The Benefits of Spandex and Elastane in Plus Size Clothing

Spandex is a synthetic material known for its versatility and ability to stretch and ability to fit to the body. Because of its unusual qualities, it is often utilized in clothes and textiles.

This article will explain what spandex is, its advantages and disadvantages, and the distinction between spandex and elastane.

What is Spandex

Spandex is a synthetic polymer derived from a mixture of polyurethane and polyester.

It’s also referred to as Lycra or elastane, and it’s commonly utilized in clothes, sporting, and medical garments.

It is lightweight, and has a high elasticity, making it a perfect material for form-fitting or snug products.

Benefits of Spandex

Here is a list of every benefit that comes from wearing clothing made of spandex.

  1. Stretchiness – Spandex can stretch up to 600% of its original size, making it an ideal fabric for form-fitting clothing.
  2. Comfort – Spandex is lightweight and breathable, making it a comfortable fabric to wear for extended periods.
  3. Durability – Spandex is resistant to abrasion and can withstand exposure to chemicals, oils, and sweat without losing its shape or elasticity.
  4. Moisture-wicking – Spandex is a moisture-wicking fabric, which means it can draw sweat away from the skin and help to keep the wearer dry and comfortable.
  5. Support – Spandex can provide support to the muscles, making it a popular fabric for compression garments such as stockings, tights, and sleeves.
  6. Flexibility – Spandex can move with the body, making it an ideal fabric for sportswear and other clothing that needs to allow for a full range of motion.
  7. Resistance to wrinkles – Spandex is resistant to wrinkles, which means that clothing made from spandex can be easier to care for than other fabrics.
  8. Color retention – Spandex is resistant to fading and can retain its color even after multiple washings.
  9. Resistance to pilling – Spandex is less prone to pilling than other fabrics, which means that clothing made from spandex can look new for longer.
  10. Versatility – Spandex can be used in a variety of applications, from sportswear to medical garments to costumes.


  1. Heat sensitivity – Spandex can lose its elasticity and shape if it is exposed to high temperatures or heat sources such as dryers or irons.
  2. Low resistance to UV light – Spandex can be damaged by prolonged exposure to UV light, which can cause it to break down and lose its elasticity.
  3. Not environmentally friendly – Spandex is a synthetic fabric made from petroleum products and is not biodegradable, which means it can contribute to environmental pollution.
  4. Poor insulation – Spandex is not an insulating fabric and can make the wearer feel cold in cooler temperatures.
  5. Poor moisture absorption – While spandex is moisture-wicking, it does not absorb moisture well, which means it can trap sweat against the skin and cause irritation or odor.
  6. Prone to snags – Spandex can be easily snagged or ripped by sharp objects or rough surfaces.
  7. Not suitable for some applications – Spandex may not be suitable for some applications where a more rigid fabric is required, such as upholstery or outdoor gear.
  8. Limited breathability – Spandex can trap heat and moisture against the skin, which can cause discomfort and even skin irritation in some wearers.
  9. Limited color options – Spandex is more difficult to dye than other fabrics, which can limit the range of color options available.
  10. Expensive – Spandex is often more expensive than other fabrics due to its high elasticity and durability.

Differences between Spandex and Elastane

Spandex and elastane are two terms that are often used interchangeably to refer to the same type of synthetic elastic fabric. While the two terms refer to the same type of material, there are some differences between spandex and elastane. Here are five differences between spandex and elastane:

  1. Origin of the term – Spandex is a term that originated in the United States, while elastane is the term used in Europe and other parts of the world.
  2. Trademark – Spandex is a trademarked term owned by the DuPont Corporation, while elastane is a generic term used to describe similar materials produced by other manufacturers.
  3. Chemical structure – While both spandex and elastane are made from the same polymer, the chemical structure of the two materials may differ slightly due to variations in the manufacturing process.
  4. Common usage – The term spandex is more commonly used in the United States, while elastane is more commonly used in Europe and other parts of the world.
  5. Cultural associations – The term spandex is often associated with tight, form-fitting clothing worn by athletes and performers, while elastane is more commonly associated with everyday clothing that incorporates stretchy materials.

Common Uses Of Spandex

  1. Sportswear – Spandex is often used in sportswear and activewear because of its stretchiness and ability to move with the body.
  2. Compression Garments – Spandex is commonly used in compression garments, such as stockings, tights, and sleeves, to provide support to the muscles and improve blood flow.
  3. Swimwear – Spandex is often used in swimwear because of its ability to withstand exposure to water and chlorine, while maintaining its shape and elasticity.
  4. Undergarments – Spandex is often used in undergarments, such as bras and shapewear, to provide support and create a smooth, flattering silhouette.
  5. Costumes – Spandex is often used in costumes because of its ability to conform to the body and create a form-fitting look.
  6. Medical Garments – Spandex is often used in medical garments, such as prosthetic socks, to provide support and improve circulation.

Effects of Elastane on the Body

Elastane is used in a variety of medical garments, such as compression stockings or tights.

These garments are designed to help improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and provide support to the muscles.

The compression from the elastane can help to reduce the risk of blood clots and improve circulation in the legs.

In conclusion, spandex is a highly versatile and beneficial fabric that is commonly used in a wide range of clothing and apparel.

With its exceptional stretchiness, durability, and moisture-wicking properties, spandex is ideal for creating form-fitting clothing that is both comfortable and supportive.

Additionally, spandex is versatile enough to be used in a variety of applications, including sportswear, medical garments, and costumes.

However, there are also some disadvantages to spandex, including its heat sensitivity, low resistance to UV light, and limited breathability.

Despite these drawbacks, spandex remains a popular choice for clothing designers and manufacturers due to its many benefits and its ability to enhance the performance and comfort of clothing.

Overall, spandex is a valuable and important fabric that has transformed the fashion industry and will continue to do so for years to come.