Leather with Lycra from DuPont combines the unique aesthetic and tactile qualities of leather with the exceptional stretch and recovery of Lycra. It combines the qualities of comfort and shape recovery for conventional leather end uses such as footwear, garment outerwear and even intimate apparel. Leather with Lycra also has significant advantages in furniture and automotive upholstery applications.

While leather has a certain amount of built in stretch, it has no memory, so leather shoes tend to lose their shape over time and leather garments develop unattractive bulges at the elbows or knees etc. By laminating natural leather hides to a substrate made of cotton and Lycra, a tanner can produce a product that not only offers improved fit, comfort and appearance but stays that way throughout its wear life. Manufactured according to standards established by DuPont, leather with Lycra ensures an optimum level of recoverable stretch consistent with consumer expectations in different types of garments and shoes.


There are two types of lamination technology: component lamination, developed specifically for footwear, and full hide lamination for apparel and upholstery end uses. In component lamination, the substrate is applied during the shoe fabrication process, resulting in a better fit without that painful breaking-in period. Component lamination improves comfort at critical points of the foot such as the toes, eliminating pinching and ‘hot spots’.

In full hide lamination, the backing fabric is applied during the leather making process and then cut into the desired shapes. Both processes are suitable for a wide range of leather and suede, including bovine, caprine, ovine and porcine.

Using these technologies, it is possible to engineer a consistent level of stretch of up to 40% in the leather (10-15% recovery to its original form). In addition to its stretch and recovery characteristics, leather with Lycra for apparel possesses a lightweight, supple handle that lends itself to soft styling as well as hard edge tailoring. Considering its multiple benefits, including the high consumer recognition of the Lycra brand, leather with Lycra is destined to have wide impact across the apparel/accessories spectrum.

The latest advances in this technology include the introduction of a number of washable leather with Lycra finishes. This is a great break through for the lingerie industry and certain sectors of apparel. The first worldwide use of these washable finishes was included in the latest collection of lingerie from the famous French designer Millesia in their autumn/winter 2002-03 collection.