Hello, everyone! I hope you are well! We are so excited to announce our brand-new and first-of-its-kind swimwear collection for the summer of 2023! For now, we will not reveal any of its secrets except for two facts: it is inspired by the 80s style and
made of elastane/spandex fabric. In other words, you will have to wait for the official launch of the collection which will be really soon. In this Ecce Homo blog article, we will introduce you to a material that we first used to create this collection, the elastane or spandex fabric! What is the difference between elastane, spandex, and Lycra? What is the story of this fiber? Which are the qualities of elastane? How to best take care of your elastane clothes?
Elastane, spandex or Lycra?
First, let’s tackle the question you’ve all been thinking: elastane, spandex, or Lycra? Are they different types of fabric? Well, no! They are basically the same synthetic fiber made from a segmented block of copolymers in a linear structure. This means that one cannot find this material in nature, and no organic components are used in its making. Elastane or spandex? It depends on the geographical area you live in. Elastane is a term mostly used in Europe, while spandex is elastane’s synonym mostly used in the USA. In other words, the term used varies regionally. Lycra is more or less the same fiber with similar traits, a type of elastane or spandex which is branded by the DuPont Corporation and serve as their registered trademark.
The story of elastane
When it comes to the history of this manmade fiber, things are getting more interesting! Its story begins in one of the darkest times of history, in 1937 in Nazi Germany. The long-chain polymer of which is made, named polyurethane, was invented by Otto Bayer and his associates at the IG Farben plant at Leverkusen as an alternative to natural rubber which was hard to get and pricey at the time. Initially, polyurethane was made into plastic and used by the Nazis in their military machine, especially as a coating for fighter planes as it functions like a shock and heat insulator. It was only after WWII that polyurethane was used for apparel by the DuPont Corporation which developed in 1959 the well-known Lycra fabric after noticing the extreme stretchability of this material. Nowadays, elastane or spandex is produced by many companies around the world, especially in the USA, China, India, Brazil, and Pakistan.
The characteristics of elastane
Mesh bags to the rescue! If you want to keep your swimsuit from snagging, then place it in a mesh laundry bag before putting it in your laundry machine. This way you can wash your swimsuit every day -if necessary- without compromising its quality, shape, or color! Handwashing in lukewarm water is the best option, if you have time, but elastane is perfectly machine washable!
A no-go list: no heat, not chems! Avoid at all costs using fabric softener, strong detergents, and chlorine bleach! Instead, you can use a small amount of white vinegar as a natural fabric softener or oxygen-based bleach. Abstain from using high-heat dryers or ironing and washing programs. High temperature and harsh chemicals weaken and break the fibers and reduce the elasticity of your bathing suit!