Textiles-Marie OMahony

Textiles essay 1000 words.
Topic: Synthetic fibres: new technologies and applications in fashion textiles and apparel.
Focus: Artifical Silk? OR Cellulosic fibres?

Thesis: establish current attitudes towards polyester/acetate synthetics within garment industries (listing labels which use it) Negative associations as cheap and inorganic, and revealing new technologies (!)/ innovations which show it to be better at imitating silk, wool/etc. Championing the advantages of it?

  • Overview: Synthetics account for around 50% of world fibre consumption. synthetics in general make up 90% share in technical textiles, 45% in apparel, 20% in home textiles.
    • cellulosic fibres (derived from wood): viscose, acetate, lyocell, rayon
    • synthetic fibres (derived from petroleum): polyester,
  • Short historical information about discovery and past uses. Artificial silk.
  • applications in apparel:
    • synthetics in underwear and lingerie (mainly polyamides),
    • in outerwear and sportswear (mainly polyester and polyamides),
    •  in women’s wear (mainly viscose and polyester), and knitwear (mainly acrylics).
  •  properties of synthetic fibres: synthetics often blended with natural fibres to increase strength, deduced wrinkling and creasing and decrease costs.
    • more specifically: Polyester is blended with wool, while viscose and polyamides are combined with cotton. Some fibers are used in small percentages in order to improve performance. For example, a small amount of elasthane added to polyamides increases stretch and improves comfort, while aramids added to cotton or polyester increase strength.
  • go into detail about polyester, different finishes and characteristics. include fabric swatches.
    • how it's made
    • properties: look, handle, durability, ease of care, comfort, breathability/moisture
    • washing instructions
    • new technologies
  • Future directions of synthetics and more specifically polyester, fashion designers who use polyester and why. Impacts on the environment and ethical issues of using polyester i.e biodegradability, of end product, chemical processing (name manifacturers), use in 'fast fashion' because of its cheap availability and issues in aesthetic durability e.g will polyester go out of fashion as the world focuses on 'green products'?
    • Nano-treatments: Micro Encapsulation http://www.techexchange.com/thelibrary/innovateor.html
    • Stain Resistance (inspired by lotus leaves, Fabrics can be cleaned by simply rinsing with water.
    • wicking properties.
    • Designers: Rei Kawakubo have made synthetics acceptable, Prada.
    • Australian designers, zampatti uses polyester and nylon.
    • Moulding rather than cut and sew (Janey Ironside's words)
Scheffer, Michiel. "Snapshot: Synthetics." The Berg Fashion Library. May . http://www.bergfashionlibrary.com/view/bewdf/BEWDF-v8/EDch8020.xml (accessed 29 Mar. 2011).

Interesting source of information (introductory reference only): http://fabricofourownmaking.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?orderby=updated
To explore: http://www.tex.in/

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