Ever wear a rubber suit? You probably have whether you know it or not. Neoprene (original name Polychloroprene) is becoming more common in the fashion world all the time. Light, comfortable, and flexible, neoprene fabrics are incredibly versatile and can be used for almost anything. Here are some fascinating things to know about this space-age material.
Its most famous application is for use exploring the watery depths. If you've ever gone surfing or scuba diving and wore a wetsuit, you almost certainly wore neoprene. Resilient and UV-resistant, neoprene is perfectly suited for the active use and protection that snorkeling and other water activities require.
Sounds crazy, but it's true. NASA astronauts perform EVAs (extravehicular activities, or "space walks") in neoprene-coated nylon. So, the next time you think about buying that neoprene outfit, remember: if it's good enough for fixing the Hubble Telescope, it's can certainly withstand a cocktail party.
Developed in the 1930s as an oil-resistant material, not only is neoprene tough, but it's not in the least bit see-through. Always opaque, you'll never run the risk of wardrobe malfunctions ever again - at least not on accident.
Perhaps because of its success in the worlds of space and ocean exploration, neoprene is well-suited as a fashion material. Neoprene sheets are easy to work with because they require no lining, and they don't fray or slip. Its resiliency means it'll won't stretch over time, and its capacity for holding photorealistic patterns makes it perfect for utilizing digi-print designs, opening up all sorts of decorative possibilities.
If you're wearing a neoprene dress, you've got some company. This remarkable material has only grown in popularity over the years, and is commonly seen gracing catwalks all over the world. Among the designers who feature it are Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, and Louis Vuitton.
Between its versatility, durability, and capacity for showcasing gorgeous prints and colors, there's a reason neoprene has become a staple in the fashion industry.