Fiber-Forming Substances


My mom saved about a half dozen of my baby clothes for me: some sleepers, my first Christmas dress, adorable ponchos with gnome hoods. I cracked open that box when Silas was born to see if there was anything that would be useful for him.

For myself, I really prefer to wear simple, natural fibers, like cotton. This is for many reasons, but in the end I think they're more comfortable. So, it was really no surprise that I would put a "natural fibers only" condition on clothing for my baby. Pretend fibers were all the rage in the 70s and 80s it seems, because when I looked at the tags of my baby clothes I really had no idea what they were made out of. Nothing as recognizable as "cotton" is listed on these tags. I had to break out my Textiles textbook to read that Vinyon is a "manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 85% by weight of vinyl chloride units." Not to be confused with Vinal, which is "a manufactured fiber in which the fiber-forming substance is any long-chain synthetic polymer composed of at least 50% by weight of vinyl alcohol units." That sounds about as far from "natural" as you can get.

I wonder what the motivation was to make clothing out of such "fiber-forming substances." Was it the flame retardancy? Cost effectiveness? Ease of care? Or all of the above?

It was really no question as to whether or not Silas (or any of our future children) would wear these. Not a chance. They went right into the Goodwill bag. I have no doubt that this is the right decision for us, but I will admit a twang of nostalgia-disappointment. A part of me thinks it would be really cool to see my baby in clothing that I wore when I was that tiny. But, it quickly passes. My mom was a "saver" and so there are many other family items that I can pass along and incorporate into my babe's childhood. I guess my clothes just won't be one of them.

1 comment:

  1. lol...isn't that just crazy to think about? I am with you on your decision!

    ;)
    Jen

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