Schiesser Dictionary - Synthetic Man-made Fibers - Elastane

General Information

Elastane, discovered in Germany in 1937, has properties that cannot be found anywhere in nature. Its most important characteristic is its exceptional elasticity. Elastane can be stretched up to 4 to 7 times its original length, and returns back to its original length once released. Therefore, elastane threads have the highest stretching elasticity of all raw materials used in textiles. Compared with rubber, elastane is more durable and resistant to tearing, and has one to 3 times higher elasticity at one-third the weight.

Lycra® (Invista) and Dorlastan® (Bayer) are “segmented polyurethane.” This means the molecular structure is composed of longer, movable soft segments (SS) that detach from relatively short, harder segments (HS) in constant progression.

The manufacture of Lycra® and Dorlastan® produces a wide range of thread thickness varieties. Dorlastan® from 17 to 1280 dtex, Lycra® even from 11 to 2500 dtex.

Further Properties

- help provide a durable, correct fit
- offer a pleasurable degree of wear comfort thanks to their high elasticity
- offer durable resistance against deformation 
- are extremely durable
- are particularly easy to clean


Lycra® and Dorlastan® are never processed alone. Their beneficial properties are always combined with natural or synthetic fibers. There are two principal processing methods.

1. The pure elastane threads are interwoven and braided with nonelastic natural or synthetic fibers

2. The hard elastane threads are loosened or interwoven with other threads in a given material.

In all yarn varieties, Dorlastan® is used as the core and is processed with other textile yarns so that its design, scrub resistance and textile character are improved. Fields of application for the interwoven combination yarns are mostly weaving mills, knitting mills as well as the band and stocking industry.

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