Introduction of Spandex
Spandex (Elastane) is a kind of elastic fiber. DuPont invented it in 1958. We also call it lycra. It has strong elasticity with a degree of extension of up to 600%. And it can recover to its original shape. It has high strength. And it’s breathable abrasion-resistant. When spandex first appeared, it completely changed many areas of the apparel industry.
Usually, the amount of spandex we use in general clothes is relatively small. In North America, people use it on women’s close-fitting clothes. Usually, people blend spandex with other fibers such as cotton and polyester. In general, spandex usually exists in four forms of bare yarn, core-spun yarn, covered yarn and twisted yarn in textiles.
1. Bare Yarn
Bare yarn is 100% spandex yarn. Generally, we never use the naked yarn directly on the fabric. We just co-produce the bare yarn with rival materials and use special equipment for production. Among the products, 22-78Dtex is the main product.
We often add bare spandex yarn when making knitwear. We mainly interweave it with nylon yarn or polyester yarn on a knitting machine. Furthermore, the main products are tights, sportswear, swimsuits, stockings, pantyhose waistbands, surgical bandages, socks, cuffs, warp knitted fabrics, paper diapers, etc.
2. Spandex Core Spun Yarn (CSY)
Spandex core-spun yarn uses spandex yarn as the core. Then we spin it out of one or several non-elastic short fibers (cotton, polyester cotton, acrylic, polyester, etc.) It is not exposed which can fully reflect the surface characteristics of the outer fiber. Moreover, the cotton core-spun yarn fabric has the style, feel and performance of cotton. And the wool core-spun yarn fabric complements the excellent properties of the two fibers. It is not only has good elasticity, but also maintains the high-end feel of the woolen fabric. Similarly, silk core-spun yarn fabric can also reflect the characteristics of natural silk.
We can spin spandex core-spun yarn by ring spinning, air spinning, vortex spinning and other processing methods. The yarn has the advantages of low spinning cost, large yarn count range, wide outsourcing fiber and flexibility. The elastic elongation of the core-spun yarn is 150%-200%. And the amount of spandex is 7%-12%, especially 22-235Dtex. For example, we can use 40D spandex wrapped around 40S cotton yarn core spun yarn to weave stretch denim, corduroy and knitted fabrics (neckline, cuffs, hem) and other clothing accessories.
3. Covered Yarn (CY)
The spandex covered yarn uses spandex yarn as the core.Then we use inelastic filament or short fiber yarn to wrap the stretched spandex yarn in a spiral manner. After that ,we got the elstic yarn. According to the number of coating layers and the number of turns per centimetre of the outer layer, we can divide it into single-covered yarn (SCY) and double-covered yarn (DCY).
Covered yarn is a pre-stretched spandex elastic yarn that passes through the center of a hollow spindle to become the core thread. The yarn or filament on the spindle is evenly spirally wound on the spandex as an outer covering yarn, and then synchronously wound. The yarn has the characteristics of large elastic elongation (300%-400%), stiff hand feeling, thick yarn count and high strength. We mostly use it for knitting high-elastic fabrics such as socks, weft-knitted underwear, elastic bands, etc. We use covered yarn widely in spandex processing yarn. It accounts for about 65% of the entire processed yarn type. The outer yarn is mostly polyester, nylon plus elastic or cotton yarn. And We also use polypropylene as the outer yarn.
4. Ply Yarn (PLY)
We also call Ply yarn twisted yarn. Specifically, we twist the stretched elastic spandex edge and two other inelastic yarns to form the yarn. We produce it on a ring twister equipped with a special yarn feeding device. And we mostly use it to weave thick fabrics with medium and low elasticity. The typical fabric is elastic labor cloth and elastic gabardine. Besides, the product is evenly dried and the product is clean. However, the core wire is easy to be exposed. So the hand feel is slightly hard. And it is not easy to make dark products.
Conclusion of Spandex
Generally speaking, we can weave spandex fabric with in four ways. We can use bare yarn, core-spun yarn, covered yarn, twisted yarn. Also, we should consider the fabric style and wearing requirements when we choose spandex yarn. Thick stretch fabrics include stretch tarpaulin, stretch corduroy, stretch sturdy and so on. The medium-thick stretch fabrics include stretch khaki, stretch gabardine and stretch board and so on. Thin stretch fabrics include stretch poplin, stretch muslin, stretch Bubble cloth and so on. Spandex fabric is elastic and non-compressive. It’s stable in size and has good recovery. What’s more, it is soft and comfortable.And it can reflect the natural beauty of the human body. So it is suitable for making men’s and women’s suits, overalls, uniforms, children’s clothing, shirts, women’s underwear, etc. clothing.