Under Armour to Develop an Alternative to Spandex for Improved Comfort, Durability in Clothing

In January, Under Armour and Celanese Corp., a global specialty materials and chemical company, teamed up to develop a new fiber for performance stretch fabrics called Neolast. The fiber provides an alternative to spandex, the elastane fiber that is used predominantly to give stretch to apparel products.

Neolast, which Under Armour said offers durability, comfort and improved wicking to other performance fibers, use a proprietary solvent-free melt-extrusion process that eliminates hazardous chemicals typically used to create stretch fabrics with elastane.

And now, the sport brand has created its first product using Neolast, a performance T-shirt that it has added to its Vanish training offering. Vanish Pro T-shirts are light, stretchy, breathable and fast-drying, and will be offered in white with a black logo or black with a white logo. They will retail for $40 and be sold on the Under Armour website. They will initially be available only to UA Rewards members.

“We took a minimalist approach to the design of this shirt, eliminating distractions for the athlete and opting for classic lines that allow the Neolast material to shine,” said John Hardy 3rd, senior director of product for Under Armour. “The Vanish Pro Ts’ durable material will not only increase its lifespan, it will offer consistent fit and stretch throughout the garment’s life. We’re proud to have developed the first apparel with this innovation and are excited about bringing more performance garments that utilize the future of stretch to athletes everywhere.”

Kyle Blakely, senior vice president and head of innovation for Under Armour, added: “At Under Armour, our innovation heritage inspires us to relentlessly pursue better performing gear that is better for the athlete and planet. Part of the beauty of this material innovation is the value we’ve been able to add by taking things away. The Vanish Pro is a highly durable, performance stretch T made without elastane or solvents — and it’s just the beginning of Neolast’s potential. We look forward to introducing this revolutionary performance fiber across additional product lines as we work to scale it and evolve the broader industry landscape.”

Under Armour said it is planning to expand the use of the fiber and will use it in place of spandex/elastane across various product lines in the future, including men’s Heat Gear in the spring and summer of 2025.

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