Cover art for podcast Distillations | Science History Institute

Distillations | Science History Institute

295 EpisodesProduced by Science History InstituteWebsite

Each episode of Distillations podcast takes a deep-dive into a moment of science-related history in order to shed light on the present.


The Yoga Pant Problem

Yoga pants are having a moment. And while they’re not new, they’ve moved beyond the gym and yoga studio into nearly every corner of our lives.

This so-called athleisure wear trend has made a lot of people happy. “Once I wore [yoga pants], I never wore jeans again if I could help it,” says Sage Roundtree, a yoga instructor from North Carolina. But as comfy as the trend is, it has made a lot of people very unhappy—including the entire cotton industry. That’s because performance athletic wear isn’t made out of cotton. It’s made of synthetic fibers such as Lycra, polyester, and spandex. As demand for athleisure wear grows, demand for cotton shrinks.

Luckily, cotton has a few tricks up its sleeve to keep consumers interested—because this is only the latest episode in a decades-long rivalry between cotton and synthetic fibers.


Hosts: Alexis Pedrick and Elizabeth Berry Drago Reporter and producer: James Morrison Senior Producer: Mariel Carr Producer: Rigoberto Hernandez


Our theme music was composed by Zach Young. 

Additional music courtesy of the Audio Network

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