What is Lycra fibre? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

- 2021-09-23-



With the development of textile industry, new fibers emerge in an endless stream, there are a lot of even can not name, when it comes to silly do not know! Among the many new fibers, one that is often seen in the fabric ingredient lists of clothing is Lycra. What is Lycra fibre? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Let's take a look!

                                                                  01 -Get to know lycra

LYCRA is a pronunciation of the English word LYCRA. As a spandex elastic fiber, poly (amino methyl ester) is a block molecular chain segment composed of flexible chain segment and rigid chain segment. It is 1937 by The German Bayer company (Bayer) research success, 1959 The United States DuPont Company (DuPont) began to produce, is DuPont spandex fiber registered trademark. Because it has many advantages and good quality recognized by peers, so as long as the use of Lycra clothing will be hung with a triangle tag, this tag has become a symbol of high quality.

Although LYCRA is a synthetic stretch fiber, also known as spandex in the United States, and spandex is the generic name for the same substance, only LYCRA® produces true LYCRA®.

So, what's the difference between spandex and Lycra?

                                                                 02-Difference between spandex and Lycra

1) Lycra is a type of spandex, but spandex is not necessarily lycra

Lycra performs better than regular spandex, has a special chemical structure, and does not grow mold in a hot and humid space after wet water.

2) Spandex is a kind of high polymer compound elastic fiber

Spandex, also known as polyurethane fiber, has incomparable advantages of other fibers, such as: light weight, high breaking strength, high breaking elongation, good elastic recovery, etc.

3) Lycra can stretch up to 500% and return to normal

Lycra is far more stretchable than traditional elastofibers and can be easily stretched back and still cling to the surface of the skin, making it very weakly binding to the body.


                                                                       03-Characteristics of Lycra fiber

1) Wide range of fiber fineness

Lycra fiber fineness range from 22 to 4778 dtex, the finest rubber wire is 156 dtex. Lycra-containing fabrics have a good flatness and a soft feel because of the more uniform tension in the weaving process than other elastic fibers.

2) Higher strength and elongation

Lycra is two to four times stronger than rubber wire. Because lycra is more elastic than rubber silk at the same elongation, fabrics containing lycra have a higher degree of tightness.

3) High temperature resistance

Elastic fabrics are generally made of small amounts of elastic fibers mixed with other fibers. The heat setting and dyeing of conventional synthetic fibers must undergo high temperature heat treatment, so the elastic fibers used for blending must also withstand high temperature heat treatment. Lycra's heat setting temperature can reach 195℃, while the maximum heat setting temperature of other elastic fibers is 180~185℃. Therefore, under the same high temperature conditions, the tensile rate and resilience of lycra fabric are more advantageous than other elastic fabrics.

4) Low shrinkage rate and growth rate of washing

Washing shrinkage and growth rate of fabric are the main factors affecting dimensional stability and crease resistance of garment, and also an important index reflecting deformation of fabric and garment. Low shrinkage and growth rate in washing indicates that the garment has good shape retention and the fabric is not easy to be deformed and wrinkled.

5) Good tensile and resilience

Proper recovery and retention give elastic fabrics comfortable elasticity, shape retention, fitness and formability. Lycra can stretch up to seven times longer without breaking; The shrinkage is also very good, when the elongation is 50%, the shrinkage rate is greater than 99%; When the elongation is 200%, the shrinkage rate is 97%. Even when the elongation is 500%, its retraction rate is above 90%. The size of the shrinkage rate is related to the yarn thickness, the thicker the yarn, the greater the resilience.

6) Can be dyed

Lycra can be dyed with acid, metal complexing, reactive and disperse dyes, while rubber silk is not easy to stain.

7) Aging resistance and not easy to yellowing

Fabric containing spandex silk or processed clothing, with the continuation of time, repeated use or washing will produce yellowing, and elastic blank containing Lycra placed for three months, its whiteness is much better than other spandex fabric, whiteness is maintained 10%~20% better than general products, and has good aging resistance.

8) Good wear resistance

In the elongation range of 50%~300%, every minute to do 200 times of fatigue test, can withstand more than 1 million times without fracture, and rubber only 240,000 times.

9) Good light resistance and chlorine resistance

The strength of Lycra was reduced by about 20% after 40 h exposure in the light fastness tester. And rubber wire by the same irradiation, resulting in aging, so that all the loss of strength.

Lycra is resistant to chemicals in general, but relatively sensitive to chlorine (such as NaClO bleach), causing yellowing and damage to the fibers, resulting in loss of elasticity and elongation, which is one of its major disadvantages. It is more stable with bleach containing oxygen.

                                                                      04-The advantages of Lycra for clothing

1) Good tensile and elasticity, not easy to deformation

Lycra is made of spandex fibers, which enhance the elasticity of the fabric and can be used in combination with a variety of different fibers, whether natural or man-made, without changing the look or texture of the fabric. For example, wool + Lycra fabric has good elasticity, and has better shape, shape retention, draping and washable, etc. Cotton + Lycra not only has the advantages of comfortable and breathable cotton fiber, but also takes into account the characteristics of good elasticity and not easy deformation that cotton does not have, making the fabric more close-fitting, fit, soft and comfortable. Lycra can add unique advantages to clothing for personal comfort, freedom of movement and long-term shape.

2) Lycra can be used in any fabric

Lycra fabric is used in a wide range, generally not alone, but with other fabrics, and can be used in any fabric, such as: cotton knitted, double-sided wool fabric, silk poplin, nylon fabric and different cotton fabrics.

3) Comfort of Leica

Lycra fabric has good extensibility, will not make people feel depressed and uncomfortable, and cotton, knitted fabrics combined with soft comfort, good air permeability. Wearing clothing containing Lycra fiber, comfortable fit, free movement, to achieve the unity of dress propriety and comfort, to meet the needs of contemporary society for clothing.

4) Influence of Lycra on style

Lycra fabric clothing styles beautiful and diverse, after the addition of lycra clothing, close-fitting clothing is not tight; The clothing has a degree of tension, fit but not constraint, with better drape; Children's wear is full of vitality, wearing can jump freely. Even rigorous suits and jackets are made without any sense of urgency or constraint. Knitted fabrics such as undershirts, underwear and tonics can be fitted and comfortable with lycra, and can be stretched and moved at will.

5) Design features of Lycra

Whether it is loose or slim design, wear comfortable and natural; Good drape, no wrinkle, not too loose, and perfect fit, fully reflect the simple and generous beauty; Always close to enjoy, and fashion beautiful.