Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Lycra and Spandex

spandex_jeansLycra Vs Spandex

People get confused with what Lycra is and how it differs with Spandex. They haphazardly use one term when in fact the other term is the most suited. But how do you know which is which? Well, to make it simple Lycra and Spandex is one and the same.

The Dupont Company registered Lycra as a brand name for a spandex fiber thread. The trademark of such paved way to the creation of the Invista Company as its subsidiary but was later sold to another company. Buying Lycra is homologous to how you buy Levis jeans, for example. It’s as if Lycra is a sub category or a more specific kind of Spandex. There are also many other companies that manufacture spandex fibers and market them with their own unique brand names: Elaspan, Linel, ROICA, and ESPA to name a few.

On the contrary, Spandex is the more generic term like how you describe denim pants. The Federal Trade has regarded Spandex as a fiber product wherein the basic component is the elongated sequence of artificial polymers that is chiefly made up of about 85 percent polyurethane fragments.

This material was created by a famous chemist in Virginia by the year 1959. Its invention sparked a revolution in the clothing world. The said fragments or segments are basically composed of poly tetramethylene ether glycol simply known as PTMEG. A common characteristic of the Spandex material is its ability to be stretched and go back to its original form quickly, same as the behavior of ordinary rubber, its toughest competitor although a natural material in itself.

This unparalleled elasticity gives the material more strength, suppleness, and most likely free from easy scratches or ‘wear and tear’ from the human body’s normal oil excretions and sweat even more than what rubber can handle. Despite the possibility of using spandex filaments alone, certain yarns are also used in combination with the material to serve as an outer coating for the Spandex fibers.

In the Northern American regions, spandex is the commonly used term to name the said clothing. But in some nations in Europe, the clothing came to be known popularly as elastane.

Summary :
1.Spandex and Lycra is one and the same clothing material. Spandex is the more generic term to describe the cloth whereas Lycra is one of the most popular brand names of Spandex.
2.Many other companies market the spandex clothing but it is only the Invista Company who markets the Lycra brand.

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  1. I am searching for a list of other names for Lycra — for a retails bussiness,pls suggest.mob no:7708145999.

  2. well… this is mostly wrong. Lycra and spandex are NOT the same thing. Lycra isn’t made with any natural rubber. huge difference… sorry, but they aren’t the same. not even close. different material all-together. therefore they are different and NOT, “Spandex and Lycra is one and the same clothing material.”.

    people need to do more research before writing bad articles like this.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with this article as Adam claims that this is mostly wrong. Lycra is a brand of spandex.

    • If they are not the same, can you tell me which is more see through!?! I see a lot of leggings listed “polyester & Lycra” And others “Polyester & Spandex.”

    • Thank you for your comment, Adam!
      I agree completely!
      The American Latex Allergy Association listed LYCRA as safe for those of us with latex allergies/anaphylaxis.
      Other spandex is not safe; as you aptly stated, it contains rubber.

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