Techtextil North America

Free membership

Receive our weekly Newsletter
and set tailored daily news alerts.


Lycra celebrates 60 years of innovations

Invista makes donation to National Inventors Hall of Fame to honour fibre’s inventor.

4th May 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Wilmington, DE

Clothing/​Footwear, Sports/​Outdoor

Invista makes donation to National Inventors Hall of Fame to honour fibre’s inventor. © AATCCInvista is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Lycra fibre, the original spandex fibre that revolutionised the fashion industry, with a donation to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Dr Joseph C. Shivers, a DuPont chemist, invented the world’s best-known branded fibre in 1958, changing clothes and the way we wear them.

Sixty years later, Dr Shivers is being recognised for his invention by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, where he will be posthumously inducted into the Class of 2018. The gala ceremony took place yesterday in Washington, DC.

“This is an exciting year for the Lycra brand as we reflect and look back at how far we’ve come and look forward towards a bright future filled with innovative products designed to improve fabric performance,” said Dave Trerotola, president, Invista Apparel. “Throughout 2018, we will be developing engaging content for our media channels that celebrates our brand’s rich heritage.”

Originally invented to replace rubber threads that caused ladies’ foundation garments to lose their shape and fit over time, and, made them hot and uncomfortable to wear, Lycra fibre outperformed the natural fibre it replaced by adding lasting comfort, fit and the ability to move freely.

Lycra fibre in the making. © Hagley Museum and Library“It quickly became apparent that Lycra fibre had the power to transform other types of women’s clothing and menswear too,” the company added. Today, this fibre can be found in virtually every piece of clothing, including lingerie, underwear, denim, activewear, hosiery, socks, swimwear, and ready-to-wear pieces. It has also been the catalyst for the development of new multi-billion-dollar segments across shapewear, stretch denim, compression sportswear and athleisure apparel.

“What began six decades ago as a single elastic fibre renowned for its ability to stretch and snap back to its original shape, time after time and wash after wash, has evolved into a portfolio of over 200 differentiated fibres designed to meet a wide variety of consumer needs. Each one is engineered to improve fabric aesthetics and add lasting performance benefits that continue to drive sales for leading clothing brands and retailers around the globe,” the company concluded.

Latest Reports

Business intelligence for the fibre, textiles and apparel industries: technologies, innovations, markets, investments, trade policy, sourcing, strategy...

Find out more