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  • Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity.
  • Elastane fibres, better known under their trade names, Lycra and Dorlastan, represent a further high point in the development of man-made fibres.
  • Invented in 1937 in Germany, elastane has properties not found in nature, the most important being an extraordinary elasticity.
  • The most famous brand name associated with spandex is Lycra, a trademark of Invista.
  • Spandex is a block copolymer of polyurethane and polyethylene glycol.


  • Spandex fibers are produced in four different ways including melt extrusion, reaction spinning, solution dry spinning, and solution wet spinning.
  • All of the methods include the initial step of reacting monomers to produce a prepolymer. Once the prepolymer is formed it is reacted further in various ways and drawn out to produce a long fiber.
  • The solution dry spinning method is used to produce over 90% of the world's spandex fibers.


  • Compared to rubber, elastane has both greater tear resistance and durability and a tension capacity two or three times greater, at a third of the weight.
  • Elastane has the highest stretch tension of all textile raw materials.
  • Elastane fibers guarantee a high degree of comfort combined with great freedom of movement.
  • Elastane is not sensitive to transpiration, make-up, cosmetics, sun cream or sea water.


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