Spandex, Lycra or elastane is an invention using synthetic fibre to create a more elastic and stronger material than rubber. Introduced in the 1950’s, it quickly revolutionalized many industries. Among them was the fashion and clothing industry.
Fast forward 60 years, and today we have spandex is all sorts of clothes. Most of the time the name itself is parody due to the spandex speedos and its ability to stretch out, thereby showing parts of the body other materials may not.
Spandex is used in gym clothes, swimming gear, biking gear, and in underwear. It is very strong and stretches quite a lot, which makes it easier for activities involving a lot of movement. However, its perspiration and ventilation is restricted as a result. Compared to cotton or cloth, water and sweat is less likely to breathe and go through spandex.