A third very common synthetic fibre materials (two others being nylon and polyester) is Elastane. It is also known as spandex (anagram of expands) mainly in the US. Lycra in the UK, Ireland, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand. And variations of 'elastane' (=elastic) in various parts of the world.
"It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was invented in 1959 by chemists C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shivers at DuPont's Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, Virginia." (wikipedia)Another DuPont invention --> nylon ;)
The prepolymer can be produced using melt extrusion, reaction spinning, solution wet spinning, and solution dry spinning. Nearly all (94.5%) of the world's spandex is produced by solution dry spinning. A breakdown of what that actually is..
- The prepolymer is a combination of macroglycol and diisocyanate monomer (ratio 1:2).
- It's diluted with equal parts diamine so the solution is thinner and easier to work with.
- It's poured into a spinneret and goes through a process "similar to the production process for cotton candy".
- It's bundled to the desired thickness.
- A finishing agent is added so the fibres don't stick and they are added to spools.
When you think of spandex, you probably think of shapewear, activewear, and undergarments and you would be totally right. But small amounts of spandex can be found in a lot of clothes. In 2010, about 80% of clothing bought in America included at least some spandex. (source)
1. Mens Bloomingdales Monitaly Horizontal Striped Blazer (US$616) in 'indigo'. It looks like the thin stripes between the indigo and white are maroon. The lycra is mixed with cotton and acetate. This preppy blazer has three buttons at the cuffs, is unlined, has three interior pockets, a chest pocket, and hand pockets. made in the usa.
2. Mens Emporio Armani Dinner Jacket (US$925) in 'lead'. It is an unlined zipped sweatshirt, but calling it a dinner jacket sounds so much more chic. It's made of 64% cotton, 21% polyamid, 13% viscose, and just 2% elastane.
3. 7 For All Mankind Slim Chinos (US$198) in 'coated tropical green'. The cropped pant will be great this summer- it's already getting hot- and the slim fit and tab/zip front is fantastic. The spandex is mixed with lyocell and cotton. made in the usa.
4. Cynthia Rowley Party Dress (US$410) in bright blue. This dress is totally cool and surfing-inspired and bold in the blue (also great as a LBD). But it's still completly feminine with a 'sweetheart neck with corset detail', full skirt, and cross-back straps. It is a lycra-blend. made in the usa.
xoxo Aimee ♥
xoxo Aimee ♥