May 22 , 2019
Dupont textiles scientist Joseph C. Shivers was determined to find a fiber to replace rubber in garments. He made a breakthrough in the early 1950s when he used an intermediate substance to modify Dacron polyester.This modification produced a stretchy fiber that could withstand high temperatures. After nearly a decade of research the fiber was perfected in 1959. Originally called Fiber K, DuPont chose the trade name Lycra to distinguish its brand of spandex fiber.
The elasticity and strength (stretching up to five times its length), of spandex has been incorporated into a wide range of garments, especially in skin-tight garments. A benefit of spandex is its significant strength and elasticity and its ability to return to the original shape after stretching and faster drying than ordinary fabrics. For clothing, spandex is usually mixed with cotton or polyester, and accounts for a small percentage of the final fabric, which therefore retains most of the look and feel of the other fibers.An estimated 80% of clothing sold in the United States contained spandex in 2010.