The Clothing, Lingerie and Apparel Dictionary

Clothing: a covering designed to be worn on a person's body

Lingerie: women's underwear, nightclothes, and intimate apparel

Apparel: Clothing, especially outer garments or attire

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Caring for Your Spandex and Lycra Clothing

What is Lycra?

Originally developed as a replacement for rubber, LYCRAŽ, by DuPont, is remarkable for its ability to stretch many times its original length - and then snap back to its starting size with no loss to its spring.  A touch of Lycra adds comfort and freedom of movement and improving the fit, shape retention, drape and wrinkle resistance of the apparel.

There is really no such thing as a commercially available fabric made entirely of Lycra; it's never used alone, but is always combined with another fiber (or fibers), both natural and man-made. As little as 2 percent Lycra is enough to improve a woven fabric's movement, drape, and it's knack for holding its shape.  Whatever the blend, fabrics enhanced with Lycra keep the look and feel of the majority fiber.


Laundering Lycra

Machine washing and tumble drying are the preferred manner of laundering.

If the other fibers in the garment are machine washable and dryable, this should be the recommended method for cleaning. The heat generated by machine drying will help recover any lost stretch that occurred during the wearing of a garment. Thorough washing, rinsing and drying in machines brings out the best in Lycra.

Spandex/Lycra is a common fabric blend for most sexy clothes and club wear.


General Lycra/Spandex Fiber Care Tips

Hand or machine wash in lukewarm water on gentle cycle

Do not use chlorine bleach on any fabric containing spandex

Rise thoroughly

Drip dry. If machine dried, use low temperature

Ironing, if required, should be done rapidly. Do not leave the iron too long in one position. Use low temperatures setting. (For specific instructions, refer to garment's sewn-in care label)

Dry Cleaning Lycra

Dry cleaning Lycra is no problem. Although some solvents may temporarily swell the fiber, proper rinsing provided by a professional dry cleaner recovers all stretch and recovery properties of the garment. Lycra does retain the odor of dry cleaning solutions a little longer than most fibers, but it will quickly disappear with a little airing.

No Chlorine Bleach

To improve the life and look of garments with Lycra, the only thing that should be avoided is chlorine bleach. Aside from that, you need only provide the care determined by the other fabrics. Exposure to chlorine can lead to discoloration, stretch and eventual breakage of the Lycra fibers.

All-fabric bleach can be used for the laundering of garments with Lycra. It is particularly useful in preventing any graying of the fabric caused by absorption of soils and detergents.

Lycra Care: (from DuPont)

Since LYCRAŽ is usually the minority component in a given fabric, let the other fibers guide your care instructions. If other fibers or the trim or binding of a garment require hand washing, dry cleaning, or low-temperature washing and drying, their needs will determine the care instructions. Lycra will easily withstand repeated cleanings of all these types. When in doubt, wash or dry clean according to the primary fiber in the blend.

Contact us at: Please let us know of any lingerie or clothing names, terms, and phrases that we have missed.  We also want any special laundry hints and your tricks for dealing with difficult stains.  We are trying to make this Lingerie Dictionary a complete as possible and your suggestions are always welcome.