Type of Fabric Synthetic fabric
What is it? Spandex is a lightweight, synthetic fiber that is used to make stretchable clothing such as sportswear. It is made up of a long chain polymer called polyurethane, which is produced by reacting a polyester with a diisocyanate.
Quality The quality of spandex will depend of how it was produced. A good way to test the elasticity of spandex would be to physically stretch the fabric as much as possible, and if the spandex is of good quality, it will return to its original form after being stretched.
Environmental Impact Elastane, aka Spandex or Lycra, is made from polystyrene, which is made from oil. Decidedly NOT eco friendly. Every time a garment containing elastane is washed, both before sale (during manufacturing) and certainly after purchase, small micro fibers of plastic are released into the waters and down the drain.
How to Care
  • To retain maximum shape and flexibility, spandex should be hand washed only, using lukewarm water and mild detergent, such as Woolite or Deft.
  • Never twist or wring Spandex when washing, but gently knead the garment and rinse thoroughly with cool, clear water.
  • Again to retain maximum shape and flexibility, Spandex should not be placed in the dryer. Air dry by either placing on a flat surface.