Other possible finishes include antimicrobial, light-resistant, mothproof, and temperature-regulating finishes.
Antimicrobial finishes. Clothing, particularly soiled clothing, is susceptible to growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Not only does the growth of these microbes on fabric present health problems, it also causes odors. Antimicrobial agents to protect against both can also be incorporated into manufactured fibers before they are spun or can be applied as finishes to fabrics. Antimicrobial finishes work either by setting up a barrier against the microbes, preventing them from attaching to the fibers, or alternatively by killing the offending organisms. Agents that kill fungi and bacteria are divided into two general classes; organic materials and compounds containing metals. Copper, zinc, and silver are biocidal metals that have been used on fabrics and clothing items such as socks and underwear. Ammonium salts and phenols are organic compounds that are applied. The active ingredient in Lysol antiseptic spray is a phenolic compound.
Light-resistant finishes. The ultraviolet (UV) rays in light can be harmful to clothing fabrics, as well as to the people wearing them. UV light breaks the polymer chains comprising fibers, ultimately weakening fabrics. Some fibers (cotton, rayon, silk, olefin) are more readily damaged than others. The light can also change the structure of dyes, causing fading of fabrics. Light-resistant finishes work either by preferentially absorbing UV radiation that would be harmful to fibers or dyes, or by reflecting such radiation so that the textile does not absorb it. Concerns over the harmful effects of UV light on skin have prompted development of finishes that enhance absorption or reflection. Apparel made from fabrics with these finishes is advertised as having UV or sun-protective qualities.
Mothproofing finishes. Wool fabrics are damaged by moth larvae, which consume the wool protein, leaving holes in the fabric. Traditionally, wools were stored in bags with mothballs, large pellets containing the ingredient naphthalene that killed the larvae. In the early 2000s, finishes were available for a durable application during fabric manufacturing or a renewable application when wool items are dry-cleaned.
Temperature-regulatingfinishes. Temperature-regulating fabrics are sensitive to the surrounding temperature or to body heat. They are generally referred to as phase changes materials because they change from one phase (solid to liquid or liquid to solid) in reaction to the surrounding temperature. The phase change consumes or releases heat. Polyethylene glycol exhibits this behavior when applied to fabrics. It absorbs and holds heat at high temperatures, cooling the wearer; it then releases this stored heat energy under cooler conditions. The finish has been applied to T-shirts, underwear, socks, and sportswear.
See also Cotton; Rayon; Wool. BIBLIOGRAPHY
Mark, H., Norman S. Wooding, and Sheldon M. Atlas. Chemical Aftertreatment of Textiles. New York: Wiley-Interscience,
Slade, Philip E. Handbook of Fiber Finish Technology. New York:
Marcel Dekker, 1997.
PERFUME Perfume, from the Latin per fumum, meaning through smoke, has been a barometer of society and its mores throughout recorded history. Like fashion, it provides a road map to people's strivings for individuality, self-aggrandizement, social standing, and feelings of well-being.
Early Egyptians are credited as one of the first groups to improve their lives and deaths through the use of fragrance and fragrance ingredients, particularly blended for burning during religious services and burial. Historical references cite Ishmaelite traders who, in 2000 B.C.E., bore aromatic treasures to eager customers in Egypt via what was known as the Incense Road. Considered more precious than gold, flowers, herbs, and spices, perfumes were an expression of exaltation and admiration. The importance of perfumes gradually reached far beyond Egypt thanks to traders, crusaders, and shifting populations who took their precious fragrances with them. This was a fortuitous turn of events for the future of fragrance.
Perfume ingredients became indispensable in religious services, as medicants, to enhance personal environ ments, and to be applied to the skin for protection against the elements. Perfume was also used as an aphrodisiac. The famous and infamous embraced fragrance and made it their own. Cleopatra (60-30 B.C.E.) doused the sails of her ship to entice Mark Antony. The Queen of Sheba won the heart and devotion of King Solomon by bringing him gifts of rare spices all the way from Yemen. He particularly favored the fabled myrrh. It is said that each drop of Muhammad's sweat, as he ascended to heaven, morphed into the most precious of flowers—the rose.
It was the Egyptians who learned how to press the oils from flowers and leaves that they then smoothed on their sun-scorched skins. The Arabian doctor Avicenna is credited with developing the method of distillation, in the tenth century, which led to the creation of liquid perfume.
Little has changed in the gathering and processing of perfume ingredients. Flowers and plants are picked and gathered by hand, and distillation, in which steam separates the essential oils from the flowers and plants, remains one of the prime methods for extraction. (It is one of six methods: expression, maceration, enfluverage, extraction, and headspace technology.) In modern times, the greatest change has taken place in the fragrance laboratories where computer technology has become a basic tool, not only in establishing and maintaining quality standards, but also in allowing perfumers around the world to communicate with each other in developing unique new fragrance formulas.
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