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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Frock Horror

Over the last few years when trying to buy clothing, often we pass bargains up because the item I want does not smell right. It has been difficult to place, but was usually a sharp sour smell.

But often, we take a chance and give them a wash before wearing. This has usually taken away the smell but at the cost of the garment losing texture and sometimes colour.

It means that cheap clothing means cheap materials. They do not last and the colours soon change. But we live in a throwaway culture and it is now very expensive and difficult to find old style materials which will last for years.

It was obvious that the stiffening and the rest must have been a chemical treatment of the cloth during manufacture. Quite how bad this is now being revealed and is receiving attention. It does not make pleasant reading:

What has been worse is that to cover the smell and other smells that clothing might pick up, it is now common to add fragrance substances. These, typically, are designed to last for at least ten dry cleaning operations or thirty washes.

Effectively, that means well beyond the “life” of most of those garments. All is not lost because we still have some garments bought decades ago that still last and do not have these problems.

But we are still reluctant to wear them, not because of fashion, but all too often out there they will pick up fragrances and deodorant substances which cannot be washed out at all.

It is not a win/lose situation, it is now lose/lose.

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