What's wrong with acrylic?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by chrisc, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. chrisc

    chrisc Well-Known Member

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    With all the praise for the softness of cashmere I'm surprised why acrylic isn't used that often. It's just as soft as cashmere, doesn't shrink, it's resistant to moths and it's inexpensive. So why do I rarely see the material used?

    Is there something that I'm missing? I just thought I'd throw this question in the air since it has always confused me...
     


  2. EL72

    EL72 Senior member

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    [​IMG] Acrylic is likely the most vile of man-made fibers. I would probably choose to wear polyester over acrylic if I had to pick (and death by firing squad was not among the choices). I don't know how you see it as soft like cashmere but you must be looking at some pretty crappy cashmere. Look at the pilling after only one wash of a sweater with even a minimal amount of acrylic. I won't even buy something for my kids that has any acrylic in it.
     


  3. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    Acrilic creates static electricity, makes traspiration smell bad and is just plastic... I'd never put a plastic bag around my neck as a scarf...
     


  4. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    With all the praise for the softness of cashmere I'm surprised why acrylic isn't used that often. It's just as soft as cashmere, doesn't shrink, it's resistant to moths and it's inexpensive. So why do I rarely see the material used?

    Is there something that I'm missing? I just thought I'd throw this question in the air since it has always confused me...

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  5. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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    My parents once gave me a sweater with a label that said, "100% Virgin Acrylic." I remember it for that label and for being one of the ugliest and least comfortable garments I've ever possessed.
     


  6. chrisc

    chrisc Well-Known Member

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    Okayyy, so maybe some people don't find acrylic comfortable. I never had a problem with it, but I only owned a few sweaters with some acrylic in it (thus my question.) Is there backlash because it's a sythnetic fabric?
     


  7. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    so we can reduce our dependence on oil and hydrocarbons! [​IMG]
     


  8. Earthmover

    Earthmover Senior member

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    Okayyy, so maybe some people don't find acrylic comfortable. I never had a problem with it, but I only owned a few sweaters with some acrylic in it (thus my question.) Is there backlash because it's a sythnetic fabric?

    Most acrylics I've encountered were horribly difficult to maintain as new, since it pilled up like you were growing silkworm cocoons on it, and you would have to remove them after every cleaning. It just doesn't last as long as woolens.
     


  9. stach

    stach Senior member

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    Plus if you wash and or dry it wrong you can wind up with permanent creases. [​IMG]
     


  10. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red "Mr. Fashionista"

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    Okayyy, so maybe some people don't find acrylic comfortable. I never had a problem with it, but I only owned a few sweaters with some acrylic in it (thus my question.) Is there backlash because it's a sythnetic fabric?

    I think it's nearly axiomatic that synthetic materials are inferior in terms of such qualities as breathability and resilience, not to mention durability.
     


  11. Nonk

    Nonk Senior member

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    It is the thought of all those baby cryllics being killed that puts me off.
     


  12. chrisc

    chrisc Well-Known Member

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    The Wikipedia entry for acrylic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylic_fiber) does mention pilling and static as a problem with acrylic fiber, but it does have many pluses. I think a person with the notion that anything synthetic is automatically inferior and anything expensive and natural is precious, like cashmere, is little uninformed of the facts... (though I love cashmere, so I can't be too critical of it...)
     


  13. macuser3of5

    macuser3of5 Senior member

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    I think it's nearly axiomatic that synthetic materials are inferior in terms of such qualities as breathability and resilience, not to mention durability.
    I would argue that just isn't true... Nylon, for instance, is incredibly durable, breathable, and resilient, much more than any natural fiber. The problem with using acrylic in sweaters isn't intrinsic to acrylic itself, but instead that the fiber is often used as a cost-saving method in already crappy knits, and a poorly blended knit is just a bad thing. I've worn Jil Sander sweaters that were a wool & acrylic blend (50/50, IIRC), quite comfortable. I wouldn't say synthetic fibers are globally a bad thing, it's all in how you use them.
     


  14. NukeMeSlowly

    NukeMeSlowly Senior member

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    I would argue that just isn't true... Nylon, for instance, is incredibly durable, breathable, and resilient, much more than any natural fiber.


    Since when is nylon breathable? Here's a fun game. Put on a pair of 100% nylon socks, strap on some shoes, and walk around all day. Then go into a small, crowded room, take off your shoes and "breathable" socks, and watch the crowd flee, gagging, from the fragrant aroma emanating from your feet. Always a riot.
     


  15. macuser3of5

    macuser3of5 Senior member

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    Since when is nylon breathable? Here's a fun game. Put on a pair of 100% nylon socks, strap on some shoes, and walk around all day. Then go into a small, crowded room, take off your shoes and "breathable" socks, and watch the crowd flee, gagging, from the fragrant aroma emanating from your feet. Always a riot.
    Hydrofil?
    http://www.fabriclink.com/pk/indexins.html#Hydrofil

    I'm not suggestion nylon is appropriate for socks per se (no fiber is globally the best choice), but simply saying nylon is not breathable is demonstratably false. Really, synthetic doesn't automatically mean shitty, people...

    *Roughly equivalent to cotton, FYI.
     


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