The past few years have seen a major shift when it comes to activewear. With more and more people getting into fitness activewear has become more than just a type of clothing. If someone had told us five years ago that our workout gear would become some of our favorite wardrobe pieces, we’d tell them they were dreaming. And yet the rise of activewear is impossible to deny. Ever since athleisure became a thing, activewear gained even more popularity. Even people who do not exercise on a regular basis have activewear items in their closet for everyday wear.
While good-old-fashioned cotton might seem like a great choice, it’s actually not ideal for activewear as it absorbs moisture, which means once you start sweating, the fabric will soak it up and become heavy and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there’s been a lot of innovation in fabric technology in recent years and spandex also known as lycra has become a top choice when it comes to activewear. It was originally invented in 1937 in Germany, but it wasn’t until later in the 1950s that it was actually put to use in fabrics to make stretchable clothing. Elastane is created using a long-chain polymer called polyurethane. The prepolymer that is created is then put to react with a diamine, which helps extend the polymer. The resulting product is made into a spinning solution, which is then spun into elastane fibers known as spandex or lycra.
Why Spandex is extensively used for activewear?
- Stretchable – The quintessential workout fabric spandex is known for its ability to recover and stretch and when it comes to activewear, having a stretch in the fabric key. For the body to move effortlessly, the fabric has to stretchy as well as something that recovers instantly. A Spandex blend fabric is perfect for that and hence it has gained popularity over the years.
- Breathability – Wearing a breathable fabric during working out or any sports activity is also essential. Spandex is breathable, wicks moisture, and dries quickly and that is exactly what you need while making activewear clothing.
- Durability – Workout clothes are made to be durable. Workout activities can easily tear clothing if they are made up of poor quality fabrics. Rapid movements or contracting and expanding of muscles require a fabric that can stretch. Spandex is highly resistant to abrasion, seawater, body oils, detergents, etc and these are all qualities that make it not only durable but also very practical to use without the worry of stains or being damaged quickly.
- Combination with other fabrics – Combining spandex fibers with other fibers, such as polyester, nylon or cotton, even in minimum amounts, such as 1% of the entire fabric composition can greatly improve the other material’s ability to stretch. Spandex can be easily blended with other fabrics to give it elasticity and movement to the fabric.
- Comfortable – While performing any activity it is crucial to be comfortable. Choosing a fabric that will help the flow to air will not only keep you dry but also feeling fresh. Since spandex is breathable and stretchable it automatically becomes comfortable which is important.
Nowadays, spandex is used in multiple fabric blends to give it elasticity and stretch. But it still remains on the top when it comes to active-wear or sportswear. Its unique properties make it ideal for clothing that is comfortable, durable and doesn’t restrict movement.
Content Credit – INVIYA®