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Archive for November, 2009

This Week in NY – The POP-UP Flea

November 19th, 2009 Comments off

Great news for those who are in New York City this weekend, The POP-UP Flea is back! Make sure to stop by and take advantage of the handsome menswear goods, including Billykirk, Alexander West, Michael Andrews Bespoke, Gitman Brothers Vintage, Schott NYC, Epaulet, C’H'C’M’, the ATL Shop, plus many more surprises. There will also be a variety of vintage clothing, furniture and ephemera.

Curators: Randy Goldberg (Urban Daddy) and Michael Williams (A Continous Lean)

Friday, November 20th, 3pm to 9pm

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What is Wrinkle-Free Cotton?

November 18th, 2009 Comments off

The idea of wrinkle-free/ wrinkle-resistant cotton rings a bell to those who hate ironing those shirts all the time. After all, if cotton shirts can be made to resist those unwanted creases and wrinkles then why even bother with regular cotton? This is the very idea that early researchers and garment manufacturers were tinkering with when synthetic fabrics such as nylon were beginning to replace cotton. Cotton manufacturers had to find a way to market cotton as the favorable choice of fabric. During the 1950s and 60s, a chemist and researcher named Ruth Benerito, made notable accomplishments in producing easy-care cotton fabrics.  The good news was that garments made by this new process were wrinkle-resistant- it did not have to be ironed. The bad news was that this process required the use of formaldehyde- a harsh chemical often used for preserving dead animals and body parts and classified by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as a probable carcinogen.

There are generally five different methods used to produce wrinkle-free cotton: pre-cured fabric, post-cured fabric, dip-spin, spray method, and vapor phase. While we can get into a detailed explanation of how all of these methods work, the main goal is to artificially swell the fabric by applying formaldehyde and heat so that instead of curling, the diameter of the fiber increases and makes it straight. While many of the issues associated with the use of formaldehyde in treating fabrics have been corrected through research during the past few years, and while the use of formaldehyde has been reduced, it has yet to be eliminated. Even the most popularly used resin, DMDHEU, which was meant to reduce the concentration of formaldehyde, is nevertheless a type of formaldehyde. In addition, wrinkle-free fabric has a reputation of being stiff and uncomfortable to wear. Many people also find that wrinkle-free garments still require some ironing due to the creases that form in some areas. Read more…

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