Discover one of our most popular fabrics...


In the dance and performance world, Lycra is the staple fabric for almost all dresses and performance wear as dancing requires fluidity of movement, flexibility, and comfort. This is why Lycra has become such a popular fabric choice for dance dresses and costumes.

Lycra, also known as Spandex, is a synthetic material that stretches well and bounces back to its original shape. With its unique 4-way stretch capabilities and range of finishes, this fabric is great for cutting-edge designs.

This fabric is popular for dance outfits because it looks good and allows for easy movement. It helps your costume move well with your body and lets you perform at your best.

Lycra Fabric Qualities

Stretch and elastane fabrics are popular quality fabrics, often chosen by dress makers for their stretch, durability, and versatility. They are ideal for both amateurs and professionals dressmakers.

At Chrisanne Clover, we have two main types of Lycra Fabric: matt Lycra and lustre Lycra. The latter, has a slight sheen finish that adds a different quality to any garment. All our Chrisanne Clover stretch fabrics are available in our full colour-matched range. Dress designers can create different styles using a range of components, with peace of mind that each design will complement the chosen Lycra and match each dancer's unique taste.

What are the benefits of Lycra for dance dresses?

Monica's couture featuring black matt lycra on the right side of the bodice


Flexibility - The incredible stretch and recovery of this fabric allows complete freedom of movement. Dancers can stretch, kick, leap, and twirl without restriction.

Comfort - Lycra moulds to the body like a second skin. It doesn't restrict or pinch. This enables dancers to perform for long periods without discomfort.

Breathability - These fabrics breathe well, wicking moisture away from the skin. This prevents overheating and sweat-soaked fabrics.

Shape retention - Lycra holds its shape through repeated stretching and releasing. Costumes keep their flattering silhouette performance after performance.

Durability - The resilient fibres resist runs, tears, and pulls even after hours on the dance floor. Garments last and retain their elasticity through countless wears.

Style - Lycra's clinging stretch is perfect for the glamorous, body-conscious silhouettes favoured in dance wear. It highlights the dancer's form and movement.

Our Specialist Finish Lycra Fabric

Today, there are many different types of Lycra available for a special effect and higher impact. Amongst these are patterns and prints to suit every vision:

  • Metallic
  • Abstract print
  • Floral print
  • Animal print
  • Foil on
  • Hologram
  • Gloss leather effect
Popular Uses in Dance Costumes

Natasha wearing her couture featuring gold metallic lycra panels


In our world of Ballroom & Latin dancing, Lycra forms the basis of almost every dress – literally. Competition dresses usually have a leotard base.

Typically, the dress base consists of Lycra and is either the same colour as the dress or a flesh tone. This choice of material helps with lighter colours and prevents the fabric from being see-through.

Here is a list of some parts of a dance dress that can use Lycra:

  • *The leotard base
  • *Bodice panels of a ballroom or Latin dress
  • *Strips of fabric fringing as the basis for crystal embellishment
  • *Gauntlets or sleeves
  • *Longer dress panels in ballroom dresses between lighter weight godets
  • *Applique for cut out designs over a stretch net base
  • *Covered belts, armlets and 3D applique


Mixing Lycra With Other fabrics


As Lycra is one of the more substantial and robust fabrics we use in dance wear, it helps to add structure to a design. However, it can be too heavy to use on its own, especially for a ballroom dress.

Popular combos:

  • *Lycra bodice over a stretch net upper body/sleeve
  • *Lycra applique sections over a stretch net base
  • *Lycra leotard under a crepe or stretch net dress layer
  • *Lycra dress panels with satin chiffon or georgette godets
  • *Lycra layered under stretch net for a double dress bodice with enhanced texture


Learn more about our Lycra range, colours, and prints by checking out our catalogue or purchasing a Chrisanne Clover sample book.