
Where is lycra fabric produced?
The international spandex industry has shifted eastward in the last few decades. DuPont has manufacturing locations in more than 90 countries. A ReportBuyer report from 2018 indicates that this fabric will continue to make in greater quantities until at least 2023.
How Much Does Lycra Fabric Cost?
Due to their unique elasticity properties, lycra and related materials can command rather high costs on the worldwide market. Due to their amazing stretchiness, textile manufacturers are ready to pay more for elastane textiles. The comparatively complex method used to create these fabrics further drives up pricing.
The market fluctuations still have an impact on the price of Lycra fabric. The novelty and versatility of elastane cause it to be much more expensive than other synthetic textiles like polyester and nylon. The comparatively high cost of Lycra feels not very often at the consumer level. Because this fabric we used in such modest quantities in most consumer goods. However, the higher the percentage of Lycra in a garment, the more it costs. Dance outfits and cycling gear constructed with high percentages of this fabric are often rather expensive.
What Different Types of Lycra Fabric Are There?
Apart from the many manufacturing procedures that can employ to create this fabric, Lycra, elastane, and spandex have no discernible distinctions. It is, nevertheless, necessary to gain a better understanding of each term:
Lycra: The “Lycra” brand is a registered trademark of the DuPont business, and is one of the most reliable and high-quality kinds of elastane fabric available. However, Lycra-branded elastane can occasionally be more expensive than other varieties of spandex.
Elastane: The most scientifically correct term for these polyether-polyurea copolymer textiles is elastane.
Spandex: “Spandex” is an anagram of “expands,” and the appealing simplicity of the name has made it the preferred term in the United States and worldwide for referring to elastane products.
How Does Lycra Fabric Impact the Environment?
The production of Lycra is not inherently detrimental to the environment. The raw materials for this fabric do not come from non-renewable resources like petroleum oil. This fabric is significantly detrimental to environmental health after selling to consumers. However, recycled spandex is harmful like new spandex as well.
Well, so now we can say that despite having a few negative impacts of lycra fabric, it still has a huge demand and great use in the fashion industry. You can get any customized women’s clothing made with this fabric from Beautiful Connection Group. Beautiful connection group is one of the best clothing manufacturers in the USA. They provide the best quality women’s clothing within budget to fashion business owners.