Know Your Fabrics
Posted: February 03, 2023

All About Spandex

Spandex Fabrics

What is Spandex? 

Spandex, also known as elastane, is a synthetic fiber material that is known for its stretchability and elasticity. It is a type of polyurethane that is used in a variety of applications, including clothing, textiles, and industrial products. It is commonly used in athletic wear, swimwear, and other form-fitting clothing due to its ability to stretch and return to its original shape, providing comfort and ease of movement. Spandex fibers are strong and durable, making them resistant to tearing and wear. 

Spandex was invented in the late 1950s by DuPont, an American chemical company.

What are the benefits of Spandex?

Spandex, also known as elastane, is widely used in the fashion industry due to several benefits including:

  1. Stretchability: Spandex can be stretched up to 600% of its original length and still return to its original shape, providing comfort and ease of movement.

  2. Durability: Spandex is a strong and durable fiber that can withstand repeated stretching and wear.

  3. Fit: Spandex can be blended with other fibers to create form-fitting clothing that holds its shape and accentuates the body's curves.

  4. Moisture-wicking: Spandex can wick moisture away from the skin, keeping the wearer cool and dry.

  5. Easy Care: Spandex is wrinkle-resistant and quick-drying, making it an easy-care option for busy lifestyles.

  6. Versatility: Spandex can be used in a wide range of garments, from athletic wear to formalwear, making it a versatile fiber in the fashion industry.

Is spandex a sustainable fibre?

Spandex is not considered a sustainable fibre due to its synthetic nature and the processes involved in its production. The Remnant Warehouse, however, stocks a majority of spandex fabrics that have come in as remnant rolls (commonly known as 'deadstock fabrics') from designers, fashion and swimwear labels, so there is the benefit of utilising these fabrics as a more sustainable choice than opting for the spandex fabrics that have been purchased from a supplier.

Where can I buy Spandex Fabrics?

The Remnant Warehouse stocks spandex fabrics both in store and online. We have plain spandex fabrics, printed spandex, holographic spandex, cotton spandex as well as spandex for swimwear. You can visit our shop in Sydney at 494 Botany Road, Alexandria. We are half way between Sydney CBD and Sydney airport, easily accessible by bus or a 1km walk from Green Square station. We have street parking available (check signs for clearway times) also. When ordering online, we ship our spandex fabrics all over the world. You can also order samples of our spandex fabrics to feel the fabric first before committing to larger cuts.

Which spandex fabrics should I choose?

If you need ongoing supply (which is beneficial for dance troupes and those who need to order more as needed), then our stock service spandex fabrics may be a great option. Our stock service spandex fabrics are ordered in from a dance specialist supplier and are available in the following ranges:

Shiny Spandex Fabric

Fog Finish Spandex

Shattered Glass Spandex

2way Stretch Spandex Linings

Look out for the pink 'stock service' bubble on our website for fabrics that are able to be reordered as needed.

If you are wanting to make primarily with repurposed or deadstock fabrics, then you will want to be purchasing fabrics that don't have the pink stock service bubble, and that say 'Designer' as the source in the fabric description. We will often list the designer that it came from for transparency and as a nice way to know where your fabrics have come from, however, there are some designers who understandably do not wish to have their brand name listed on our website. Where we are allowed to include the designer's name, we will include it.

What is the difference between Spandex and Lycra?

The term LYCRA® is a trademarked brand name owned by Invista for their specific type of elastane fiber, while the term spandex is a generic term often used to describe this type of fibre.

Often, the terms LYCRA® and spandex are used interchangeably in the fashion and textiles industries to refer to the same stretchable, elastic fiber, however, unless we know that a fabric contains the brand named LYCRA® fibre in the content, we will use the term spandex.

How to care for spandex fabrics

One of the things that makes spandex so great is that it is easy to care for. Here are some laundry and care tips for spandex fabric

  • Wash in cold water - hand wash or gentle machine cycle
  • Take care with spandex that has any special finishes, such as shiny spandex, any foil, glitter or holographic spandex - these will be hand wash only.
  • Dry on the line or lay flat - avoid twisting or wringing.
  • Avoid the tumble dryer
  • Spandex shouldn't need any ironing, but if you do need to iron (not possible with any foil spandex), use the lowest setting and take care

Please note that these laundry tips for spandex fabrics are general in nature and may not be suitable for your particular spandex fabric. Some spandex fabrics aren't suitable for any laundering. Our stock service spandex fabrics may have specific laundry instructions on the product listing - these will be the best to follow for those fabrics.