THE LYCRA DEBATE – IS IT PANTS?
Super cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has opened a can of worms with his comments about men wearing Lycra, but not many men realise how much they already wear…
The word Lycra, a brand name for a type of elastane yarn, is often used as the generic term for brightly coloured, skin tight clothes favoured by cyclists and gym posers.
Many men shun 'Lycra' clothing, without realising this invisible yarn helps keep their underpants and t-shirts in shape, and is even used in many jeans, as well as some shirts and suits.
Lycra, like Spandex and other elastanes, is very fine (as a human hair), very strong and will stretch up to five times its original length without snapping. But this elastic is not invincible and when invisible elastane structure within a fabric breaks down (for example in men's swim trunks when it's attacked by swimming pool chemicals) you end up with bald patches – and this is known as 'grinning'.