Stretch fibers like elastane (spandex) have become popular with women and men because they offer a softer, more comfortable fit. And while jeans traditionally have been a masculine-oriented clothing item, many brands are now turning them into sportswear-inspired designs that appeal to both genders.
Denim is typically woven with 100 percent cotton, but mixing in 1 or 2 percent elastane fibers is common to make it a little softer on the skin. This innovation is becoming increasingly important because consumers seek a more comfortable and flexible option when buying a new pair of jeans.
Stretch and Recovery
The most obvious benefit of two stretch fibers is that it allows for a broader range of healthy options in denim. This is especially important in America, where men prioritize comfort over everything else.
This is because classic denim jeans are often rigid, preventing movement and limiting daily flexibility. These fabrics take a long time to break in and can be uncomfortable.
Fortunately, these problems can be solved with a simple change in the production process. This is where the emergence of dual core-spun yarns becomes essential.
These yarns have the advantage of combining the properties of elastane with the dimensional stability and strength of filament. These combined characteristics provide a more durable denim fabric.
Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the effect of cotton-wrapped elastic dual core-spun yarns containing elastane such as LYCRA and filament on the performance properties of denim fabrics. Three groups of denim fabrics were produced using cotton-wrapped elastic dual core-spun cords with different types of filaments and different ratios of elastane in the core.
It was found that the shrinkage values of the denim fabrics with the lowest elastane draw ratio decreased significantly. This was mainly due to the combined effect of the change in elastane draw ratio (t2) and filament type (t1) on the denim fabrics.
The problem with traditional stretch denim is that it is usually made from elastane or other petrochemical fibers, which take centuries to break down and release polluting microplastics into the environment. Italian mill has patented a biodegradable fabric that replaces these synthetic fibers with natural rubber from rubber trees, which decomposes after just six months in a compost bin.
This biodegradable fabric is woven from organic cotton wrapped around a natural rubber core and elasticized. As a result, the material is incredibly durable and high-performing in elasticity and recovery.
It’s also less likely to be harmed by pests. The use of insecticides on cotton is not only harmful to the environment but can be toxic for farm workers and lead to several health issues, according to Candiani.
Despite the benefits, however, making biodegradable jeans mainstream takes work. The fabrics are more expensive than their counterparts – 30%-50% higher – so brands have to find ways to price them competitively.
Denim is one of the most durable and versatile fabrics, with various styles to suit every taste. It is commonly used for casual wear, sportswear, and even as a base layer in winter.
It has an authentic look and feel, is easy to care for, and can fade to an excellent, dark color with minimal maintenance. It is also great for casual, active lifestyles like biking, hiking and boating.
However, the downside to jeans made with stretch fibers is that they can sag over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to buy them tight at the start, so they don’t get too baggy.
Thankfully, some companies have found ways to make jeggings or super stretch jeans that don’t sag over time, such as DL1961 and Yoga Jeans. The older versions are poly/cotton, but the newer ones are made from elastane and lycra, so they don’t stretch out over time and are very flattering.
These jeans will also fit a range of different-sized people, as they are made with a lower percentage of cotton than most other brands. That makes them comfortable and handle various body types, as cotton has less give than polyester or elastane.
Performance stretch fibers are a game-changer for denim because they stretch with you, provide extreme comfort, and retain their signature shape all day. This gives jeans a more comfortable fit that is easier to put on and take off and helps promote size inclusivity.
Another benefit of performance stretch fibers is that they are a sustainable option because they are produced from natural materials, meaning no toxins are released into the environment. This makes them ideal for a cradle-to-factory approach to sustainability.
In addition, performance stretch fibers are breathable, meaning they move sweat away and keep your body cool and dry. This is a great benefit for active men and women who want a pair of comfortable and durable jeans.
This study investigated the effect of dual core-spun yarns that contain elastane and filament on denim fabrics’ performance properties. Materials were tested for tensile and tearing strength, bending rigidity, stretching (elongation, maximum elongation, permanent elongation, elastic recovery), air permeability and bagging characteristics. The results showed that the density of filament yarn and elastane draw ratio significantly impacts the fabric’s elasticity.