Chemistry and fashion

Keeping with the formal theme, this post is about how chemistry relates to fashion.  The following post can be found at the  International Year of Chemistry 2011 Australia website, delivered by RACI.

Chemistry and Fashion you say? Absolutely!

It’s Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and without Chemistry we wouldn’t have fashion.

Chemistry and fashion are not usually mentioned in the same breath but chemistry is absolutely essential for making clothes more affordable, versatile, comfortable and creative.  Several types of chemistry are responsible for the creation of fashion pieces, including polymer, inorganic and organic chemistry.

Many people associate innovation in the fashion industry with of-the-moment designers in New York, London and Paris, when in fact the true fashion revolutionaries are the innovators of the chemical industry working away in labs. 

Without chemistry’s development of specialty fibres and other components, the creative world of fashion could not be nearly as dynamic as it is today.  In fact, chemistry contributes 28% of the value of material input in clothing.  Acrylics, nylon and polyester are all synthetic fibres made from petroleum products, not to mention spandex made from polyurethane.

Chemicals are also used to treat textiles; a process especially important to Australians is the manufacturing process that includes titanium dioxide particles to create textiles that provide ultraviolet (UV) protection.

And it doesn’t stop there, with chemistry the possibilities are endless; dyes and pigments responsible for shining or opaque coloured threads, socks that moisturise, sports clothes that deodorise and garments that kill bacteria.  And its not just the clothes, chemists are continuously working to come up with new and better hair and beauty products.

So, without Chemistry we certainly wouldn’t have fashion and without fashion we wouldn’t have the fabulous Rosemount Australian Fashion Week.


Related posts: : Chemistry’s in Fashion.

The Chemistry of Fashion – But What About The Lab Dips?



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