Polyurethane / Elastane

Polyurethane belongs to the group of chemical fibres of synthetic origin and is produced through the process of polyaddition. In this process two different monomers connect to one polymer.

Polyurethane was synthesised for the first time in 1937.

In the textile, industry polyurethane is mainly represented in the form as elastane fibres but is mostly used in the clothing industry as a coating (for example to water-proof jackets), faux leather, non-woven fabric or soft foam (for example in sneakers).

Modern techniques made it possible to create breathable PU-coats where steam can escape outside but moisture cannot enter inside. PU is a lot more environmentally friendly than fluorocarbon-DWR or PVC-coatings.

Abbreviation on care tag: PU

Let’s have a closer look at elastane fibres:

Elastane has to consist of at least 85% polyurethane, the other 15% are mostly polyester or polyethylene glycol. No natural product possesses such elasticity, which is about 500-700% and can completely retract into its former state. In comparison to rubber it is also a lot more durable and tear-resistant.

Properties of elastane:
- Very high elasticity (highest of all fibres)
- Light-resistant
- Fibres can be very fine
- Heat-resistant
- Tear-resistant
- Easy to clean

Abbreviation on care tag: EL, in English speaking regions often known under the name spandex, or brand names like Lycra.