It's all about the Stretch !
We have many customers who refer to our PVC fabric as PVC Spandex Stretch. Whisper it quietly but it does not contain any spandex or elastane for that matter.
Well, why and how does it stretch then?
Read on for a quick explanation.
We do enjoy the technical construction side of fabric but will keep it simple and to the point.
The face of the PVC is 100% PU which is short for Polyurethane. The backing of the fabric is constructed of 100% polyester and the generous stretch the PVC is because the polyester is not woven but knitted.
Woven fabrics are created by interlacing yarns at right angles to each other, the lengthwise yarns are called the warp and the crosswise yarns are called the weft. The weaving process creates a strong and stable fabric that is typically more rigid than knitted fabrics.
Our PVC backing is knitted so the fabric is made by interlocking a series of loops, each loop of yarn is connected to the loops above and below creating a series of interconnected loops which form to create the fabric backing. When the fabric is pulled the loops of yarn are able to stretch and compress allowing the fabric to expand and then contract back to its original shape.
Additionally, our PVC has its stretch along the width, or crosswise known as the weft direction, the loops of the weft direction (width) have been created so they can stretch and compress more than the yarns in the warp (length) direction.
Having a 1 directional stretch makes the PVC slightly easier to manufacture with as opposed to a 2 directional stretch along the length and width. Econyl fabrics are a good example of this.
The stretch in the width is approximately 10% which gives you the perfect mix of flexibility and comfort for outfits & costumes, allowing clothing to conform to body shapes making it ideal for figure hugging wear.
So, there you have it the stretch without the spandex !