Spandex or elastane is a synthetic fibre known for its exceptional elasticity. It is strong and more durable than rubber, its major non-synthetic competitor. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was invented in 1959 by chemist Joseph Shivers at DuPont's Benger Laboratory in Waynesboro, Virginia. When first introduced, it revolutionized many areas of the clothing industry.
The name "spandex" is an anagram of the word "expands". It is the preferred name in North America; in many European countries it is referred to as "elastane".