What is Lycra?


Lycra in Kamer Fabric

Lycra is the trade name for spandex (elastane) fiber. Fiber types with high elongation ability are classified as elastomer (elastic) fibers, and these fibers are commonly known as lycra in our country.These fibers are fibers that show a very high elongation (400-800%) without breaking and can quickly fully recover at elongations up to the breaking point. Lycra is the trade name for this fiber with elastic properties.

Technically, it can be called elastomer fiber. It is a very flexible, strong, and durable fiber. It was discovered by the chemist C. L. Sandquist and Joseph Shivers. Lycra threads, in the simplest sense, are threads made of synthetic lycra fibers in filament form. Lycra, which has a very common usage area, is of great importance today. The characteristic feature of lycra fiber is its very high elongation ability and its ability to return without deterioration in its structure. Lycra fiber used products; It adds unique features such as comfort, fit, and freedom of movement. Lycra is a type of fiber that is generally elastic and pulls in width and length when washed.

These fibers are produced from natural rubber as well as synthetically.

Diagram for lycra fibers in Kamer Fabric

Figure 1.2 The structure of elastane that crystallizes (turns into a crystalline structure) when drawn. left, stretched right, relaxed.

Flexible fibers obtained from natural rubber have been used in the textile field for a long time. However, it has become difficult to meet such increasing requirements in recent years with only natural rubber fibers. Therefore, elastomeric materials that can replace rubber fibers were sought. As a result, some synthetic materials that are more flexible than rubber, at the same time resistant to abrasion, high chemical stability, lighter, easy, and well dyed have been obtained.

Today, the use of elastomer fibers has spread over a wide area and the products produced from the mixture of cotton, viscose, polyester, polyamide fibers, and elastomer fibers have entered daily use. These fibers consist of a molecular chain network and their high amorphous regions are linked by cross-links. In elongation, these amorphous regions are more oriented and crystallized in structure. The elongation continues until the crosslinks in the structure limit the further movement of the molecules. If more force is applied to the elastomer fiber at this point, molecular degradation occurs and elongation properties decrease.

Our lycra fabrics

Elastane Fabric Processing

The way businesses work can change according to their machine park. E.g;

a- Tube:

Washing + Bleaching > Dyeing > Drying > Deliveries. (The desired width and weight may not be reached with this method.)

b- Tube:

Washing > Fixing > Bleaching + Dye > Bleaching Drying

c- Open width:

Fixation > Washing + Bleaching > Dyeing > Bleaching Drying

d- Woven Fabric:

Fixing (Steaming) > Burning > Desizing > Bleaching > Mercerizing > Fixing or Drying > Dyeing > Bleaching Drying

Elastomer Fibers

Polyurethane is obtained from the reaction of glycol and diisocyanate compounds.

This fiber was first produced in Germany. Since these first produced fibers have a hard touch, their usage area in the textile has not become widespread. Polyurethane fibers with very high flexibility are included in the elastomer fiber group. Spandex Fibers; Synthetic fibers with 85% polyurethane polymers are called spandex. Spandex fibers were produced in the USA in 1958 and launched in 1959.

Spandex fibers are round in cross-section and peanut-shaped, and their surface is generally smooth. Spandex fibers have very low strength, such as 0.7-1 gr/denier. The most important feature of spandex fibers is that the elongation percentage at break is between 400-700%. The moisture absorption ability of the fibers is 1 – 1.4%.

Spandex fibers have good chemical resistance. Bacteria and microorganisms do not damage the fiber. It is resistant to sunlight. When spandex fibers meet flame, it burns with a chemical odor and leaves soft, black ash. The melting point of the fibers varies between 230 – 270 ° C.

Spandex fibers are used in combination with other fibers. These fibers can sometimes be covered with cotton, viscose, and nylon fibers. It is used in swimwear, underwear, socks, socks, knee pads, various dance and sports clothes with good flexibility. It is also used in making surgical bands and corsets. Spandex fibers are used in various fabrics and knitwear.

Elastomer Fiber Types

  1. Cross-linked natural and synthetic rubber,
  2. Polyurethane (spandex, lycra),
  3. It consists of Aridex (crosslinked polyacrylate) fibers.

Usage Areas of Elastomer Fibers

Lycra (elastomer) fiber is more expensive than natural rubber, so its use for clothing is more limited. In addition, it is widely used in the production of corsets, skiwear, swimwear, sportswear, knit collars of clothes, stretch fabrics, belts, belts, swimsuits, compression stockings, surgical tapes and socks, and knitted lining fabrics where flexibility is required.

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