When choosing things to update our wardrobe, we rarely think about how safe they are for the body. As a rule, the main selection criteria are the aesthetics of the thing and its price. It is not surprising that then an allergy of unknown origin is found in the form of a persistent runny nose or a rash on the body.
Should you buy synthetic clothing and how to choose it with the least health risk?
The content of the article:
- Composition of synthetic fabrics for clothing and linen
- Cons of synthetic clothing
- Pros of synthetic clothing
- Rules for choosing and caring for synthetic clothing
Composition of synthetic fabrics for clothing and linen
The very first artificial fibers became known in 1900, when the synthesis of petroleum products was first carried out and polymers were obtained, on the basis of which they began to produce synthetic clothing. The first patent was issued in the 30s of the 20th century, and already in 1938 the industrial production of such clothes began.
And, if in the 60s we perceived synthetics as a cheap substitute for high-quality natural fabric, today, when buying synthetics, we may not even notice it.
Composition of synthetic clothing – what are our dresses and tights made of?
New technologies are regularly introduced in the production of artificial threads.
Moreover, today not only oil refined products are turned into bright fabrics, but also components of metals, coal and even natural gas. For 2017, more than several thousand fibers of chemical composition have been invented!
All synthetic fabrics, according to their chemical structure, are divided into …
- Heterochain (approx. – from carbon, sulfur and chlorine, fluorine, nitrogen and oxygen): polyamide and polyester fabrics, as well as polyurethane.
- Carbochain (approx. – from carbon atoms): polyvinyl chloride and polyethylene, polyacrylonitrile and polyvinyl alcohol.
In total, today there are more than 300 types of synthetics, but most often we find things from the following materials on store shelves:
- Lycra (approx. – polyurethane synthetics). The names spandex and neolane, elastane and dorlastane are also used in the trade. Features: the ability to reversible mechanical deformations (stretching and return to the original state); loss of elasticity with a strong increase in temperature. It should be noted that pure polyurethane threads are not used. As a rule, they are used as a base, stringing other fibers on top. Such things do not wrinkle, retain their elasticity, color and shape, “breathe”, and are resistant to abrasion.
- Nylon (approx. – polyamide synthetics). Names used in trade: helanka and jordan, apron and taslan, as well as meryl and anid. The most popular representatives of this group are nylon and nylon. The latter, by the way, once replaced the silk used for parachute fabrics. Polyamide threads are used in the production of tights and leggings. The presence of nylon and nylon in the fabric by only 10% significantly increases the strength of the fabric, and without compromising hygienic characteristics. Features: does not rot, keeps its shape, has lightness and high strength, has low resistance to high temperatures, does not hold heat, does not absorb moisture, accumulates static electricity.
- Lavsan (approx. – polyester synthetics). Trade names: tergal and dacron, polyester and lavsan, trevira and terylene. Such fibers are often used in the production of curtains or, with the addition of natural fibers, to create suiting fabrics, coats or faux fur. Features: wear resistance, high temperature resistance.
- Acrylic (approx. – polyacrylonitrile synthetics). Or artificial wool. Trade names: nitron and acrylane, dolan and kashmilon, orlon and dralon. Used for upholstery fabrics, artificial fur, mattresses. Features: resistance to fading and high temperatures, no pellets, lightness and strength.
- Dynema and Spectrum (approx. – polyolefin synthetics). Trade names: meraclone and found, spectrum and ulstren, herculon and tekmilon. Used for sportswear, upholstery, tarpaulins and carpets. And also for socks and linen with the addition of natural fibers. Features: lightness, low hygroscopicity, high thermal insulation, almost zero elongation, low temperature resistance.
- Polyvinylchloride synthetics. Trade names: vignon and chlorine, teviron. Used for sewing workwear, artificial fur / leather, carpets. Features: resistance to aggressive “chemistry”, instability to temperature effects, shrinkage after temperature / processing, low electrical conductivity.
- Polyvinyl alcohol synthetics. These include mtilan and vinylon, curalon and vinol, vinalone. Used for the production of underwear and socks together with viscose and cotton; for surgical sutures, home textiles, sportswear, etc. Features: strength and resistance to light and temperatures, high hygroscopicity, low resistance to chemical attack.
It happens (and, unfortunately, not rarely) that manufacturers, in pursuit of cheaper products, change the technological process, or even use prohibited components. There were cases when, as a result of examination, carcinogens and formaldehydes were found in clothes, which exceeded the norm by 900 times.
There are many cases in Russia when children and adults suffered from low-quality synthetics.
Therefore, when choosing clothes made of synthetics the manufacturer should also be considered (You should not buy synthetic things “for a penny” in the passage or in the market around the corner).
Cons of synthetic clothing – how can synthetic clothing or underwear harm?
Experts unanimously recommend giving up things that consist of 100% synthetic fibers… Contact with such tissues can lead not only to dermatitis or allergies, but also to more serious consequences.
The maximum allowable rate of synthetics in the fabric is no more than 30%.
What are the disadvantages of synthetic fabrics?
- Build up static electricity. It seems to be a trifle – crackling, sparks, but according to studies, static electricity has negative consequences both for the nervous system and for the heart. And then we wonder why the head hurts, the sleep is disturbed and the pressure jumps.
- Rapid contamination of tissues by microorganisms. Many do not know that spores of fungi and mold grow very quickly between the fibers of synthetics, which, if they get on the mucous membranes, cause serious diseases. This is one of the reasons why gynecologists recommend buying underwear exclusively from natural fabrics.
- They cause dermatitis, itching, allergies. And if harmful components are present in the composition, they can also cause serious diseases, including asthma, chronic allergies, and so on.
- Low hygroscopicity. That is, poor moisture absorption quality. Considering that the skin tends to secrete sweat, which needs to evaporate somewhere, this quality of synthetics is one of the reasons to refuse it. With these properties of the fabric, a comfortable environment is created for the reproduction of harmful bacteria with all the ensuing consequences.
- Disruption of the body’s natural heat exchange and the lack of full air exchange.
- Accumulation of unpleasant odors (pretty fast).
- Poor washing.
- Long-term release of volatile fiber components, including toxic ones, when ironing linen. Such components can be released throughout the year.
Who is synthetics contraindicated for?
- First of all, allergy sufferers.
- People with skin problems.
- Children, expectant and nursing mothers.
- Cancer patients.
- With hyperhidrosis.
It should be noted that most of these disadvantages are possessed by the lowest-quality and cheapest garments, consisting of synthetics practically completely, or 100%…
Advantages of synthetic clothing – when can synthetic clothing be more useful than clothing made from natural fabrics?
Is there a quality synthetics?
Yes, there is.
We can say more: modern fabrics made of synthetic fibers, for the most part, are hypoallergenic, and have a lot of advantages:
- Health safety.
- High strength.
- Long service life without loss of quality.
- Breathable fabric composition.
- Absorption of moisture and its accelerated evaporation.
- The presence of granules with antibacterial, tonic or even fat burning properties.
- Wear resistance.
- Resistant to rotting, mold or pest infestation.
- Fastness of color and shape.
- Fast drying.
Modern synthetics does not stretch or shrink, does not wrinkle and is easy to wash… It serves for years, and the presentation of the product remains original.
Of course, such things are not cheap, and a thin artificial silk blouse can hit your wallet for 5000-6000 rubles.
However, things that are “closer to the body” are still recommended to choose from natural fabrics, but synthetics are also suitable for outerwear.
Learning to choose synthetic clothing – basic rules for choosing and caring for synthetic clothing
Even 15-20 years ago, we did not particularly care about the dangers of synthetics for the body, gladly buying up bright blouses, dresses and children’s tights with suits that poured onto the shelves.
Today, even children know about the dangers of synthetics, and doctors are sounding the alarm because of the increase in the number of allergy sufferers and others affected by low-quality materials (including Chinese dishes, building materials, etc.).
How to choose things made of synthetics in order to protect your health?
- Examining the label. The minimum proportion of natural fibers in the composition is 70%. If synthetics are more than 30%, we put the thing back on the shelf and look for another.
- We evaluate the appearance – we are looking for a marriage, we check the thing for smell, we analyze the paint on the fabric. If there is an unpleasant smell from the thing, we can safely refuse it. Remember that washing from toxic components in the composition of the fabric will not save you – they will stand out every time you wash, iron, etc.
- We take into account the seasonality. A fleece sweatshirt keeps warm well and is suitable for the winter, and a nylon raincoat for a rainy autumn, but in summer, synthetics are completely useless and even contraindicated.
- The purpose of the thing. Any items that constantly come into contact with your skin must be 100% or at least 70% natural fibers. That is, socks, underwear, T-shirts and shorts are only natural. Synthetic pajamas are also a bad option. But for sports, high-quality synthetics are simply irreplaceable. Moreover, modern synthetic fabrics not only maintain air exchange and regulate heat exchange, but also absorb sweat thanks to special microfibers and impregnations. Among the leaders in terms of the quality of such clothes, one can note Puma and Adidas, Ryok, Lotto and Umbro. As for outerwear, it can be made entirely of synthetics. The main thing is that you sweat in it.
And of course, focus only on trusted manufacturerswho value their reputation.
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