A new lingerie term has popped up recently. The term “spacer foam” is being used when describing some new t-shirt or contour bras. Currently several bras on the market use this spacer foam as the fabric in their seamless bras. So, what is it?
We all know what corrugated cardboard is. It has a top and bottom layer with a wavy layer between the two to give the cardboard a thickness. Well, spacer foam is very similar. Actually knit on a machine, spacer foam has a top and bottom layer with filaments in between that can be adjusted to create a thickness to the knit. So, basically, little air pockets are created and this spacer foam has a very cushiony feel to the hand.
This is actually quite revolutionary in the industry. More and more, the contour or t-shirt bra has become every woman’s staple in her lingerie drawer because she likes the modesty and shape it provides. Traditionally, a contour bra uses two pieces of fabric which are then glued to a thin foam to create the cups. The problem has always been with the lighter colored fabrics, especially white. Once the glue hits the air, it turns yellow. This is why it was almost impossible to find a white t-shirt bra. The creation of spacer foam or spacer fabric eliminates the layering and gluing of three pieces of fabric. Therefore, a white bra with modesty padding is now a possibility. Additionally, the thickness and density of spacer foam can be regulated at the knitting machine. Thus new padded bras can now be created that don’t require additional padding.
Another advantage to spacer foam is that it allows air to pass through. This makes bras with spacer foam much more comfortable to wear. Contour bras traditionally do not breath, and thus became hot, with moisture getting trapped inside the cups.
Currently spacer foam or spacer fabric is very expensive due to the fact that far more yarn goes into the making of it than traditional knits, and more time is required on the knitting machines. There is also an added expense in molding this fabric into a cup shape using a special finishing process. However the benefits of being lighter weight, breathable, and able to be made in light fabrics seems to justify the added expense. One final note; there is a cheaper version of spacer foam on the market. However, because it is not the real thing, it does not perform the same or keep its shape as long. So, spacer foam is an exciting new innovation to the lingerie industry. I predict you will see spacer foam replacing most or all contour or t-shirt bras in the near future.
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