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View Full Version : Is lycra a textile?



pwb
September 25th, 2009, 07:13 PM
I want to know, I really want to know how Lycra suits are going to be allowed under the new suit regime. Is Lycra really a textile? I want to know, really want to know why this particular man-made polyurethane-based material is somehow approvable, whereas the polyurethan-based material in the latest tech suits is somehow not approvable.

From lycra.com (http://www.lycra.com/g_en/webpage.aspx?id=142):

Product.
LYCRA® fiber is a man-made elastane fiber.

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex):
Spandex—or elastane—is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elasticity_%28physics%29). It is stronger and more durable than rubber, its major non-synthetic competitor. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers. When first introduced, it revolutionized many areas of the clothing industry.


"Spandex" is a generic name and not derived from the chemical name of the fiber, as are most manufactured fibers, but an anagram of the word expands.[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex#cite_note-textiles-0) "Spandex" is the preferred name in North America; elsewhere it is referred to as "elastane".[citation needed]


The most famous brand name associated with spandex is Lycra, a trademark of Invista (formerly part of DuPont). Such is the prominence of the Lycra brand that it has become a genericized trademark in many parts of the world, used to describe any kind of spandex. Invista discourages such use, protecting its trademark vigorously.

aquageek
September 25th, 2009, 07:26 PM
I think the word textile is the operative term here. A textile is:

fabric: artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers;

We know lycra is a synthetic fiber. I would therefore think it is a textile suit or garment based on how it is constructed or created. I do not think the current tech suits are woven, hence they are not textiles. If you look at your lycra suit after it has expired you can clearly see it is woven.

Good grief, if it isn't a textile, what the hell are we gonna wear? Racing in an endurance jammer is rough.

pwb
September 25th, 2009, 08:49 PM
I think the word textile is the operative term here. A textile is:

fabric: artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers;

So, presumably, some intrepid swimsuit company could weave the B70 material with something else?

I just really hope, once the rules are really, really final that the governing bodies produce a list of approved and non-approved suits for those of us without degrees in material science. I have to believe that coaches, parents, officials and us lowly masters swimmers will need black & white on what we can and can't wear without having to read bureaucratise.

geochuck
September 25th, 2009, 09:43 PM
If Lycra banned for swim suits wiil they be banned for all sports?? Track, cycling etc?

When I sold ladies wear on the road, I was told that Lycra was stretchy because the fibre was twisted and extruded in a manner that created the stretch and compression.

Ripple
September 26th, 2009, 09:19 AM
I think the so-called "rubber" suits are still lycra, but with a coating applied. Sort of like the coating on raincoat fabric. Lycra suit fabric is a knit, which contributes to the stretchiness. Descriptions I've read of "paper" suit fabric suggest that the yarn used is the same, but it's woven on a loom instead of knitted, which would make it slightly less stretchy.

Leonard Jansen
September 26th, 2009, 11:23 AM
Racing in an endurance jammer is rough.

Interesting. For the last 7 years I've used TYR Durafast jammers for both racing and practice. I've gotten faster (via training and not the suit) since I last used lycra jammers for a race, but perhaps I should try them again for races.

Just out of curiosity, can you really feel the difference or is it purely a matter of faster times in the lycra?

-LBJ

Leonard Jansen
September 26th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Just had a nutty thought (I have lots of these): Namely, what would happen if you took a pair of polyester jammers and dipped them in the rubberizing stuff that they sell at Home Depot. It's that stuff that people put cotton gloves in to make them waterproof.

Assuming that the suit didn't dissolve in the liquid, I guess you might need to find a way to spin it to remove the excess rubber gunk from the fibers while it was still wet. (I really don't think The Court Without Appeal would rule favorably on me using the washer for this.)

Hmmm.... I DO have some old jammers. I DO have a couple of dollars for a trip to Home Depot. The Court Without Appeal IS going out with her sister for the afternoon...

-LBJ

pwb
September 26th, 2009, 02:07 PM
Just had a nutty thought (I have lots of these): Namely, what would happen if you took a pair of polyester jammers and dipped them in the rubberizing stuff that they sell at Home Depot. It's that stuff that people put cotton gloves in to make them waterproof.
-LBJ

Let us know how this goes ... where there's a rule, there's a way around the rule.

orca1946
September 26th, 2009, 04:47 PM
Also, can we spray our jammers with camping waterproofing?

geochuck
September 26th, 2009, 04:53 PM
You can also spray any suits with Stain Master Carpet Protector, it repels water.

Allen Stark
September 27th, 2009, 01:51 AM
As I understand the rules(and they may change,and who knows what applies to masters anymore) it is OK for the manufacturer to put waterproofing on the suit,but adding it later is not.In fact I am not sure that any waterproofing is legal any more.

Chicken of the Sea
September 27th, 2009, 02:00 AM
So my ScotchGuarded (TM) control top nude-toe pantyhose won't be legal?

poolraat
September 27th, 2009, 10:18 AM
Recently I was talking about the suit issue with one of our former club swimmers that now lives and trains in Arizona. While talking about the gradual loss of water repellency of the fastskin suits he said that while in college, it was common practice to use Scotchguard on them to make them last a little longer.

dsyphers
September 27th, 2009, 07:39 PM
As I understand the rules(and they may change,and who knows what applies to masters anymore) it is OK for the manufacturer to put waterproofing on the suit,but adding it later is not.In fact I am not sure that any waterproofing is legal any more.

While this may be true, I know it is also common practice to use waterproofing sprays to extend the life, and keep the fabric stiffer, for textile-based suits like the TYR Aquapel and others. No meet official could ever tell it was used.

Once again, when the technology cat is out of the bag, it's really hard to get it back in. It is true -- given a rule there's a way around it.

hofffam
September 27th, 2009, 10:30 PM
Just had a nutty thought (I have lots of these): Namely, what would happen if you took a pair of polyester jammers and dipped them in the rubberizing stuff that they sell at Home Depot. It's that stuff that people put cotton gloves in to make them waterproof.

Assuming that the suit didn't dissolve in the liquid, I guess you might need to find a way to spin it to remove the excess rubber gunk from the fibers while it was still wet. (I really don't think The Court Without Appeal would rule favorably on me using the washer for this.)

Hmmm.... I DO have some old jammers. I DO have a couple of dollars for a trip to Home Depot. The Court Without Appeal IS going out with her sister for the afternoon...

-LBJ

The FINA rule includes a provision that prohibits suits from having more than 50% of their surface area covered in non-permeable materials or no more than 25% each of the upper or lower portion of a suit.

The B70 is essentially a lycra suit coated with a rubber-like material. Your Home Depot solution wouldn't pass the test assuming you covered the entire suit. The FINA ruling doesn't allow home-brew solutions anyway so unless you become a manufacturer and submit it to FINA for approval - it is irrelevent.

Leonard Jansen
September 28th, 2009, 07:41 AM
The FINA ruling doesn't allow home-brew solutions anyway so unless you become a manufacturer and submit it to FINA for approval - it is irrelevent.

I have no concern about whether it is FINA-legal or not. I am more interested in the experiment and the result. Keep in mind also that given the way that open water is going, it may be legal there. Finally, I am strictly old school in my beliefs about swim apparel FOR ME.

I am, however, curious.

-LBJ

hofffam
September 28th, 2009, 12:31 PM
I have no concern about whether it is FINA-legal or not. I am more interested in the experiment and the result. Keep in mind also that given the way that open water is going, it may be legal there. Finally, I am strictly old school in my beliefs about swim apparel FOR ME.

I am, however, curious.

-LBJ

Try it - and let us know how it works. I think the Home Depot rubber dip will not be flexible enough and it will be too difficult to apply thin in a DIY style.

But since I haven't tried it - what do I know?

Dolphin 2
September 28th, 2009, 12:55 PM
Yeeeee Gaaaads -more slicing an dicing the rules over "suit technology".

It's apparent this issue is never going to be resolved to anyone's liking and it's time for FINA to just TIVO back to the rules in effect in the 1970s and 80s and put all the worms back into the can -and seal the lid shut. :blah:

Dolphin 2

Chris Stevenson
September 28th, 2009, 01:06 PM
it's time for FINA to just TIVO back to the rules in effect in the 1970s and 80s

D2, are you aware that the movie "Click (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_(film))" was fiction?

Dolphin 2
September 28th, 2009, 02:29 PM
D2, are you aware that the movie "Click (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_(film))" was fiction?

Hey Chris
As I recall, the movie "Godzilla" was also fiction:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godzilla


D2

Speedo
September 28th, 2009, 02:45 PM
Unfortunately, it looks like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forrest_Gump was not.

3strokes
September 28th, 2009, 08:38 PM
I think the word textile is the operative term here. A textile is:

fabric: artifact made by weaving or felting or knitting or crocheting natural or synthetic fibers;

We know lycra is a synthetic fiber. I would therefore think it is a textile suit or garment based on how it is constructed or created. I do not think the current tech suits are woven, hence they are not textiles. If you look at your lycra suit after it has expired you can clearly see it is woven.

Good grief, if it isn't a textile, what the hell are we gonna wear? Racing in an endurance jammer is rough.

Pretty soon they'll require that each swimmer weave or knit their own (with proof.)

smontanaro
September 29th, 2009, 10:15 AM
(I really don't think The Court Without Appeal would rule favorably on me using the washer for this.)

Would she mind if you fished a salad spinner out of the back of the appliance graveyard???

S

Leonard Jansen
September 29th, 2009, 11:09 AM
Would she mind if you fished a salad spinner out of the back of the appliance graveyard???

S

Right now, I'm seriously in the dog house, so even that would be pushing it. I had thought of a salad spinner (we only have one, actually), but don't think it would generate enough force to drive the gunk off the suit to an adequate degree.

I've been too busy to get to this, but what I have decided to do is make a small "basket" out of chicken wire or 1/4" mesh screening, attach it to a rope, put the wet, gunky suit in it, take it out to one of our fields and spin it around as hard as I can. Hopefully, this will be enough to get rid of the excess.

The other thing I might try is taking a pressure washer and using that, hoping that the water won't take all the gunk off and/or keeping the gunk from adhering to the fabric. That might be experiment #2 - I have lots of old suits.

-LBJ

smontanaro
September 29th, 2009, 11:23 AM
Hmmm... What about thinning the gunk with something then spraying it directly onto the suit?

Leonard Jansen
September 29th, 2009, 03:19 PM
Hmmm... What about thinning the gunk with something then spraying it directly onto the suit?

INTERESTING.
I'll have to see what the solvent is that they are using and if I can dig some up.

Good idea, although I'm sure you'll get a NastyGram from The Court Without Appeal. ("Why are you encouraging him? He doesn't need any help in doing stupid things.")

-LBJ

shouldyswimmer
September 30th, 2009, 11:32 AM
Someone brought up them up before and USA Swimming just sent out a list for allowable swimsuits under their ruling and agonswim.com is referenced.

Does anyone know what fabric that they offer is better for racing? Paper, Speedline or Streamline? http://www.agonswim.com/cgi-bin/sales1/selectByFabric.cfm?page=all