A warm welcome to the captivating world of “spandex,” where beauty and functionality coexist and stretchability knows no bounds!
Spandex, also referred to as lycra or elastane, is a fabric that in all forms has generally influenced and revolutionised the fashion, textile and sports industries with its distinctly remarkable qualities.
In this exciting journey through the enthralling world of spandex, we intend to reveal with brevity its very rich history, make time to explore its evolution along with looking at various ways it enhances living.
From there, we will proceed to give you a titbit about an indigenous brand in Nigeria that devotes great interest to exploring the entirety of spandex, especially with regard to beauty and how versatile it is in the Nigerian setting.
Brief History About Spandex
With an intriguing history as flexible as the fabric itself, spandex can be traced to its origins in the mid-20th century. At that time, scientists took on the quest to create a synthetic fibre characterised by its exceptional elastic properties. Spandex was first introduced in 1959 by a chemist known as Joseph Shivers.
One might begin to wonder how the name “spandex” came about. Well, the name happens to be a contraction of the word “expand.” Interestingly, it can stretch to about five (5) times its original length without losing its shape.
Evolution of Spandex
Spandex, in its initial application, was most commonly found and used in women’s undergarments. However, with time, spandex has come a long way and found its purpose in different areas today, either directly or indirectly. Through decades and counting, since its inception, spandex has gradually evolved into a versatile and multi-dynamic fabric catering to a variety of industries. The fact that it can be blended with other materials like polyester, nylon, and cotton has greatly influenced its expansion in potential uses, thereby making it an indispensable fabric in swimwear, everyday active wear, and even medical compression garments.
The Beauty and Versatility of Spandex and its Versatility
The attractiveness of spandex lies in its aesthetic appeal and the comfort it provides. With its sleek and second-skin appearance, suitable for almost every body type, one can assuredly say that it enhances confidence and brings out style. Not ignoring the fact that with its ability to contour to the body curves, it makes a stunning silhouette that is pretty hard to match when compared to other fabric types. Spandex, in its structure, offers a compelling fashion blend and functional fit that is almost irresistible, whether as bodysuits, swimsuits, or leggings.
Spandex is the one secret ingredient responsible for the comfort and performance of athletic wear. Athletes and gym lovers around the world rely heavily on spandex-infused sportswear due to its flexible nature and moisture-wicking properties. Its usage can also be noticed in medical compression garments, which ultimately serve the primary purpose of promoting blood circulation and mitigating muscle fatigue.
Asotiayé: The Active Nigerian Brand in the Spandex Industry
Asotiayé, a Nigerian fashion house, released a collection that cycles around the entire beauty of spandex. Their shape-wear collection is titled “Sun Kissed” and is amazingly inspired by vibrant colours and patterns of nature. This collection has and will include a variety of dresses, tops, skirts, and pants made from high-quality fabrics that are comfortable and, of course, durable.
It has been estimated that about 80% of clothing sold in the United States of America contained spandex in 2010. The famous American media personality and businesswoman, Kim Kardashian, made a billion-dollar empire from the sales of spandex shape-wear with the brand name “Skims.” Before Skims, there existed another million-dollar spandex company known as “Spanx.”
We must gleefully admit that it is awesome seeing an indigenous Nigerian company make headway in exploring the all-around beauty and versatility of spandex.
Researched by: Safiya Onayi Ahmed.