Fiber Content & Why It's Important To Your Fashion Budget

Vintage designs of bygone eras are often recycled by fashion designers.  With the retro look, consumers have been able to shop the thrift stores, vintage clothing stores, and even tag sales to get that chic old is new again at bargain prices.

Part of the reason that these clothes have withstood the wear and tear of time is that good fashion design is tweaked and recycled but essentially doesn’t  go out of fashion, items  were preserved by proper laundering and storage, and that quality fabrics endure despite the ravages of time.  Fabric content is important especially if you look at your clothes as an investment and equally important as a designer label.   For instance:

ACRYLIC v. COTTON

Acrylic is not a natural product, but one produced by combinations of chemicals.  First produced in the 1940’s by DuPont under the name Orlan, acrylic is a polycrylonitriles, a possible carcinogen.  Acrylic in apparel is often used as a substitute for wool especially for those who are allergic to wool, and is considered warm,  soft, stain and wrinkle resistant, and takes and hold colors well.  In 2013,  India, a producer of the world’s least expensive cotton, sought to raise its’ price by placing a cap  on the production and export of cotton.  This fueled a price hike that sent the fashion world scurrying since it required manufacturers to buy cotton at higher rates.  From that date, many items in the fashion industry began selling designs blended with acrylic, or totally made with acrylic to keep their retail prices at a level acceptable to customers still dealing with the economic recession.

Although acrylic produces an incredibly soft cloth widely used also as a substitute for cashmere, it does require quite a bit of care.  Despite improvements, its’ surface is vulnerable to pilling and. wear.  It is susceptible to heat, shrinkage and stretching, and to static.

Be sure to remember, that this product is relatively inexpensive, more so than the natural organic sources of cloth, and when buying, prices should reflect that difference.  Designers have been able to maintain lower prices to the consumer by using this substitute,  and that is why MarkdownMom recommends only buying if you want it to last for a season or two and it’s at an incredible markdown.  Otherwise, pay a  little more for a sale item that is 100% organic.

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