Elastane or Lycra is a chemical fiber characterized by its elasticity: it will revert almost to its initial length after being stretched to its threshold.
Elastane has been on the market since 1959 at which time it was known as Fiber K. Since 1962 it has been distributed by the Lycra brand in larger quantities. Today it is mainly used in clothing.
Elastane is made from polyurethane and polyethylene glycol. It is a block copolymer. Polyurethanes are plastics or synthetic resins. Polyethylene glycol is a liquid or solid chemical substance. The urethane provides for the necessary cohesion of the fiber. It is located in stretched, stiff sections resting along each other. These block copolymers can easily be stretched. Due to this stretch ability an overall elongation of more than 700% is achieved.
Elastane has a high tear length of 8 to 15 km and a low moisture absorption rate of just under 1%. It is very shape resistant and light as well. It also has a smooth feel and is easily dried. With this, it can be washed in water up to 40 degrees and in some cases even 60 degrees. It does not have a static charge.
One of the main applications of elastane is clothing. Elastane is especially used for sportswear and underwear because these garments have to adapt to the body. Often, the elastane is then mixed with other substances such as polyamide. This is to improve wearing comfort. Elastane is used for the following garments: tights, sportswear, cycling pants, leggings, swimwear, socks, underwear.
Elastane is also used in home textiles such as covers. For example, the Emma Original Mattress cover is made from 2% elastane. It has a stylish dark grey fabric finish and is removable and machine washable! The Emma Original Mattress cover consists of special climate fiber that regulates humidity and provides traction thanks to its anti-slip elements at the bottom. This helps avoid night sweats. At the same time the cover is elastic and adapts perfectly to your body. Learn more about how to care for your mattress.