|Common Nicknames||Asha Stretchfabric, Asha Lycra|
|Origin||Unknown, assumed Asha weavers|
|Uses||Clothing of all classes|
Durable, light and naturally waterproof, Elastan is a fabric originating with the Asha. It is formed from the strange Elast threads produced by the Mewnes, a species of undersea coral. Sleek and dark blue upon being meticulously woven with the aid of Living Metal machines, the material has only increased in popularity over the past three decades for use and wear by many naval or water-focused peoples, or simply those who enjoy its body-hugging and feature-pronouncing nature. The material is thus one of the Ashal Islands largest trade goods.
Elastan is widely believed to be as old as the Asha themselves, but its use and creation are completely shrouded in mystery. For their part, the Altalar hold a weak claim to its creation, stating it was their master scholars of biology who found a use for the Elast threads excreted by the Mewnes species of coral. However, this knowledge was then “stolen” by the Asha slaves it was taught to, and so the product is rightfully that of the Est-allorn. However, many do not believe this claim, even among those who hold the Altalar in high regard. The Asha, for their part, are vague about when the material was first created. A catchy rhyming song, spoken in their tongue of Ibeth, speaks of Neithamun, whose net cast into the sea for fishing soon returned with threads she used to craft a better net. But, the net had no holes and ended up being worn as a cloak by her son Sobhotep, and he was pleased by it. This story is ultimately assumed by modern scholars as a remnant of Asha’s history, surviving from the Dewamenet Empire, and so some wholeheartedly credit Neithamun as the fabric’s original weaver. Regardless of its murky past, Elastan’s present is crystal clear. Soon after arriving on the Ashal Islands, the Asha began to manufacture the material, and before long, it became a chief export from their Fair-Ports. Foreign Ailor and other Races would come to serve as middlemen for the good’s transfer abroad, for while many Asha dislike this fact, some Altalar Types, and especially the Fin’ullen, adore the use of Elastan in their own fashion, with a similar case being true with the Ithanian Ailor. As a result, Elastan is wildly popular, often among groups living in and around the water, useful for showing off, but also protecting the body from the sea and spray. Bathing and diving suits made of the material have also increased in number since 300 AC, and it is likely that this growth will not stop any time soon.
Elastan is a naturally smooth material, sleek even, and gleams dark blue under the light. This effect is often only intensified after it has been in the water, with rivulets running down its waterproof surface. The material can be dyed in different colors, though this is rare, especially in Asha territory.
Elastan finds itself used in a range of clothing and fashion items, though is most commonly worn in the form of body sleeves that cover legs or arms, along with portions of the torso and lower body. The reason for the exposal of the chest largely comes down to Asha designs, and their weavers having a monopoly on Elastan fashion production. However, this suits groups like the Fin’ullen perfectly fine. Other uses for Elastan are common in swimwear among the Ailor, when caps on the head, or form-fitting garments for the body, help provide some modesty and skin protection while also showing off their own forms.
Elastan has no unnatural abilities, or special properties unlocked by the Asha Race alone. However, the material is known for its key trait of being waterproof, with water instead dripping off of it and allowing skin beneath to remain dry. For a Race as furry as the Asha, this is essential. However, Elastan has one other property few know the pain of, and that is its resistance to being dyed. While once believed to be impossible, the process was discovered after Ailor alchemists helped the Asha master the blend of chemicals and tradesman acts. As a result, a range of colors is possible with Elastan, but such colors are three times as expensive as the simple deep blue given the painful effort, and intensive time needed to dye the fabric’s threads.
- The only Altalar or Altalar-adjacent group the Asha can stand to trade their Elastan directly with are the Minoor, due to their strong anti-slavery stance. As a result, Minoor fashion often features Elastan as part of skin-tight bodices.
- While Living Metal is of great benefit to producing Elastan, it is not strictly required as Ailor weavers have been known to craft the material when directed and aided by Asha tutors. However, most Asha consider Elastan a precious material, and such an act requires a great deal of trust on the part of the Asha teacher.
- While the Songaskia often have their own fabrics and materials for covering up their bodies, Elastan has grown in popularity, particularly as a material to make Alounas, the Songaskian skin covering.