Spandex was invented in 1959 by Joseph C. Shivers, a scientist at the DuPont Benger Laboratory, and introduced as a product in 1962. Shivers gave it the brand name of Lycra. Spandex takes its name from the anagram of the word "expands," and is commonly known as elastane in Europe.
Spandex consists of a long-chain synthetic polymeric fiber and contains a small rubbery segment and a long rigid segment. The fibers are produced using four different methods: reaction spinning, solution wet spinning, melt extrusion and solution dry spinning. Approximately 95 percent of spandex worldwide is manufactured using the dry spinning method. Spandex is best known as a component of clothing such as pantyhose, swimsuits and bicycle shorts.