Understanding The Different Types Of Spandex Fabric – A Comprehensive Guide

Spandex (or elastane in Europe) is an artificial synthetic fabric famous for its elasticity. It’s also very lightweight. It’s commonly blended with natural fiber fabrics to make figure-fitting clothes like dancewear and swimwear.

If you’re sewing with stretchy fabrics, use a specialty needle and a stitch designed for knits or with stretch. Otherwise, you might get skipped stitches.

Cotton Spandex French Terry

French terry is one of the many types of spandex fabric. It is a soft, mid-weight knit fabric often used for sweatshirts and loungewear. It’s made from interconnecting loops of yarns, creating a soft texture that helps reduce fraying and is very flexible. It can be woven from various materials, including cotton, rayon, polyester, and spandex.

It’s breathable and can move moisture away from your skin and help you stay cool and dry during exercise or a hot day. It also has anti-odor properties, which makes it ideal for workout clothing.

You can easily recognize this material by its smooth, flat appearance on one side and the textured look on the other, much like a bathrobe. It’s thicker than Jersey Terry but thinner and lighter than fleece. It’s usually machine washable with cold or warm water and mild detergent. However, Avoid fabric softeners, which can damage the loops and cause pilling.

You can find it in various clothing styles, including yoga pants, sweatshirts, shorts, and joggers. It’s comfortable and easy to wear, making it a popular choice for casual outings, such as running errands or meeting friends for a simple lunch. It’s also great for travel, as it can be easily folded and slipped into a suitcase or backpack. Plus, it’s a low-maintenance fabric that holds up well to regular wear and tear.

Polyester Spandex French Terry

girls wearing Spandex leggings

Polyester spandex French Terry is a mid-weight fabric that can be used to make various casual clothing items. The blend of polyester, spandex, and cotton fibers gives the material a soft and stretchy feel ideal for activewear and loungewear. The polyester and spandex fibers provide durability and elasticity, while the cotton provides breathability and moisture absorption.

You may have heard of the term “French Terry” before, as it’s a common material for sweatshirts and hoodies. However, you might not be aware that this fabric has a special construction that makes it unique from other knit fabrics. It features a smooth surface on one side and loops on the other, creating a cozy, comfortable, and stylish texture.

French terry fabric is versatile and can create many garments, including jackets and trousers. It is especially good for outdoor wear, as it keeps you warm at cold temperatures and allows air to circulate through the fabric.

French terry also has the advantage of being easy to maintain. The fabric is low maintenance and resists wrinkling, shrinking, and stretching. It dries quickly, making it an ideal option for busy people.

Polyester Spandex Twill

Polyester spandex twill is a fabric that combines the benefits of cotton and elastane. Its stretchiness makes it ideal for activewear, while its durability ensures it will last a long time. Its moisture-wicking capabilities help to keep the wearer cool and dry, especially during workouts or hot weather.

Additionally, it can help to reduce the risk of chafing. This type of fabric is also easy to wash and odor-resistant. It is often used for garments that require a high degree of elasticity, such as cycling gear and professional dance apparel. It is also often used to make stretch tablecloths.

The production of spandex fabric begins with the creation of a substance called macro glycol and diisocyanate monomer. These two substances are then mixed under specific heat and pressure conditions. The resulting prepolymer is then exposed to diamine acid, which initiates a chemical reaction that creates the polyurethane fibers that are the basis for spandex fabric.

Once the polyurethane fibers have been formed, they can be woven into various textiles. Spandex fabrics can be made entirely from this material or used to impart elasticity to other textiles. The latter option is particularly useful when making clothing, as it allows designers to create more form-fitting garments without sacrificing comfort or appearance.

The only downside to using this type of fabric is its non-biodegradable nature. This means that it will be around long after human civilization has departed the planet, and it is important to limit the amount of time and number of washings for which it is worn.

Polyester Spandex Lycra

Spandex, also known as elastane, is a stretchy and durable fabric that offers high levels of elasticity. It can stretch six to seven times its normal size and quickly return to its original shape upon removing tension. This makes it ideal for form-fitting garments, including swimwear and athletic wear. Spandex is often used with other fabrics, including cotton and polyester, to increase their stretchiness.

Polyester spandex is popular for activewear because it is comfortable and breathable. It is also resistant to chlorine and other chemicals, making it a great option for swimming or exercising in hot temperatures. Polyester is durable and can withstand repeated stretching and washings without losing shape or elasticity.

Another benefit of polyester is that it does not irritate the skin, so it is a good option for individuals with sensitive skin. It is also hypoallergenic, which means it will not cause allergic reactions in most individuals. However, testing new clothing items for potential sensitivities is always a good idea.

Spandex and polyester offer various benefits, and each type has unique features. Choosing the right one for your garments will depend on environmental sustainability, cost, allergies, and specific performance requirements.


Gary is a lifestyle writer with a passion for healthy living, fitness, and self-improvement. His writing is dedicated to helping readers achieve their best selves through practical tips and advice.