Stretch fabrics are fabrics manufactured from elastomeric yarns thereby having high elastic properties. Elastic stretch (extension) and recovery of fabric is the important property for functional wear like sportswear. It gives better performance by providing freedom of body movement. The parameters observed during the manufacturing of the stretch fabric influences the final stretch properties such as the level of stretch and recovery of the fabric.


The most important property requirement for stretch garment is in the order of body comfort fit, freedom of movement, breath ability and durability. Further, fabric elastic recovery is as important as stretching. Good elasticity of fabric will make a good sportswear. The degree and direction of elasticity determines the end use of stretch garments.

There are two methods by which stretch fabric can be manufactured. They are:

  • Spandex Core Cotton Spun Yarn Converted Fabric
  • Spandex Back Plaited Cotton Knitted Fabric

In stretch yarns produced by using core yarn spinning system, spandex is used as core and cotton as sheath yarn. Stretch yarn production using core spinning is coming down because of lower production rate in spinning and inconsistency in quality (sheath covering effect and dynamic recovery). In order to overcome the limitations of core stretch yarn production, plaiting technique was adopted in knitting. In this method, bare spandex is directly fed along with normal yarn during knitting. Cotton and spandex is passed through the same feeder to form a loop and to produce a fabric. Normal knitting machine has separate attachment at the top of the machine for spandex feed.

Not many attempts have been tried on elastic properties of spandex plaited knitted fabrics and hence it is necessary to evaluate the elastic properties of spandex plated knitted fabrics for the development of functional sportswear. So we have conducted a study on the effect of heat setting and compacting on the elastic properties of cotton/spandex knitted fabric.

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About the Authors:

The authors are associated with PSG College of Technology and PSG Polytechnic College, Coimbatore.