What Temperature Damages Spandex

Spandex, a highly elastic synthetic fiber commonly used in clothing and athletic apparel, exhibits a vulnerability to damage when subjected to high temperatures. The risk of damage amplifies when spandex-containing garments are washed in hot water or placed in a dryer, as the elevated temperatures can lead to increased breakage of the delicate fibers. It’s crucial to exercise caution during the care of spandex garments, opting for cooler washing temperatures and avoiding excessive heat exposure to prolong their lifespan and maintain their shape-retaining properties.

What Is the Safe Temperature for Spandex?

Spandex is a versatile synthetic fabric known for it’s incredible stretch and recovery properties. It’s used in a wide range of garments including swimwear, athletic wear, and lingerie. Like any other fabric, spandex also has temperature limitations to ensure it’s durability and functional characteristics.

This temperature range allows for typical laundry processes such as machine washing and drying.

For instance, exposure to temperatures above 385°F (196°C) can cause spandex to lose it’s stretch and elasticity. This happens due to the denier reduction, which affects the fabrics ability to retain it’s original shape and fit.

Therefore, if a sheer look with reduced stretch is desired, a fabric temperature of 385°F (196°C) is recommended. It’s crucial to avoid subjecting spandex garments to excessive heat, such as ironing or machine drying on high settings, to prevent irreversible damage.

To safely care for spandex garments, it’s advisable to follow the garments care label instructions. Generally, it’s recommended to wash spandex items using cold water and gentle cycles. Additionally, air drying or using a low-temperature setting on a dryer is preferred to maintain the fabrics stretch and longevity.

The safe temperature for spandex generally ranges from 250°F to 300°F (121°C to 149°C).

However, despite it’s low heat resistance, many people still find spandex to be a comfortable and popular choice of fabric. It’s stretchiness and form-fitting nature allow for ease of movement, making it a go-to option for activewear, dancewear, and other clothing items that require flexibility. While it may not be the best choice for extreme heat or prolonged exposure to high temperatures, spandex can still be a suitable and stylish option for various occasions.

Is Spandex Hot to Wear?

The question of whether spandex is hot to wear depends on various factors. The chemical composition of spandex, which gives it it’s elastic properties, does make the fabric sensitive to heat. Spandex is made from a combination of different synthetic fibers, typically including polyester and polyurethane. These chemicals used in the production of spandex contribute to it’s low heat resistance.

The fabric may trap heat close to the body, hindering air circulation and leading to increased perspiration. This can make spandex garments feel hot and clingy, especially in hot and humid climates.

However, it’s always best to air dry spandex clothing to prolong it’s lifespan and prevent any potential damage.

What Happens if You Put Spandex in the Dryer?

When it comes to spandex, it’s important to handle it with care. This stretchy fabric doesn’t have a good relationship with heat, making the dryer it’s worst enemy. If you toss your spandex clothing, like bathing suits or leggings, into the dryer, youre asking for trouble. The heat from the dryer causes the fabric fibers to weaken and ultimately break. This can result in your once perfectly fitting clothes losing their elasticity and shape, leaving you with disappointment and a not-so-flattering look.

However, not all hope is lost. A minimal amount of spandex in a fabric blend can withstand the heat to some extent, but it’s still best to err on the side of caution. It’s always a good idea to consult the care instructions provided by the clothing manufacturer as a guide to ensure youre treating your spandex garments properly.

The consequences aren’t ideal. The heat causes the spandex fibers to become brittle, leading to their eventual breakdown. The garment will lose it’s stretchiness, becoming saggy and misshapen. Your once comfortable leggings will feel tight and uncomfortable, and your bathing suit will lose it’s ability to hug your body in all the right places. All of your efforts to maintain a stylish and flattering appearance could be lost due to one careless decision.

To avoid this scenario, here are a few alternatives for drying spandex clothes. To start, you can simply lay them flat on a clean towel or hang them to air dry. This gentle method preserves the fabrics elasticity and maintains it’s shape. Another option is to use a cool air setting on your dryer, as this reduces the amount of heat exposure. Additionally, you can utilize a drying rack or hanger to allow for proper air circulation during drying. These alternatives may take a bit longer, but they’re certainly worth it to extend the lifespan and overall quality of your beloved spandex garments.

Source: What happens if you put spandex in the dryer?..

Transition: Now that we understand the importance of using the appropriate heat transfer vinyl (HTV) for materials like spandex, let’s explore the process of heat transferring on spandex and the considerations involved.

Can You Do Heat Transfer on Spandex?

When working with spandex, it’s crucial to ensure that the heat transfer process is compatible with the materials elasticity. Spandex, also known as Lycra, is famous for it’s stretchiness, and therefore, conventional heat transfer vinyl (HTV) may not be suitable. HTV, a specialty vinyl polymer, is commonly used to create designs and promotional products on various fabrics, but it may not adhere properly or retain it’s appearance on spandex.

To address this concern, it’s essential to opt for a specific type of HTV known as stretch HTV. This specialized HTV is designed to stretch and move with the spandex fabric, ensuring a durable and visually appealing result.

For instance, if you’re working on a spandex garment that only contains a small percentage of spandex (such as the 1-2% typically found in denim), a regular HTV might be suitable.


The melting point for spandex is approximately 240°C, making it crucial to avoid subjecting it to extreme heat.