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The terms Lycra(R) and Spandex refer to the same elastic fiber. Lycra(R) is Dupont's trade name for Spandex and it has become commonly used to refer to many stretch knits containing Spandex.
Lycra (or Spandex) knits have different stretch characteristics. Raschel knits have Lycra-containing yarn in one direction only. They have much lengthwise stretch but no more crosswise stretch than ordinary knits. Tricot knits contain Lycra in both directions. Lengthwise and crosswise stretch is nearly equal in Tricot knits.
When laying out patterns with Raschel knits, remember that the greater stretch must do AROUND you body, legs and arms. Tricot knits, on the other hand, may often have pattern pieces oriented either lengthwise or crosswise.
This swatch set includes Spandex, and Supplex Supplex Lycra® in solid colors. They are considered Tricot knits, that is, having equal stretch in both lengthwise and crosswise directions. However, because Tricot knits may vary, it is important to determine if there is a direction of greater stretch and have that greater stretch go around your body, legs and arms. The lengthwise grain (selvage) runs the 5" length of the samples in this swatch set.Availability and price subject to change.