Comments Off on Sportswear History: The Turning Point Since The Invention of Nylon and Spandex
The invention of nylon in 1935 changed everything forever, including World War II (1939-1945) and sportswear. Nylon was created by Wallace Hume Carothers, a scientist at DuPont’s chemistry department, USA. With its elasticity, strength and flexibility more than any synthetic fiber at that stage, nylon is considered a super compound.
However, it was not until 1940 that nylon officially appeared on the clothing market when it was used to produce women’s socks. Aware of the flexible nature of nylon, the US began to use this compound for military purposes from 1941 to 1945. After World War II, the artificial fabric manufacturing industry exploded. DuPont started to manufacture and produce new fibers.
In 1952, acrylic material was born with the description of wool-like texture. A year later, a synthetic, wrinkle-free synthetic fabric called polyester was produced. Most notably, in 1959, DuPont announced an improved version of nylon – spandex. Spandex, also known as lycra, is the best stretchable material. In the same year, the first leggings made of spandex material appeared on the market. Not too thin and easy to tear like socks. Leggings have perfect elasticity and structure fit for all shapes. This has made leggings an indispensable item for women throughout the 1970s.
They were originally worn primarily by groups of people doing aerobics and yoga. Nowadays, women wear leggings as a fashion item. Leggings can be combined with mini skirt legs. You can also combine leggings with short dresses to create a youthful and dynamic look.
People do not use pure spandex to create fabric. They blend spandex with other man-made fibers to overcome their disadvantages. It can be said that this invention opened a new philosophy for the fashion industry, especially sportswear. In the 1950s, we saw the coverage of man-made fabrics in our lives, from underwear, swimsuits, sportswear to toothbrushes and luggage.
Artificial fiber is a revolutionary invention of the Americans. The sportswear gradually became American style. Interestingly, French fashion houses such as Jean Patou or Coco Chanel have been designing sportswear since the 1920s. However, they are not their mainstream designs, but belong to high-end products for customers.
The US sportswear format, meanwhile, is a mass-produced, affordable garment. Perhaps the French also acknowledge that. Evidence is that in 1955, Coco Chanel, Jean Patou and Christian Dior all applied artificial fibers to fashion shows in Paris.