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Published on : Feb 10, 2016

Spandex is an artificial fiber, which is characterized by its extraordinary stretchable properties. The fabric is also characterized by remarkably high elongation at 400% to 600% break values. Spandex, also known as Elastane, is basically a synthetic long-chain copolymer of polyurethane-polyurea. These polymers are composed of rigid diisocyanate segmnets and malleable macro-glycol segments that are laid out in a specific manner. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission explains that the fiber-forming component in spandex is a long chain of synthetic polymer, which contains as much as 85% segmented polyurethane.

Spandex is utilizable for several applications due to its diverse applications in textile and clothing and healthcare industries. Casual clothing, undergarments, sportswear, and home-furnishings are the applications of spandex in textile and clothing industry. In healthcare, diapers, compression stockings and hoses, and bandages are some applications of spandex.

The demand for spandex is attributed to a few reasons. In developing nations of the world, increasing population coupled with rising disposable income is favoring growth of the spandex market. Clothing made of spandex have a high comfort quotient, thereby uplifting its use for varied types of clothing. Spandex is particularly suitable for active wear and sportswear for free movement of the body during the drill. However, economic slowdown in countries that are hefty importers of apparel products will be detrimental for growth of the spandex market.

Medical applications account for the largest application of spandex. Spandex is ideally suited in the manufacture of medical textiles and apparel. Increasing utilization of baby diapers, predominantly in urban areas is augmenting the demand for spandex for these products. Nevertheless, clothing applications of spandex will peg a higher market valuation in the coming years. 

Asia Pacific will emerge as a prominent market for spandex in the coming years. Robust economic development in the economies of China and India, leading to increasing purchasing power is the reason for this. In India, increasing awareness about importance of good health and the importance of exercise has been a reason for an upsurge of small manufacturers of sportswear and active wear. This has professed a substantially high demand for the fiber.