So what is Spandex anyway?

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What is Spandex? Why is it used in men's underwear?

Carl Wesley Label

I get this question sometimes when I discuss different material options with clients so I thought I’d do a brief (get it) write up about it.

Spandex is a man-made fiber that is blended with other fibers (like cotton, polyester, etc.) to give fabric more stretch and recovery. Generally speaking, fabrics blended with spandex are better quality, which is why just about all the fabrics I use have a small percentage of spandex in them. 

A lot of people refer to ‘spandex’ as a type of fabric, but really it would be more accurate to say ‘fabric with spandex in it’ because it’s usually only a small percentage of the actual fiber content - 10% or less is normally what I see.

I wouldn’t expect to see spandex blended fabrics used in low-end underwear which are usually 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester.

You might also see ‘elastane’ or ‘lycra’ used on the care labels inside your undies. Spandex, elastane, and lycra are all basically the same thing.

Why is it used in men’s underwear? 

Men’s underwear blended with spandex fits better and is more comfortable to wear. Spandex fibers are also resistant to sweat and body oils which is an ideal characteristic for underwear. Because spandex fibers are durable and have good recovery, the underwear will retain their shape and last longer. 

So that’s the stretch on spandex. Here’s a cute video I found you might enjoy:

Lycra: A Brief History


One of my favorite parts of making underwear is selecting fabrics for a great pair. Click HERE to shop Carl Wesley underwear.

P.S. all the product pages have the fiber contents where you'll see 'Spandex' listed. :)

See you soon,

Wes, Owner and Designer


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