Is spandex the same as neoprene?

Spandex and neoprene have a link from historical times. The invention of spandex (Lycra) dates back to 1959 in Virginia. Neoprene is a form of synthetic rubber. We primarily use spandex for its stretchability. Before the invention of spandex,  industries used rubber to provide elasticity to the products. However, rubber was heavy and less adaptable. So, the origination of spandex took place through a project to find a synthetic alternative to rubber.

Here, the terms of comparison are spandex and neoprene. Neoprene is the synthetic form of rubber, invented in 1930. The fabric made from neoprene is called neoprene fabric, and it has uses in apparel, sporting, military, and other industrial products. Although neoprene also shows good elasticity and some other properties similar to spandex, the applications of both are quite different. Let’s take a look at a comparative study of spandex and neoprene over several parameters.

  • Elasticity and recovery

-Spandex: Spandex has exceptional elasticity. It can stretch to over 500% of its original size. It also regains its original shape speedily and does not lose its original state even after multiple uses.

-Neoprene: Neoprene also shows high elasticity. However, because it is a form of rubber, its recovering property starts fading after several uses. If stretched beyond a certain point, it does not pull back at all.

  • Production

-Spandex: There are four production processes of spandex- melt extrusion, reaction spinning, solution dry spinning, and solution wet spinning. Solution dry spinning is the most popular amongst the four. It is a copolymer.

-Neoprene: Free radical polymerization of chloroprene produces spandex. It is a homopolymer.

  • Moisture-wicking

-Spandex: Moisture-wicking ability of spandex is high. It takes up water particles and sweat and wicks the moisture throughout the garment.

-Neoprene: Neoprene has no moisture-wicking ability. It is a waterproof material.

  • Breathability

-Spandex: Spandex is a highly breathable material. It allows the passage of air and moisture through it.

-Neoprene: Neoprene fabric is non-breathable. No air or water particles can pass through it.

  • Heat Retention

-Spandex: Spandex is incapable of heat-retention.

-Neoprene: It has high heat-retention properties.

These points of difference indicate that neoprene and spandex are not the same. Apart from some similarities, both exhibit unique properties. That is why their application range differs.

For instance, spandex has a moisture-wicking ability, and it does not retain heat. Neoprene does not wick moisture but is insulative. This property allows the use of spandex in swimwear. Neoprene, for the same reason, has applications in waterproof products such as wetsuits.

Spandex has uses in the medical industry like gloves and bandages. Neoprene has applications in military equipment like gaskets.

Overall, spandex has applications in form-fitting garments like shapewear, stretch pants, skinny jeans, swimwear, and motion capture suits. Neoprene has applications in scuba gear, sportswear, electronic and industrial equipment. So, some of the products like sportswear fall under both neoprene and spandex. However, spandex is primarily known for its elasticity and neoprene for its waterproof and heat-retention properties.

Spandex in swimwear fabrics

We know that swimming is a competitive sport and a calming hobby. Swimwear should be comfortable as well as functional to retain the competitive and calming nature of swimming. It is rightly so because it is the quality of costume of any sport that largely influences the experience. For that rewarding experience, the choice of fabrics and their composition for the swimwear should be along the right lines.

The apparel industry uses a high percentage of nylon and polyester in swimwear. Nylon is a suitable choice for drag-suits and training-suits, and spandex suits well for competitive swimwear. However, swimwear, as a garment, should have negative ease and stretchability as a primary feature. The required stretchability is often not possible with just nylon or polyester. For that, nylon-spandex or polyester-spandex blends are ideal choices. The general composition is 80% nylon or polyester and 20% spandex. However, this composition may vary depending on the requirements of events or garments.

Spandex is a highly stretchable fabric and adds to the comfort of the swimwear. We, at INVIYA, manufacture 4th generation spandex. It provides features such as ease of movement and less drag while swimming. Here are some of the features that I-400 4th generation spandex adds to swimwear.

  • Stretchability: Swimwear needs high stretchability to be adequately functional. If it is a two-piece swimwear, a two-way stretch is enough. However, a one-piece swimwear requires stretchability both length-wise and width-wise. Hence, a one-piece swimwear calls for a four-way elongation. INVIYA I–400 stretches up to 500% of the original size. Its high stretch power enables it to retain stretchability even after getting into the pool multiple times and repetitive washes.
  • Fit and shape: Since swimwear remains directly in touch with our body, we look for a comfortable fit. Our spandex gives your swimwear the right kind of fit and feels almost like a second skin. It is soft, gives a toned look to the body, and stretches in water too!
  • Less drag in the water: As one swims in water, there generates friction between the body of the swimmer and water. I-400 spandex reduces friction in water for a smoother swimming experience.
  • Quick recovery: Swimming involves multiple movements every second. The material of swimwear must quickly recover its shape and adapt to new states as body parts move. I-400 spandex provides ease of recovery and movement.
  • Chlorine resistance: Chlorine is a crucial chemical to maintain hygiene in the swimming pool. Swimmers often stay in pools for long periods. Our skin may develop redness and rashes because of the acidic nature of chlorine in the water.
  • Heat resistance and strength: The processing of swimwear involves many heat-based processes. Heat-based processes result in the weakening of the fibers. Hence, if the composition does not have heat resistance, the quality of the swimwear is affected. Our I-400 spandex has a high resistance to heat, which enables it to sustain severe washing conditions.

Fashion trends that will define autumn/winter 2020

Towards the end, every year brings a fresh collection of designs and shapewear for the aspiring folks to flaunt in the chilling winters. 

So it did this year.

From the neutral color combination to numerous bright shades, spandex fiber wear has been popular among fashion lovers for a perfect fit.

Let me walk you through the most popular winter fashion trends:

  1. PU Leather Coats

Affordability is a major benefit of wearing PU leather coats. Also known as the faux-leather; conduces to cost just a fraction of real leather cost, therefore people who want to have a leather-look for cheap prices can opt for faux-leather as a viable option. 

PU leather coats are lightweight which are easier to pack for travel or wear as everyday attire. The comfort of the material adds a style option for warm or cool weather. Additionally, there are PU jackets available having a faux-fur liner added inside for a cozy, warm option when the winters start to arrive.

2. Boot tucked trousers

The last couple of seasons have been a shred of evidence for a change, even if it means a little extra tugging and arranging.

Boot tucked trousers

If you wish to have a fresh look at the western trend, consider tucking relaxed denim into cowboy boots and try to finish off the appearance with a jean jacket and printed neckerchief.

3. Women Spandex long sleeve tops

Spandex yarn clothes are comparatively lightweight and comfortable to wear for girls. Such tops are resistant to water, has great elasticity, and is durable and strong.

 long sleeve tops

Inviya spandex used for the manufacturing of such articles are of higher quality and is stronger than the rubber, which offers enduring durability of the items. All those who are inclined to infuse spandex clothing into their routine winter style must opt for Inviya infused clothes for a unique appearance.

4. Cozy hoodies

This is the one piece of fashion clothing that lingers at the forefronts of the closet whether it’s snowing or somewhere in-between. 

It’s obviously worth considering a proceeding on a great hoodie, especially when there are so many cozy, yet stylish options this winter season. There’s always room to include a hoodie into your look.

Cozy hoodies

5. Knit sweater

Since its inception, various designers have consolidated knits into their women’s clothing lines. Primarily used for winter clothes for women, knitwear is appearing through new technology and machines that are creating knitting fabrics that can be worn comfortably through the winters and falls.

Knit sweater

6. Nylon-Spandex leggings

The perfect combination of lightweight nylon and bare spandex makes such leggings the best of both worlds.

Nylon-Spandex leggings

These leggings feel just as cozy as cotton for casual wear, on either hand keeping away sweat for working out. The core-spun yarn legging material is a composite for both performance and style.

Spandex manufacturers for such leggings makes with this ideal and extremely flattering fabric blend. These are also high-waisted and squat-proof, it’s great for either you’re doing squats at the gym or cycling to work or lounging on the couch.

So chin up — make leggings everyday winter wear.

7. Belted warm coats

Do you love a wide-leg jean? Yes!

Pair them with a wool coat for an easy and cozy winter look.

Belted warm coats

8. Highneck sweaters

With a pair of textured trousers or plain jeans, opt for a creamy white knit, tucked in or left loose casually.

For a date evening, choose classic yet bold black-and-white tones with a skirt topped with a high neck sweater. Instead of a button-down, choose a high neck sweater to style with a tailored suit this fall season.

Spandex: The Best Workout Material for Active Wear Performances

The right activewear can work wonders for your training and performance. It is an essential tool for efficient training and reaching your goals faster. With so many technicalities involved it is often tricky and confusing to choose right training apparel. It’s not just about fashion or looking good — it’s also about fit and performance. Spandex or elastane, a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity is stronger and more durable than rubber. It can be stretched repeatedly and still recover to very near its original length and shape, making it perfect for active wear material. 

Generally, it can be stretched more than 500% without breaking and is lightweight, soft, smooth, supple. Spandex provides a combination of comfort and fit, prevents bagging and sagging, required during the workout sessions. Many more qualities of spandex include heat-settable i.e. facilitates transforming puckered fabrics into flat fabrics, or flat fabrics into permanent rounded shapes, dye able, resistant to deterioration by body oils, perspiration, lotions or detergents, abrasion resistant. The elementary properties essential for the right activewear are performance, comfort and durability. The best activewear uses a combination of design and fabric to hit these metrics.

The elasticity and strength (stretching up to five times its length), of spandex has been incorporated into a wide range of garments, especially in skin-tight garments. A benefit of spandex is its significant strength and elasticity and its ability to return to the original shape after stretching and faster drying than ordinary fabrics. For clothing, spandex is usually mixed with cotton or polyester, and accounts for a small percentage of the final fabric, which therefore retains most of the look and feel of the other fibers. Sports fabrics are technical materials which help to keep the wearer comfortable during exercise. 

One of the most desirable characteristics of your training gear is to be breathable. The ability to regulate body temperature is a useful feature for intense training sessions. Activewear should feel light and soft on the skin, so you can focus more on your training and less on factors like chafing and skin irritation. Most training apparel fabrics are treated with a chemical wash to make them feel softer and smoother. Spandex is a popular material used as base layers to soak up sweat. This fabric also eliminates instances of static cling and pilling. When spandex fabric is added to cotton, for instance, this fabric becomes much more elastic, and spandex can also be used to add elasticity to traditionally rigid fabrics like polyester. Even if small amounts of this fabric are added to other textiles, these fabrics become much stretchier; since spandex can stretch up to eight times its original size.

 Due to its novelty and the relatively laborious manufacturing process used to make it, spandex fabric commands a relatively high market price but since it is generally only used in small quantities in apparel, price usually make itself apparent at the consumer level. The more spandex fabric that is included in a garment, the more expensive that garment becomes. It will chemically free prevent odors because a bacteria microclimate cannot grow on dry skin. This broad category of spandex is used to make garments like T-shirts, sports bras, running and cycling jerseys, socks, tracksuits, and polo-style shirts for any physical activity where the goal is to keep the skin as cool and dry as possible. They move perspiration away from the body to the fabric’s outer surface where it can evaporate. These fabrics typically are soft, lightweight, and stretchy—in other words, they are perfectly suited for making activewear. All the qualities together contribute in a perfect fiber for workout material for  active wear performances.

SPANDEX the best shapewear ever

SPANDEX the best shapewear ever

Shapewear makes you look and feel confident instantly without doing too much. The problem arises when the question of comfort in the shapewear comes up. With so many options present in the market it becomes really difficult to find a shapewear that is comfortable and at the same time solves its purpose.

To get your hands on the best shapewear we have got one simple trick, look at the fabric composition and opt for the products that have a high percentage of Spandex (14% or more).

Why Spandex? Read further to find the answer.

  1. Spandex is known for its exceptional elasticity

Spandex can stretch over 500% without breaking, which means that the garment can be constructed with little fabric and it will take the exact shape of your body, compressing the bulkiness and giving you the perfect shape.

Note- Spandex shapewears will not make you look slim, but will highlight your curves and will bring out the best of you. 

  1. It is lightweight, soft and smooth

Spandex is extremely lightweight and smooth to the skin, this property of spandex gives comfort to the wearer and also provides easy movements.

  1. It is pocket friendly

Pure spandex is extremely expensive, but the pure fiber is not used for wearing. Blend of spandex is used, the blending is generally done with cotton or polyester and the percentage of spandex is low as compared to the other fiber which ultimately makes it affordable as both cotton and polyester are inexpensive fibers.

You generally don’t need to change garments that have spandex in them because of increase or decrease in your size, as spandex can stretch and fit to higher or lower size as well. This makes spandex garments pocket friendly.

  1. It has high breathability and moisture wicking abilities

It has often been observed that the body hugging or body fitted garments are not breathable and produces lots of sweat which ultimately results in discomfort.

Spandex is always blended with fabrics which have high breathability and moisture wicking abilities that combine with the elastic property of spandex and ultimately give the best fabric to you. 

Elastic property of spandex stretches the fabric and creates space between its knits, which makes it breathable by allowing the air to pass freely and any moisture that the body produces is evaporated faster.

  1. It has high abrasion resistant

When it comes to shapewear we always wear it underneath a garment, it can also be called as second skin. Which means that the outerwear and the shapewear will rub too much against each other. If both the garments have low or no abrasion resistance then heat will be produced which will ultimately result in discomfort.

Low or no abrasion resistance shapewear also causes many side effects to the skin, thus it is always recommended to opt for the fibers with high abrasion resistance, Spandex is one of them.

  1. It is available in fiber diameters ranging from 10 denier to 2500 denier

Spandex comes in various deniers (it is used to measure thickness of the thread), which means that the construction of the final shapewear can be done as per the customers choice. 

Due to this flexibility in fiber diameters of spandex the end product can be extremely customized and various threads of different diameter can be added, thus providing extra comfort and solving the purpose of a shapewear.

  1. It is environment friendly and cruelty free

This has nothing to do with the shapewear but can be very useful for the environment and can be a first choice for the people who are conscious about the environment and animals.

Spandex fabric is not made from animal-derived products, and no animals are hurt during the manufacturing process. It is considered cruelty-free and suitable for a vegan lifestyle. It is a synthetic fabric that is formed from a long-chain polymer (an organic material), and it can be combined with other fabrics like polyester or cotton (also vegan).

Spandex is a non-biodegradable fiber but it can be recycled, which makes it environment friendly.

The end result is that there are other fibers as well which can be used for shapewears but no fiber has all the properties of spandex, they lack at some point or the other making spandex the best choice.

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