Counterpoint: Lycra

Counterpoint: Lycra

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Ballymena, Belfast, Limavady, Londonderry, Maydown




Transmission 01/12/1990


23min 39sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


Presenter Jacqui Berkeley explores the synthetic fabric lycra.

Created in 1958 in DuPont's laboratory, it is made up of two basic chemicals that are mixed together to form a thick liquid substance before getting pumped into a spinneret, then pulled down and wound onto a bobbin. Trevor Witherspoon, Michael Mort and Wendy Watson-Cort from DuPont explain why it is important to protect their trademark and how women are becoming smart shoppers.

Next, the viewers are brought to Elastic Knitting in Ballymena, where the lycra is interweaved with other fabrics such as cotton and wool. Errol Hutchinson chats about the growth in demand. David Gilliland shows Berkeley around Daintyfit, a brassiere factory in Cookstown which purchases lycra. 

The designers give their input, with interviewees Helen Storey, Pat Young and Jackie Glowver all explaining the impact lycra has had on their craft. Features a very special interview with Mary Quant, here, she mentions that lycra 'really allows you to be quite sculptural with the clothes'. When asked about lycra in connection to the famous Mary Quant mini skirt, it's stated that the mini skirt "s here again now and it's more sophisticated and its sexier". 


Counterpoint is Ulster Television's landmark current affair series, which was also broadcast to a national audience on Channel4. Series' editor, Derek Murray described Counterpoint as addressing a "wide range of social concerns which affect every family in Ulster".


Presented by Jacqui Berkeley. 

Directed by Lynne Davison. 

An Ulster Television Production.  



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