With the development of the textile industry, new types of fibers are emerging one after another. There are many that I can’t even name, and it’s even harder to tell them apart when you encounter them!
Among the many new fibers, one is often seen in the ingredient list of clothing fabrics, and it is Lycra fiber. What is Lycra fiber? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Let’s find out together!
Understanding Lycra fiber
“Lycra” is the transliteration of the English word LYCRA. As a spandex elastic fiber, it is a block molecular segment polyurethane composed of flexible segments and rigid segments. It was successfully researched by the German company Bayer in 1937 and started to be produced by the American DuPont Company in 1959. It is the registered trademark of DuPont’s spandex fiber. Because of its many advantages and good quality, it is recognized by peers, so as long as Lycra is used in clothing, it will be hung with a triangular hangtag, which has also become a symbol of high quality.
Although Lycra fiber is a synthetic elastic fiber, it is also called spandex in the United States, and spandex and elastic fiber are the same Common name for the same substance, but only LYCRA® produces real LYCRA® fiber.
So, what is the difference between spandex and Lycra?
The difference between spandex and Lycra
1) Lycra is a type of spandex, but spandex is not necessarily Lycra
Lycra has better performance than ordinary spandex. It has a special chemical structure and is in a Mold will not grow in a moist and heat-sealed space.
2) Spandex is a polymer compound elastic fiber
Spandex, also known as polyurethane fiber, has advantages that other fibers cannot match, such as: light specific gravity, high breaking strength, high elongation at break, good elastic recovery, etc.
3) Lycra can stretch up to 500% and can return to its original shape
Lycra’s stretchability is far better than that of traditional elastic fibers. It can be stretched very easily and can still stick to the surface of human skin after recovery, with very little binding force on the human body. .
Characteristics of Lycra fiber
1) Wide range of fiber fineness
The fineness range of Lycra fiber is 22~4778 dtex, and the finest rubber yarn is 156 dtex. Because Lycra has a more even tension than other elastic fibers during the weaving process, fabrics containing Lycra have good flatness and a soft hand feel.
2) Higher strength and elongation
The strength of Lycra is 2~4 times that of rubber wire. Because Lycra has greater elasticity than rubber yarn under the same elongation, fabrics containing Lycra have higher elasticity.
3) High temperature resistance
Elastic fabrics are generally made of a small amount of elastic fibers mixed with other fibers. Conventional synthetic fibers must undergo high-temperature heat treatment for heat setting and dyeing, so elastic fibers used for blending must also withstand high-temperature heat treatment. The heat setting temperature of Lycra yarn can reach 195°C, while the highest heat setting temperature of other brands of elastic fibers is 180~185°C. Therefore, under the same high temperature conditions, the stretch rate and resilience of Lycra-containing fabrics are more advantageous than other elastic fabrics.
4) Low washing shrinkage and growth rate
The washing shrinkage and growth rate of fabrics are the main factors affecting the dimensional stability and wrinkle resistance of garments, and are also important indicators that reflect the deformation of fabrics and garments. The low washing shrinkage and growth rate indicate that the garment has good shape retention and the fabric is not easy to deform and wrinkle.
5) Good stretchability and resilience
Appropriate recovery and retention give elastic fabrics comfortable stretchability, shape retention, fit and formability. Lycra can be stretched to a length 7 times longer than the original without breaking; it also has good retractability. When it is stretched by 50%, the retraction rate is greater than 99%; when it is stretched by 200%, the retraction rate is 97%; even if it is stretched When it is 500% longer, its shrinkage rate is also above 90%. The size of the shrinkage rate is related to the thickness of the yarn. The thicker the yarn, the greater the resilience.
Lycra can be dyed with acid, metal complex, reactive and disperse dyes, while rubber thread is not easy to dye.
7) Anti-aging and anti-yellowing
Fabrics or processed garments containing spandex will turn yellow over time due to repeated use or washing. However, the whiteness of Lycra-containing elastic blanks is much better than other spandex fabrics after being left for three months. More, the whiteness is maintained 10%~20% better than ordinary products, and at the same time it hasClothing has a degree of opening and closing, fits the body without being restrictive, and has better drape; children’s clothing is full of vitality and can jump freely after wearing it.
Even well-made suits and jackets will not feel tight or cramped at all. Adding Lycra to knitted fabrics such as sweatshirts, underwear and fitness pants will be both fit and comfortable, and can stretch freely and move as you want.
5) The design features of Lycra
Whether it is a loose or slim design, it is comfortable and natural to wear; it has good drape, no wrinkles, and no It will be too loose, and it fits perfectly, fully embodying the simple and elegant beauty; you can always enjoy it close to the body, and it is fashionable and beautiful.
Disadvantages of Lycra fabric
Lycra fabric has inherent flaws. First of all, a Lycra fabric must be blended with other fibers before it can be formed, otherwise it will be difficult to become a fabric that can be used directly; secondly, Lycra fabric is slightly less soft than fabrics made of modal, pure cotton and other materials; finally, Lycra The fabric has a shorter service life. At the same time, attention should also be paid to the maintenance and cleaning of Lycra fabrics. It is best to use ordinary neutral cleaning products for cleaning.