What the future holds for polyester and linen fabrics
New York Times bestseller Linen and polyester fabrics are now in the spotlight again after being in decline for decades.
Linen has been getting a lot of attention because of its ability to absorb moisture, absorb oil and absorb stains, but the fabric is also prone to cracking.
A new research study from University of Illinois researchers found that, in the United States, linens that are made from natural materials have a higher chance of cracking compared to fabrics made from synthetic materials.
The study was published online today in the Journal of Materials Science.
The authors of the study used computer modeling to predict the likelihood that a polyester fabric would crack.
The researchers looked at two scenarios: that a fabric made from a synthetic material cracked within a year of being produced, or if the same material cracked over time.
The synthetic material was either a polyamide fiber, a synthetic polyester or a synthetic nylon.
“What we found is that synthetic materials, if they are synthetic fibers, have a greater chance of crack,” said lead author Jessica J. Cottrell, a materials scientist at the U. of I. “And if you’re talking about a synthetic fabric, if you get a crack, you’re probably going to use that fabric.
And you may not use it again.”
The authors said their study is not meant to tell you how a fabric will crack or whether it will be able to withstand a certain kind of impact, but rather to better understand the materials’ strength.
“It’s like comparing apples to oranges,” said Janna B. Geller, an assistant professor in the department of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pennsylvania.
“We have a certain amount of information about how the materials respond to certain types of stresses.
It’s a good starting point to make decisions about the durability of these fabrics.”
What can you do about your fabric cracking?
The researchers say a good way to avoid cracking is to replace the fabric with a more durable material that’s designed to last longer.
For instance, if the fabric you buy has a long lifespan, replacing it with a lightweight fabric with longer durability could help prevent the crack from happening.
“A lot of people don’t think about it,” Cottrel said.
“It’s kind of a missed opportunity because the fabric has already been used.
So it’s really important to get it replaced if it’s going to last.”
The researchers say that it’s also important to understand what causes cracking.
It could be a combination of factors, like environmental factors, the use of the fabric during certain manufacturing processes or how a particular type of fabric is made.