Spandex Yarn Introduction

Spandex is the earliest developed and most widely used elastic fiber with the most mature production technology. But for some consumers in the market,Lycra is much better known than spandex, and many in the industry only know Lycra, not spandex.

covered yarn factory

Spandex is the earliest developed and most widely used elastic fiber with the most mature production technology. But for some consumers in the market,Lycra is much better known than spandex, and many in the industry only know Lycra, not spandex. And some businesses in the product promotion is also a generalization, confused. Some “professionals” simply referred to Lycra as a common name for spandex, exacerbating the misperception of ordinary consumers.

1 development history of spandex

In fact,Lycra is just the trade name of spandex produced by Invista, a former wholly owned subsidiary of DuPont in the United States. Because of the company’s leading market position in spandex,Lycra has almost become a synonym for all spandex.

1.1 International development history of spandex

The research of polyurethane began in Germany at the earliest. In 1937, Bayer company of Germany synthesized polyurethane polymer for the first time and applied for a patent. DuPont company in the United States in the late 1950s was the first to use dry spinning route for the industrialization of spandex production, initially known as “T-80”, L962 with the trademark “Lycra” for the full design scale of polyurethane bond silk, complex silk production. At the same time, the United States Rubber Co., Ltd. introduced a thick round monofilament made of polyester – polyurethane, the trade name “Vyrene”. In 1963, the Japanese Toyo Textile Company began the production of spandex, the trade name “Espa”. In 1964,Bayer and Fujibo Spandex began to produce Spandex. Toray — DuPont, a joint venture between DuPont and Toray, Japan, also began to produce Lycra in 1966. By 1967, the annual output of spandex in the world has reached 6800T, and the production plants have developed to 28. But the obstacles in the manufacturing technology of spandex and the immaturity of the post-processing technology, coupled with the speculation that the demand was too large, made spandex products unsalable accumulation, many manufacturers in Europe and the United States have stopped production or reduced production. In the 1970s, except for DuPont, there was almost no new equipment in other spandex production factories, and spandex industry developed slowly.

In the 1980s, spandex production began to recover, and the world spandex production increased slowly from 20,000 t/a in 1980 to 25,000 t/a in 1985. In the 1990s, the economically developed countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan expanded the production capacity of spandex and accelerated the development of spandex elastic fabrics. The spandex output increased rapidly from 40,000 t/a in 1990 to 92,000 t/a in 1994, including 23,000 t/a in North America, 23,000 t/a in Western Europe and 4.6 t/a in Asia-pacific and other regions t/a.

1.2 Development History of Chinese Spandex

Asia is the region where the consumption of spandex has surged, and it is also the region with the fastest expansion capacity of spandex production. Before 1995, most of the world’s largest spandex yarn manufacturers were concentrated in Europe and the United States, but with the adjustment of demand structure, this format is gradually changing. Among them, spandex in South Korea and Japan has developed the most rapidly, and China’s rapid development in this field in recent years cannot be underestimated.

The development of spandex in China started relatively late. In 1987, Shandong Yantai Spandex Group first introduced the spandex production equipment and technology of Toyobo Corporation of Japan, and produced polyether spandex by dry method, with a production capacity of 320t/a. It was put into operation in 1989 and expanded in 1998. , the production capacity has reached 2500t/a. So far, not only has the technology changed from introduction to independent development, but most of the production equipment and raw materials have also been localized. In 1998, the fifth phase of the project was built, and the investment in this joint venture project totaled 500 million yuan. , with a production scale of 4,000 t/a. It was completed and put into operation at the end of 2000. After it was put into operation, the total production capacity reached 6,500 t/a, ranking first in China. The original Lianyungang Zhongshan Spandex Co., Ltd. imported spandex dry spinning with a production capacity of 320 t/a from Japan’s Toyobo Co., Ltd. Silk production technology and equipment, after being put into production in 1992, was expanded in the second and third phases, with a production capacity of 1,500 t/a. In 1998, the fourth phase of expansion with a scale of 2,000 t/a began, with a total production capacity of 3,500 t/a. Guangdong Heshan Spandex Factory signed a contract with Italian NOY Company in 1992 to introduce China’s first wet-process spandex production equipment, and it was put into operation in 1996 with a production capacity of 500t/a. In 2000, the total domestic spandex production capacity reached 17,600t/a.

In recent years, China’s spandex industry has shown a trend of simultaneous and substantial development in production capacity, output, export volume and benefits. According to statistics, from 2001 to 2006, China’s spandex production capacity has soared from 25,100 t/a to 235,600 t/a, with an average annual rate of 235,600 t/a. The growth rate is as high as 56.5%; the production capacity in 2007 reached 262,600 t/a, and the new production capacity in 2008 reached 12.73t, and the total production capacity reached 389,900 t/a. The rising star China’s development started late, but the speed is rapid, and it has now become the world’s largest Largest producer of spandex yarn.

2 Main specifications and uses of spandex yarn

2.1 Spandex Specifications

The size of spandex yarn ranges from 11dtex to 3750dtex. The most commonly used specifications are 20D, 30D, 40D, 70D, 140D, of which 40D is used more than 50%. Paralleling, weft knitting and warp knitting are widely used; the amount of 70D is basically second only to 40D in the past few years, and it is mainly used in covering and knitting; in the past two years, 20D and 30D and other fine denier yarns The proportion of the use of filaments has grown very fast, especially in underwear, socks and circular knitting machines; 140D/210D is widely used in lace, webbing, and socks; coarse denier silk with larger fineness is mainly used in webbing. Some brands also use spandex extensively in diapers.

2.2 Application fields of spandex

The elongation of ordinary fabrics is only 5%-25%, but in many fields, the fabrics need to have higher elongation. The human body has a large expansion and contraction change during exercise. If the clothes have a corresponding expansion and contraction ratio, the pressure on the human body is reduced when wearing, and the feeling is comfortable. The stretch rate of fabrics varies with the type of clothing. Underwear and sportswear require a larger stretch rate as the human body moves, while loose outerwear requires a lower stretch rate.

2.3 Downstream Yarn

In actual production, spandex can be used directly as bare silk, but it is mostly used as processed yarn. Depending on the type of fiber or yarn used and the processing method, spandex processed yarn can be divided into core-spun yarn, covered yarn and twisted yarn. Spandex bare yarn and processed yarn have different applications due to the difference in performance. Processed yarn is expensive though. However, it can provide better control flexibility and feel, and the scope and number of applications are growing rapidly. Spandex bare filament has high elasticity, is not easy to control, and has the problem of breakage during use, but the price is relatively low, so the number of applications is large. For example, in the total consumption of 30 kt spandex yarn in Western European countries in 1997, about 70% was used in the form of bare silk.

2.3.1 Spandex bare yarn

The bare spandex yarn is 100% spandex yarn, and the bare yarn is generally not used directly on the fabric. Most of it is produced together with other materials and requires special equipment to produce. Generally, it is mainly 22-78Dtex, which is the most widely used in knitwear. When used, it is generally interwoven with nylon yarn or polyester yarn on the knitting machine. The main application products are tights, sportswear, swimwear, stockings, pantyhose belt parts, surgical bandages, sock cuffs, cuffs, warp knitted fabrics, diapers, etc.

2.3.2 Spandex processed yarn

① Spandex Core Spun Yarn (CSY)

Spandex core-spun yarn uses spandex as the core, and the outer yarn is a yarn spun from one or several inelastic staple fibers (cotton, polyester-cotton, acrylic, polyester, etc.). The spandex yarn is not exposed, which can fully reflect the surface characteristics of the outer fiber. The cotton core-spun yarn fabric has the style, feel and performance of cotton cloth; the wool core-spun yarn fabric complements the excellent properties of the two fibers, which not only has good elasticity, but also maintains the high-grade feeling of wool fabrics; silk core-spun yarn fabrics , can also reflect the characteristics of natural silk.

Spandex core-spun yarn can be spun by processing methods such as ring spinning, air spinning, and vortex spinning. The yarn has the advantages of low spinning cost, wide yarn count range, wide outer fiber and optional elasticity. The elastic elongation of the core-spun yarn is 150%-200%, and the amount of spandex is 7%-12%, generally 22-235Dtex. Mainly, core-spun yarn such as 40D spandex wrapped with 40S cotton yarn, can be used to weave elastic denim, corduroy and knitted fabrics (neckline, cuffs, hem) and other clothing accessories.

②Spandex covered yarn (CY)

Spandex covered yarn is an elastic yarn formed by using spandex yarn as the core, and inelastic filament or short fiber yarn wrapping the stretched spandex yarn in a spiral manner. According to the number of covering layers and the number of turns per centimeter of the outer layer, it can be divided into single-covered yarn (SCY) and double-covered yarn (DCY); it can also be divided into air-covered yarn (ACY), There are two types of mechanical core-spun yarn (SCY).

The covered yarn is made of pre-stretched spandex elastic yarn through the center of the hollow spindle to become the core wire. The yarn or filament on the spindle is wound on the spandex evenly and spirally as the outer covering yarn, and then synchronously crimped. Spandex covered yarn has the characteristics of elastic elongation (300%-400%), stiff hand, thick yarn count and high strength. Covered yarn is the most commonly used variety of spandex processed yarn, accounting for about 65% of the entire processed yarn type. The outer yarn is mostly polyester, nylon or cotton yarn, and polypropylene is also used as the outer yarn.

Since the quality requirements of covered yarns are not too harsh on spandex, new domestic factories will first consider developing the spandex covered yarn market. The domestic consumption of this market is also relatively large. The following is a useful exploration of the development prospects of covered yarns in the socks industry and clothing.

2.4 Application of Spandex in Hosiery Industry

2.4.1 Nylon covered spandex yarn

At present, in the hosiery market, nylon covered spandex yarns are the main covered yarn products. It is mainly divided into orthodox etiquette socks for men, women and children, convenient socks, sports socks and ultra-thin transparent socks that are currently popular. Among them, the largest number are the stockings and pantyhose for modern women, as well as the abdominal and hip-raising socks that are popular with beauty-loving women, and ultra-thin transparent socks. These are all made of covered yarns formed by organically combining the good elasticity of spandex with the high strength and wear resistance of nylon. The product sales and prospects are very promising, which advantageously promotes the development of nylon covered yarns.

At present, in the hosiery market, nylon covered spandex yarns are the main covered yarn products. It is mainly divided into orthodox etiquette socks for men, women and children, convenient socks, sports socks and ultra-thin transparent socks that are currently popular. Among them, the largest number are the stockings and pantyhose for modern women, as well as the abdominal and hip-raising socks that are popular with beauty-loving women, and ultra-thin transparent socks. These are all made of covered yarns formed by organically combining the good elasticity of spandex with the high strength and wear resistance of nylon. The product sales and prospects are very promising, which advantageously promotes the development of nylon covered yarns.

Features
  • Feel is good
  • High permeability
  • High hygroscopicity
  • High elastic
Applications
  • underwear
  • clothing
  • Sports clothes
  • Casual wear
  • The elastic fabrics
MOQ: 1,000 kg
Inventory Status:

2.4.2 Polyester covered spandex yarn

Socks made of polyester covered spandex yarn still have a certain market due to their relatively low price and durability. At present, it mainly produces convenient socks such as stockings, and the product grade is low. Due to the difficulty of dyeing, the hygroscopicity, air permeability and abrasion resistance are poor. Therefore, its products are difficult to develop unless the wearing performance of polyester itself is improved.

2.4.3 Cotton covered spandex yarn

Cotton covered spandex yarn is used to make relatively high-grade cotton socks. It not only has the good air permeability, moisture absorption and comfort of pure cotton fabric, but also has good elasticity. However, its development speed is not very fast due to the constraints of production cost and wear resistance, and its washing fastness and light fastness are both poor. With the improvement and improvement of process technology, high-grade cotton-wrapped spandex socks will continue to be on the market, which can continuously meet people’s requirements for wearing comfort and high-grade.

2.4.4 Wool covered spandex yarn

With the improvement of people’s living standards, people’s requirements for clothing are becoming more and more high-end. The pursuit of high-grade, comfort and heat preservation has formed a fashion, which also provides good opportunities and conditions for the production and development of wool covered spandex yarns. The wool socks made of wool covered spandex yarn are very good in warmth retention, breathability, moisture absorption and drainage, and elasticity. Its products have broad prospects for development.

2.5 Application of Spandex in Garment Industry

2.5.1 Cotton covered spandex yarn, hemp covered spandex yarn, wool covered spandex yarn

The use of spandex yarn in clothing starts from the three mouths (neckline, cuffs, and trousers) of knitted underwear. In the past, knitted underwear used pure cotton raw materials. The disadvantage is that the elasticity disappears after washing, and the three mouths are deformed, which is neither warm nor beautiful. Since the advent of spandex, the three-port rib of knitted underwear adopts the weaving process of adding naked spandex yarn, which greatly improves the elasticity of the three-port. Subsequently, there are more and more fabrics with spandex added, which are used in elastic underwear, competition clothes, fitness clothes and so on. However, when the bare spandex yarn is fed into the fabric, it is generally fed in the weft direction, so most spandex fabrics have good elasticity in the weft direction, but not too much in the warp direction, so the fit of the garment is not very good. With the application of the covered yarn technology, the bidirectional elasticity of the clothing fabric is greatly improved. The clothing made of the spandex covered yarn can not only reflect the curvaceous beauty of the female body, but also is comfortable and beautiful to wear. At present, it is mainly used to make relatively high-end men’s and women’s underwear, fitness clothes, sportswear, competition clothes, casual clothes, etc. The development prospect is very promising, and people’s wearing taste will be further upgraded.

2.5.2 Nylon Covered Spandex Yarn, Polyester Spandex Covered Yarn

The fabric made of nylon covered spandex yarn and polyester covered spandex yarn has better elasticity, abrasion resistance, bright color, strong washing and sun fastness, and durable. It is an ideal fabric for making swimwear, competition clothes, training clothes, sportswear, exercise clothes, cycling clothes and other clothing. Now, whether it is a world-renowned brand or other clothing manufacturers, it is used as the preferred fabric for the production of sports series clothing, and its products are distributed all over the world.

2.5.3 Silk Covered Spandex Yarn

Since silk has good hand feel, high air permeability and high hygroscopicity, and spandex has good elasticity, the products made of covered yarn fabrics made of them are of high product grade. The fabric of this product has become the first choice for contemporary beauty-loving women. It has good wearing comfort, smooth feel and skin-friendly, high air permeability, high perspiration, moisture absorption, and can fully display the curvaceous beauty of modern women’s bodies. It is a high-quality fabric for summer clothing. Therefore, it will be the focus of production and development now and in the future.

2.6 Application of Spandex in Sewing Thread

With the rapid development of the garment industry, the demand for sewing threads also tends to develop in the direction of multi-variety and multi-functionality. In recent years, there has been a core-spun yarn with high-strength and low-shrinkage polyester filament as the core yarn and polyester staple fiber as the outer yarn. This product combines the strength and low shrinkage of polyester filament with the plush feeling of polyester staple fiber. Therefore, it is more and more widely used in developed countries and has a lot of room for development.

2.6.1 Spandex plied yarn

Spandex plied yarn is made by combining and twisting two yarns with stretchy elastic spandex and other non-elastic stretched edges. It is generally produced on a ring twister with a special yarn feeding device. It is mostly used to weave medium and low elastic thick fabrics, such as elastic labor cloth, elastic gabardine, etc. The thread is uniform and the product is clean. The disadvantage is that it feels slightly hard, and it is difficult to use in dark products because the core wire is easily exposed.

2.7 Spandex downstream fabrics

Spandex elastic silk fabric is woven from different yarns such as bare silk, core-spun yarn, covered yarn, and twisted yarn according to the fabric style and wearing requirements. Thick and thick elastic fabrics such as elastic labor cloth, elastic corduroy; medium and thick elastic fabrics such as elastic khaki, elastic gabardine, elastic board division; thin elastic fabrics such as elastic poplin, elastic muslin, elastic bubble cloth, etc.

Spandex elastic fabric is elastic, stable in size, good in recovery, soft in texture, comfortable in movement, and can reflect the natural beauty of the human body.

Stretch fabrics are divided into woven fabrics and knitted fabrics according to the weaving method. Woven fabrics include double-sided stretch, warp stretch and weft stretch fabrics; knitted fabrics include knitted warp knitting, knitted weft knitting, knitted socks, and seamless underwear.

2.7.1 Woven fabrics

The weft-stretch fabric is a polyester-cotton covered yarn of polyurethane fiber for the weft yarn, and cotton yarn for the warp yarn. The content of polyurethane fiber in the weft yarn is 10%, and the content of polyurethane fiber in the whole fabric is only 5%. Elastic denim is a common polyurethane fiber fabric.

Warp-stretch fabric is a blend of polyurethane fibers in the warp, and ordinary cotton in the weft. 

2.7.2 Knitted fabrics

Spandex bare filaments are mainly used in warp knitted fabrics. The warp knitted fabrics contain about 20% of polyurethane fibers, and the rest are nylon filaments and polyester filaments. In the process of warp knitting, the elongation of spandex is 180-200%, and the warp knitted fabrics containing polyurethane fibers are mainly used for swimming suits and fitness pants.

The main varieties of warp knitting are:

(1) Warp knitted spandex plain fabric: two-comb weave, 40D spandex interwoven with 40D nylon as the standard grey fabric for swimwear, spandex content is 18%

(2) Warp knitted spandex elastic mesh fabric: 75-150D spandex and 50-150D nylon are interwoven, and the spandex content is about 18%.

(3) Warp-knitted spandex lace: 150D spandex weft-inserted into it, and the spandex content is about 10-12%.

Polyurethane fibers in weft knitting are applied in the form of bare filaments, twisted filaments, and core-spun yarns, which are interwoven with general-purpose filaments and textile fabrics. The ratio of spandex to other yarns is 1:1—3:2.

2.7.3 Narrow webbing

Narrow fabrics are belt-like fabrics, which are often referred to as elastics. Narrow fabrics are produced by weaving machines. A ribbon loom can produce 40-60 ribbons at the same time, and the raw material used is coarse denier spandex, accounting for 50-70% of the raw material. The webbing made of spandex has a longer life and better whiteness than the ribbon fabric woven with rubber silk.

2.7.4 Socks

Thin pantyhose and stockings generally use 20D/12D or 30D/18D, that is, 12 denier nylon wraps 20 denier spandex wrapping thread or 18 denier nylon wraps 30D spandex wrapping thread; medium-thick socks use 20D/70D, 30D/70D or 40D/70D coated thread, 110D or 140D spandex bare thread for the elastic mouth.

At present, most of the medical elastic stockings are imported in China, and only a few factories can produce them. They use 140D, 210D, 420D spandex and 40D or 30D nylon two-color to achieve higher pressure beyond the conventional ones to meet medical requirements.

2.7.5 Seamless Underwear

Seamless underwear is a newly developed technology in recent years. Because the clothes are woven as a whole and comfortable to wear, the use of spandex is essential. Generally, 20D/12D, 20D/30D, etc. are commonly used. Comfortable and body sculpting.

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