INVISTA, owner of the Lycra brand, is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the elastic spandex material often identified with professional bicycle racers and weekend marathon runners.
Dr. Joseph C. Shivers, a DuPont chemist, invented the original fiber in 1959. This year, the National Inventors Hall of Fame posthumously inducted Dr. Shivers into the Class of 2018.
"This is an exciting year for the LYCRA Â® brand as we pause to look back at how far we've come and look forward towards a bright future filled with innovative products designed to improve fabric performance," said Dave Trerotola, president of INVISTA Apparel, which is headquartered outside Wilmington. "Throughout 2018, we will be developing engaging content for our media channels that celebrates our brand's rich heritage."
Dr. Shivers first invented the material to replace the rubber threads in ladies' foundation garments, which gradually lost their shape and became uncomfortable. The fiber performed better than expected and soon found its way into other women's clothing and menswear.
Today the material is used in everything from athletic apparel to socks, swimwear, underwear and other common items.