Also known as spandex or Lycra, elastane is a synthetic technical fibre that gives stretch to fabric. The invention of elastane in the 1950s revolutionised the fashion industry by enabling garments to return to their original shape after stretching. It’s usually mixed with polyester or polyamide in sportswear, and with cotton or wool in trousers and suits to provide stretch. Today, most clothing containing elastane is not recyclable as commercial technology to separate elastane from other fibres does not exist. We use it for performance benefits in Soft Sport activewear, and in pieces like trousers, suits, and dresses where comfort stretch improves the garment.
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