6 Secrets of Spandex

April 12, 2016

Aside from the fact that it is our heroes' fabric of choice, spandex is a super-material that saw a meteoritic rise in the last century.

1. DuPont Created Spandex

Created in DuPont's lab back in 1958, it was named after its physical ability to "expand." Spandex is a synthetic fiber stronger and more durable than natural rubber.

2. Super Elastic

It can be stretched up to 6x its original length and return back to its original shape. If the average newborn (20") were stretched 600%, it would stand as tall as a basketball rim.

3. Lycra = Spandex

Lycra has been DuPont's branded name since 1962. Think of it as "Kleenex" for tissues or "Dri-FIT" for microfiber polyester fabric.

4. Not to Be Confused with Latex

Though you may find latex in elastic waist bands, it is generally not used in clothing because of the high potential for allergic reactions. Another difference is that Latex is made using natural rubber.

5. Elastane = Spandex

Elastane is a more commonly used phrase in Europe and other parts of the world. However, they are referring to the same polyurethane material.

6. and A Half Statue of Libertys

According to Grand View Research, global consumption of spandex was approximately 1336 metric tons. That is approximately the weight of six and half of our Lady Liberty (204 metric tons).