Do you often get rash from wearing a legging, a sports bra or a swimsuit and stay rash-free in other stretchable clothing? There’s a very big chance you’re reacting to a certain brand of spandex fibre in your stretchable clothing. Did you know that your stretchable clothing is actually made from bare spandex that undergoes various chemical processes? It’s time to toss the rash inducing clothing aside and prepare yourself thoroughly for your next purchase.
Naturally, the first question that arises is “what is bare spandex and why do I need to know about it?”
Don’t worry if you didn’t pay attention to your chemistry teacher at school or college. Bare Spandex is simply elastane in its rawest form, and elastane is a synthetic derivative of polyurethane. It was created as a substitute for rubber during the 1950’s.
With the advancement of science and technology and progress in the garment segment worldwide, special processes were invented to make spandex a versatile fibre and expand its usage. It is now flame retardant, waterproof, windproof, tear resistant and wrinkle free, among other unique properties. These qualities are achieved through chemical treatments carried out on spandex that may irritate the skin. It may trigger allergies that manifest in the form of skin rash.
That is why it is highly recommended that you purchase garments that are made with superior quality spandex and spandex blends. Brands like Inviya Spandex by Indorama Industries manufacture various types of quality controlled spandex fibres and yarns that are used in garments today.
Look for Inviya fibre in your next stretch-wear purchase and say goodbye to skin rash.
Socks are the most underrated accessory in the fashion and styling space, especially when they can truly transform your end look. A bright pair of socks, or boldly or lightly patterned ones can accentuate your attire. They can keep your toes warm in winter and/or absorb excess sweat during summer. So selecting socks for a particular season that will not only add flourish to your feet, but also provide the right kind of cushioning and comfort is important. Needless to say, the secret to getting the perfect socks lies in the hosiery yarn that makes them.
Now, there are six types of
hosiery yarns that are used to make socks, namely, spandex, acrylic, nylon, wool, rayon and cotton. All six of these yarns have unique properties that set their applications apart from one another.
Spandex, for instance, is used widely in sports socks for its elasticity and durability. When mixed with cotton, the spandex blend becomes absorbent and roomy, hence ideal for a sweaty and heavy work out. Then there is wool. Since it is warm, it is an ideal hosiery yarn for use in socks for winter care. However, wool by itself isn’t very durable, which is why blends with strong synthetics, like polyester, are recommended for long lasting wear.
Rayon is another Hosiery Yarn, when blended with synthetics like spandex, makes for socks that are durable and cheaper than cotton. Then there is nylon that is used to make various types of stockings and pantyhose. Socks made of nylon weren’t absorbent till about two decades back which is why choosing to wear them in summer was for the daring. But with the introduction of moisture wicking techniques in fabric construction, breathability was achieved in most synthetic fabric creations, including nylon. Finally, acrylic, a cheaper and stronger alternative to wool.
Did this knock your socks off or not?
Did you know that even though the mention of the use of elastane fibre dates back to prehistoric times as early as 5000BC in present day Africa, Peru, Ireland and New Jersey, the magic fibre was actually developed and commercially produced in the 1950’s.
In the middle of World War II, chemists decided to create a cheaper alternative to rubber that was being used in building equipment. Since it was used intensively, the price of rubber constantly surged. On top of that, rubber is a natural fibre that would disintegrate easily in the presence of excessive heat, moisture and oily conditions. So, polymer chemist, Farbenfabriken Bayer, conducted research and experimentation to create a fibre like rubber that was cheaper, stronger and easy to synthesise. That is how the elastane fibre first came into being.
Post war, fabric made out of pure elastane came as a boon to sports persons and those involved in jobs that demanded moving around by allowing freedom of movement but the magical fabric didn’t allow sweat to evaporate, making it itchy and rather suffocating. In order to make it breathable and versatile, specialists started blending Elastane Fibre with other natural and synthetic fibres to change its consistency to suit the environment for its intended use. This led to the creation of various types of elastane blends like ponte and hosiery.
Today elastane is mass produced across the world and used in a wide variety of garments and accessories. From swimming trunks to hair bands to the upper of your shoes, elastane is an integral part of all anything wearable that surrounds you.
If exercising is a part of your daily routine, your wardrobe probably has a section for your active wear, a section you love as much as you love your other clothing, possibly more if you’re a health freak. Your active wear loves you back, which is why working out in it not only makes you comfortable and push your goals at the gym, but it also comes back to its original shape and size after all the training and stretching so that you can run-rinse-repeat. Did you know you could make your poly spandex active wear last long by just taking a few simple steps?
Always follow the wash care instructions provided on the tag of your active wear. It is generally resilient and and comes back to its natural shape even after long periods of stretching but sweat, detergent and chemicals like chlorine tend to deteriorate its elasticity. That is why it is highly recommended to hand wash spandex to prevent excessive stretching and try to use chlorine/bleach free detergent so that the poly spandex can maintain its structure.
Try to wash your active wear gently instead of hard rubbing and wringing it because when damp/wet, poly spandex is weaker with a high tendency to stretch out completely on coming in contact with chlorine/bleach present in detergents. Also, ensure that no detergent residue has been left behind, rinse in lukewarm water (30°C).
Lastly, if you must wash machine-wash your active wear, run it on the delicates cycle with a gentle spin.
Follow these steps to show your active wear you love it!