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Why Won't Spandex Snap Back?

Alan Spielvogel |

Q: After spotting fabrics that contain Spandex, why does the fabric distort or develop “blisters?”
A: Spandex yarns give the fabric the ability to stretch and recover (return to their prestretched state). Since Spandex yarns lack tensile strength, they often break from excess mechanical action (tamping or excessively heavy use of the spotting bone) while attempting to remove a stain on the spotting board.
When Spandex yarns break, the fabric in that area can no longer recover, and stays in its stretched state. This results in the distortion or blistering mentioned above.
Spandex yarns can also be affected by excessive heat and pressure from the spotting gun. For this reason, the gun should be held at least four inches away from the fabric.
Spandex yarns may swell and weaken from the use of Oily Type Paint Remover (OTPR), amyl acetate and chlorine bleach. Avoid tamping when using dry-side solvents and lubricants.
 

About the author

Alan Spielvogel

National Cleaners Association (NCA)

Technical Director

Alan Spielvogel is technical director of the National Cleaners Association (NCA).

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