Spandex or also known as elastane is a synthetic material that was created by DuPont in 1959 and it is one of the most elastic and widely used synthetic material in the world. This material is one of the strongest elastic materials and it is better than rubber in its elastic properties as well as it is more resistant to degradation. That means that spandex can be used in many different applications and starting from elastic clothing to hoses and many different things where rubber is degrading from the ozone that is in the air. This material is also very heat resistant as its melting point is around 270 C and that means it can be used in heat resistant applications.
Elastane is a great material for clothing as it is elastic and always returns to its original state no matter what or how much much force is applied to that fabric. This means when neoprene is used in clothing those clothes are really strong and rigid. You may know spandex from tight sportswear or other clothes as spandex leggings for women but when this material was invented it revolutionized the clothing industry and created a massive surge of things made from elastic materials. In fact spandex is so common that in the recent years it is estimated that more than 80% of all clothing sold in the United States contains some form of spandex fibers and if you know how huge the clothing industry is then you have a clue just how widespread this material is.
Because spandex has many different manufacturing methods its availability and price as well as quality may be different from product to product but in general these fibers are made in dry environments using the dry spinning method. In this method spandex is created with a spinning motion from melted materials and as those small fibers are created they are immediately spun together to make a fiber that is thick enough to withstand usual daily use.
As you can see elastane is one of the most common materials in the clothing industry and probably one or more of the clothing pieces that you are wearing right now include some form of this amazing material. So enjoy the elasticity and apprise this amazing invention.