Fabrics Database - Lycra

Summaries for Lycra

Key: Centre (0) Bad        Outer (6) Good

Characteristics / options defined by the above graphs are proportionally represented and approximate, and are only intended as a guide. As such they do not represent any industry standards. Among other things, fabric construction and weight will influence the perceived ranking.

Data Sheet for Lycra


Electrometric fibres. Lycra is an elastomeric fibre that is found blended with other fibres to improve the stretch and fit of fabrics. Within the corporate clothing sector Lycra will only be found blended.

Available as:

Present in blended yarns. Present as minor constituents in a wide range of blended yarns that are used in knitted and woven fabrics.


Easy to Dye. Elastane fibres can be readily dyed

Dimensional Stability

Elastic fibre, with good recovery. Very elastic but returns to original dimensions after stretch & washing. Improves the stability of blended yarns

Resistance to pilling

Resistant to pilling

Moisture regain

Low , less than 2%

Care information

Launder using majority fibre conditions, avoid chlorine bleaches. Garments made entirely from or containing Lycra and other similar elastomers should be washed in lukewarm water. It is recommended that these fibres should not be subjected to bleaching, especially chlorine based bleaches. If any bleaching is necessary then suitable colour safe bleaches must be used. Natural drying is recommended though the use of low temperature tumble-drying can be carried out. Ironing when required should be carried out using a low temperature setting on the iron and should be performed quickly. Leaving the iron too long in one place will result in damage to the fibre.


Widely used in blended yarns. Lycra is not used as 100% in fabric form in the corporate clothing sector. It will be used as a minor component in blended yarns using as little as 2%. The presence of Lycra results in a general improvement of the fabric properties and will find applications in a wide range of knitted and woven garments

End of life Possibilities

Avoid composting. The fibres tend to be UV resistant and the fibres take a considerable time to break down. Other end of life options are applicable.

Eco aspects

Cost scope (economic impact)

Common trade names

Lycra, Spandex



Du Pont (U.K.) Limited
Wedgwood Way
Tel: + 0044 (0) 1438 73 4000
Fax : + 0044 (0) 1438 73 4836


Oakdene Hollins Limited, 2024 for the CRR Uniform Reuse Project www.uniformreuse.co.uk


The rationale behind the study has been to provide a means whereby current and potential fibres/fabrics for use in the corporate clothing sector, can be compared. Any such comparison will be dependent on a multitude of factors that will influence the choice. Although application is the foremost factor that will be influencing the material selection, service life and cost will also play an important role.

The information contained within the following data sheets is an attempt to draw together some of the salient points that may be of interest at the specification and design stage without trying to be exhaustive.

De Montfort University produces these data on the fibres/fabric groups and blends on a non exhaustive basis. De Montfort University therefore makes no representation, express or implied that any of the fibres/fabric groups or blends will be unaffected by other treatments or processes. Users of these data must address the possibility of any health and safety issues that may arise personally.