Women’s Leggings: 2-way versus 4-way stretch fabric

One of the most popular items you can currently find in almost every woman’s wardrobe is a great pair of leggings. They are a versatile basic that pretty much goes with everything. Leggings have been in style for as long as I can remember. And over the last few years, versatility in wear–dressed up or down–has become the foundation for athleisure style.

While some may think that all leggings are the same, there are different types of fabrics used to make these elastic leg coverings. For one, you have a fabric called 2-way stretch. This means that the material stretches in one direction, usually from selvage to selvage–the self-finished edge of the material that prevents it from fraying and unraveling.

Then there is 4-way stretch fabric, most commonly crafted from spandex. Unlike 2-way stretch fabric, 4-way stretch material stretches in both directions, crosswise and lengthwise. Now that you know how to tell the difference between 2-way and 4-way fabric, let us explore how leggings emerged in fashion.

Scientific efforts have created stretch fabrics with fibers using neoprene. From this research effort, commercial versions, such as spandex or elastane, were brought to the market in 1958. Stretch fabrics simplify the construction of clothing and were initially used in swimsuits and women’s bras. Fashion designers began using elastic material as early as the mid-1980s. They then entered the mainstream market in the early 1990s in athletic wear.

Now fast forward to 2020. Athletic wear and athleisure style are among the most popular fashion trends for women today. Leggings are bestsellers for both of these categories, and for good reason. These types of leggings are commonly made of 4-way stretch spandex fabric blends. Leggings made from this material type provide flexibility when wearing for exercise, which is perfect for both high impact and low impact workouts.

Boxercraft’s Love ’em Longer Leggings are a great example of a quality 4-way stretch fabric legging. They are durable, yet breathable, and perfect for yoga and other low impact activities. These leggings are also popular picks for athleisure wear. Available in staple colors including black, charcoal, and navy, Love ’em Longer Leggings make a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe.

Whether you wear leggings for exercise, everyday casual wear, or choose to dress them up, they are undoubtedly a great basic piece that women need in their closet. We’re curious to know, how do you like to wear and style your leggings? Leave your feedback in the comments below!