When doing sports, you wear sportswear made of spandex. But does spandex keep you warm in the winter or cold weather? Let’s find out.
For undergarments, leggings, and other form-fitting clothing, spandex works well. But regrettably, it sometimes falls short in other areas, such as temperature control.
Does spandex keep you warm? Nobody stays warm in spandex. You must cover the spandex with thicker fibers, such as cotton, polyester, or wool if you want to stay warm.
Let’s examine what spandex can do and how it can be utilized with the proper blend of fibers so that clothing can keep you at the proper temperature.
Does Spandex Keep You Warm?
Although spandex is used in a wide range of outfits and situations, it doesn’t provide any additional warmth.
However, it can be combined with wool, which can keep you warm, or cotton or polyester, which isn’t very insulating. In actuality, only 1–10% of the garment contains spandex. The remainder, or 90–98%, is what determines whether a material is warm or cool.
The remarkable quality of spandex, also known as lycra or elastane, is its elasticity, which can stretch up to 6 times its length! The very name – “spandex” is an anagram of the word “expands.”
It is produced from petroleum and has a more technical chemical name the polyether-polyurea copolymer. Because spandex molecules have two components—a stretchy component and a stop component—they can regain their shape very effectively.
The first spandex was created in 1958 by a Virginia-born American man named Joseph Benger.
For the women who endured rubber foundation garments in the early 20th century, this was a blessing. Ladies now have more comfort thanks to the replacement of the unsightly rubber with spandex.
But as people realized there were more applications for spandex’s elastic qualities, the sports industry caught on. Cycling shorts, which were streamlined, improved the cyclist’s performance, and now athletes in almost every sportswear spandex – including the “round the block” jogger.
Slim-fit jeans, which are simple to wear and put on, became popular as women’s fashion caught on. Many of your clothes today likely contain spandex, lycra, or elastane. Even menswear is affected now.
Although spandex by itself does not keep you warm, there are many different combinations that can be made, some of which will be warm.
Does Polyester Spandex Keep You Warm?
Here are some things to know about polyester spandex and its warmth:
- Polyester spandex can provide warmth: Stretchable and flexible polyester-spandex can also be warm. A barrier that can trap heat and keep you warm is made possible by the fabric’s construction from tightly woven synthetic fibers.
- It depends on the thickness: The thickness of the fabric affects how warm the polyester spandex is. Compared to a thin one, a polyester spandex fabric that is thicker will be warmer. So pick an outfit with a thicker fabric if you’re looking for a warm polyester spandex outfit.
- It’s perfect for layering: Layering is made easy with polyester spandex. It can serve as a base layer, a layer underneath your clothing, or an outer layer. Polyester spandex can add additional insulation and warmth when worn under other clothing.
- It’s breathable: Polyester spandex is a breathable fabric that promotes airflow, keeping you at ease. It’s ideal for outdoor activities where you want to stay warm but don’t want to get too hot.
How Do You Keep Warm in Cold Weather With Spandex?
The key is to dress in layers. Every layer serves a different purpose.
- Base or inside layer
- A middle layer
- The top or outside layer
The Base Layer
As you need a body-hugging, lightweight layer, this is where spandex comes in handy. The heat from our bodies may be trapped by this.
To remove heat from your body, synthetic thermal underwear combines nylon, spandex, and polyester. This helps to keep you warm when combined with wool. Additionally, the wool element wicks away moisture, preventing you from drowning in your own perspiration. This layer needs to be thin to allow for proper moisture wicking.
Don’t forget about your legs either, as they can be very exposed and cause you to lose a lot of heat. Men’s lycra tights could be very useful. (With looser-fitting over trousers, they can always conceal the figure-hugging lycra.)
The Middle Layer
In this situation, you should wear warm clothing, such as a fleece or wool sweater, along with warm pants. Often, a blend of natural and synthetic fibers, including spandex, works well.
Fleece is typically made of a cotton or polyester blend with a touch of spandex to give it better elasticity and to help the garment regain its original shape even after extended use. The spandex makes the fleece more durable than if it were made only of wool, polyester, or cotton.
The Top Layer
It must be strong and long-lasting because it shields you from the elements. 15% of spandex is found in materials like Gore-Tex, which also has minute holes to let liquids pass through. For the same reason, vents at the armpits are frequently a feature of jacket designs.
It is simple to remove a layer if all of this makes you feel too warm.
Don’t Forget the Headgear
Spandex, a material that is perfect for tight-fitting bathing hats, is used in popular beanies to keep them from blowing off in strong winds, which is a crucial way to lose heat quickly.
Best Materials to Keep You Warm During Winter Activity
- Wool: Wool is a great material for activewear in the winter. Because it is warmer and softer than other types of wool, merino wool is particularly well-liked. It is a good long-term option because it also wicks sweat and is particularly resistant to wear and odor.
- Silk: An additional natural material that can keep you warm in the cold is silk. As it wicks moisture and aids in heat retention, it is best used as a base layer as opposed to an outer layer. The downside is that this warm fabric can be a little more expensive than other material options. It is smooth and comfortable, though, and warm.
- Down: The likelihood that something is filled with down increases if you have a puffy winter coat or a fluffy comforter on your bed. The feathers or down of ducks and geese are a natural material known as “down.” Your coat will be warmer the more down you stuff inside of it.
- Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic fabric primarily made of woven plastic. Since it offers such good insulation, base layers are frequently made of it. Due to its ability to fend off moisture and block wind, polyester is one of the warmest fabric choices for clothing.
- Polypropylene: Due to its superior moisture-wicking qualities, polypropylene is a tough, hydrophobic material that works well for vigorous physical activity. It’s not particularly warm, but if you plan to perspire a lot while exercising in the winter, a polypropylene base layer might be the right choice for you. You should be careful around fires or when drying gear made of this material because it is not heat resistant.
Final Words: The Warmth of Spandex
When combined with wool, spandex, which by itself has no effect on body temperature, becomes a warm fabric. So, no, spandex won’t keep you warm, but if used wisely, the material mixed with cotton and especially wool will.
With these hints and techniques, you can wear spandex with assurance and stay warm during the winter.
Is Spandex An Insulator?
Spandex in itself provides no insulation, and therefore in winter sports applications, it’s combined with other fabrics.
What Material Prevents Cold?
The book said that materials that trap air like polystyrene and wool are good insulators. Heat is well-conducted by metals like aluminum. Because it restricts heat transfer in every way possible, a thermos is effective at keeping things cold.