Thursday, October 27, 2016

Taken For Granted Everyday- Elastane!

How is your skinny jeans stretchable… your bodycon dress snug but just enough breathable… your socks fitted but not suffocating… your intimate wear supportive but not restricting…? Don’t worry, we wont keep you guessing, the answer is-- Elastane fibre.

The presence of elastane fibre in all of the garments we mentioned renders them with one marvelous property-- stretch in structure. That means, even though your garment may appear small, snug and dangerously rigid, some of the attributes we associate with structured clothing, they magically turn pliant and expansive on stretching.

But the labels on these garments say cotton + spandex or polyester + spandex etc. So where is the elastane? Don’t get confused, spandex is the more common market name for elastane. What you see on the garment labels is the information of elastane or spandex blends with natural and synthetic yarns.

Yes, bare elastane fibre is never used in the manufacturing of garments. Like the very malleable 24K gold that needs to be amalgamated with stabler metals to be able to used in the make of jewellery, elastane needs to be blended with natural or synthetic yarns like cotton, rayon and polyester to maintain structure and fall out of shape on stretching.

While it is used in both fashion and functional garments, it would interest you to know that the elastane was actually invented as a substitute for rubber during World War II. Little did Mr. Farbenfabriken Bayer, polymerist and the inventor of elastane fibre, know that he would revolutionise the fashion and garments manufacture industry with just a little bit of stretch… a lot of stretch actually, elastane can expand upto 500% its size on stretching and recover on letting go!

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