Have you ever gone into an insulation installation business and wondered what material they use? The majority of the time, it's neoprene. The said material is a synthetic rubber material that has caught on in a big way since its introduction.
With the development of technology, some clothing companies have innovated their fashion by integrating modern textile materials like neoprene fabric. Neoprene has many benefits, and it's paramount to learn more about it. Here's what you should know about the material.
What is Neoprene?
Neoprene is an elastomeric material that was initially developed by DuPont in 1935. It was used as a shock-absorbing insulator for electrical wires. Nowadays, it has been utilized for designing heat-resistant and waterproof materials like wetsuits, diving equipment, and more recently, for medical applications.
In scientific terms, neoprene is chemically known as chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE). In simple terms, it's a rubber containing chlorine and sulfur. And the chlorine content in it makes it resistant to heat and water.
Neoprene is often confused with another type of rubber called nitrile, but the two have very different properties. Nitrile is more commonly used in medical gloves because it can be sterilized without degrading the material. Whereas neoprene is not as durable and will break down when exposed to certain chemicals, such as bleach or peroxide.
What is neoprene commonly used for?
Technically, neoprene has many industrial purposes because it provides excellent insulation. Also, it is most commonly used in consumer goods such as shoes and jackets.
Other uses are the following:
- Industrial hoses
- Surgical gloves
- Insulating materials
- Waterproofing materials
- Coatings for metal and wood surfaces
- Textile protection.
What is the difference between neoprene and polyester?
When it comes to clothing textiles, polyester always dominates the market. But neoprene is also a popular choice for many people, and please don't be confused between the two.
The differences between neoprene and polyester are numerous. Polyester is a synthetic fiber that's made from petroleum. It's a durable material that can withstand high temperatures and is often used in applications where flexibility is essential. This is also why it's commonly used in clothing textiles, like jackets and pants.
While neoprene is a synthetic rubber, it's a flexible material, often insulating things like refrigerators. It also has properties that make it ideal for making shoes and other clothing items.
Is neoprene fabric good for clothes?
Amidst its popularity in industrial uses such as making wetsuits and insulation, neoprene fabric is also used in many types of clothing. This material is typically easy to clean, water-resistant, and durable.
It's often used in athletic garments such as jackets or pants because it can help provide warmth or protection from the elements. Hence, you would see popular brands using neoprene. Also, accessories such as belts use neoprene too. That's how versatile it is!
Is neoprene safe to wear?
Generally, neoprene fabric is safe to wear. It's often used in clothing because it's waterproof, so you don't have to worry about sweat or other moisture getting through the material.
However, suppose you're allergic or sensitive to rubber or latex products (including those made from neoprene). In that case, you may want to steer clear of neoprene-based clothing items.
But to give you some idea, here is the list of materials that are not safe for textiles:
- PVC or vinyl, which is sometimes used in clothing to make it waterproof.
- Formaldehyde resin, which can be found in some artificial leather products.
- Nitrosamines, which are often used to treat fabrics. These chemicals have been linked to cancer risk and shouldn't be used in children's clothing
- Dyes, which may contain heavy metals that can be harmful.
- Phthalates, which are used to soften plastic and vinyl. These chemicals have been linked to hormone disruption and shouldn't be used in children's clothing.
Luckily, neoprene wasn't on the list, so be comfortable wearing one.
Neoprene Fabric Properties
When used as fabric, it shares similar properties as industrially used. Yet, the list below shows the properties that are relevant for clothes:
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber that's made from oil. It has high water resistance, making it an ideal material for making waterproof garments. Neoprene fabric is used in wetsuits and is also a popular choice for making raincoats. It's also resistant to staining and can be easily cleaned with soap and water.
Neoprene is also a good wind blocker, which makes it ideal for outdoor activities. It's often used in raincoats and coats because of its windproof properties.
Neoprene is also a good insulator. The material traps heat and prevents it from escaping, which means you stay warmer when wearing clothes made of neoprene. This property makes it popular for making winter coats and snow gear.
Neoprene is also very flexible and stretchy, which makes it a good choice for making wetsuits. The material stretches when you're wearing it, which means it doesn't restrict your movement as much as some other fabrics do.
Neoprene is also very comfortable to wear. It's soft and smooth, so it doesn't irritate your skin (if you're not allergic to it. The material is easy to clean and maintain, making it an ideal choice for clothing and accessories that will be worn frequently.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using neoprene. This stretchy material has a wide range of applications from military and aerospace to sports, medicine, and even your kitchen. No wonder why ComfyBelt became one of the best in the world.
You might be surprised by just how versatile neoprene fabric is, so keep this information in mind next time you need a comfortable solution with a bit of stretch.
Stretch your knowledge bank even more as you go through with our other selection of blogs. Enjoy!