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Advantages and Disadvantages of Teflon-coated Covert Cloth


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#1 Naive Jr

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 11:44 AM

After I brought the RTW New & Lingwood Fawn Covert Coat http://www.newandlin...duct.php?id=304 to the attention of my Swiss girl friend, she sent me a report indicating that the manufacture of Teflon injures the environment and Teflon itself cannot be recycled.

The N&L representative told me the Teflon-coating makes the Covert cloth more durable.
Perhaps he merely repeats what the Teflon-coater says?

Someone contradicted this claim of durability, in fact, calls it a lie - it is known that all polymers bruise natural fibers and if Teflon-coated irons and pans flake, what does such a Teflon-coating do a cloth?

I see that various outdoor hunting/fishing jackets are advertised to be Teflon-coated. Purdey advertises Teflon HTA (?) -coated merino wool sweaters for "protection". http://www.purdey.co...swear/knitwear/

The A. Hume representative who sees no difference between the RTW Bladen Fawn Covert Coat http://www.ahume.co....t/p-91-171-603/ and the N&L Fawn Covert Coat advertised on the N&L website (perhaps Wensum Tailoring Ltd http://www.wensumtai...-original-suits in Norwich [outsourcing Mauritanius http://www.independe...us-1040243.html ?] made the N&L coat?) says the reason why the Bladen - unlike the N&L - is not teflon-coated is to avoid rain water running down to the trousers (?).

In descriptions of countless interpretations of the Covert Coat, almost all Covert Cloth seems to be woven in Yorkshire. Only N&L advertise Teflon-coated Covert Cloth. Who coats the Covert cloth with Teflon? What disadvantages and advantages does Teflon coating have? Is Teflon-coating only a gimmick for N&L to differentiate their Covert Coat from the numerous others?

Edited by Naive Jr, 04 January 2010 - 12:26 PM.

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#2 PocketTriangle

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 02:46 PM

As with most clothing-related topics, it seems that the two primary sources of information are anecdote and adverstisement.

Teflon prevents things from sticking to frying pans, so presumably it would prevent things from sticking to the coat, making it stain-resistant and easier to clean.

Flaking in pans and irons might be due to the high temperatures the teflon is exposed to in those environments.

#3 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:36 PM

I've bought trousers made of Teflon coated fabrics for the GMNT for school for several years. It's very hard to buy school uniform trousers not made with this sort of cloth. They get washed frequently. So far none has shown any wear to the fabric other than the usual rub points and rips in the knees... I've never seen the fabric break down or anything flake off. I'm not sure how the teflon coating behaves on natural fibres. School uniform trousers tend to be some form of polyester.

#4 Schneidergott

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 06:58 PM

We sell teflon and nano-pearl coated trousers and coats. The only advantage I can see is the "no stains" effect.
While Nano-pearl is actually covering the whole fibre, teflon is just on one side of the finished fabric. I can't be sure, but I'm afraid it will restrict the transfer of sweat.

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#5 Naive Jr

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:26 AM

"Teflon prevents things from sticking to frying pans, so presumably it would prevent things from sticking to the coat, making it stain-resistant and easier to clean."

I am also interested in the concept of analogy, of which presumably Pocket Triangle's formulation above is an example. However, I am neither a chemist nor do I have a laboratory suited for such experimentation with Teflon. I don't get Pocket Triangle's point.

"Flaking in pans and irons might be due to the high temperatures the teflon is exposed to in those environments."

Here Pocket Triangle addresses a question I did not ask. I presume he finds it necessary to explain why Teflon flakes and why it is unlikely that a Teflon-coated Covert Coat would flake. I admit that I do not have any Teflon-coated pans and irons nor have I any experience with such - I only repeated what was elsewhere said to me (by a Ask Andy About Clothes Forum poster)in answer to my question about Teflon-coated coats. Since this information did not refer to Covert Coats, I asked Sator if I might put the question about Teflon coating here.

[/quote]

Edited by Naive Jr, 05 January 2010 - 04:30 AM.

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#6 Naive Jr

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:33 AM

I was not aware that trousers made of Teflon coated fabrics for school are available - I never heard of such a practice in Switzerland or Germany. However, school uniforms are not usual here. It is indeed surprising to hear that elsewhere it's very hard to buy school uniform trousers not made with this sort of cloth. I don't think Covert Cloth is washed if Coat, so that doesn't come in question. Thanks very much for telling me about your experience about wear to the fabric. Of course, Covert cloth is woolen, so your observation you're not sure how the teflon coating behaves on natural fibres is relevant to my question. I only wear natural fibres with the exception of a small amount of elastic for stretch if possible. Thanks very much.

Edited by Naive Jr, 05 January 2010 - 01:36 AM.

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#7 Naive Jr

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:43 AM

I appreciate very much to know about your experience with Teflon and nano-pearl coated trousers and coats. It is interesting to hear the only advantage you can see is the "no stains" effect.
I did not know that Nano-pearl covers the whole fibre or that teflon is just on one side of the finished fabric. Your hypothesis that will restrict the transfer of sweat I also suspect. It sounds to me that New & Lingwood like the schools who promote Teflon-coated and synthetic school uniforms are under the influence of the chemical industry. Many Swiss and Germans would object to Teflon-coated outer garments. Those Swiss and German ladies with whom I have spoken about this Teflon-coated Covert coat believe Teflon unnecessary.
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Edited by Naive Jr, 05 January 2010 - 01:44 AM.

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#8 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 07:29 AM

I don't think it's the schools that are influenced. It's more what the parents want... School uniform trousers in 'school grey', charcoal or black are common to most British schools, and thus are required purchases for all parents with children in a school with a uniform. Primary uniforms usually consist of grey or black trousers or skirt, a white polo shirt, and a jumper, cardigan or sweatshirt in the school colour, with the school badge on the pocket. Secondary schools use the same trouser and skirt rules, and the tops differ: girls usually have an open necked white blouse topped by a school uniform cardigan and blazer, and the boys have formal shirts, ties, and blazers, with optional jumpers. Blazers come in a range of colours: my son's school has navy blue, but other schools in town have black or maroon, and the girl's grammar school has a lighter blue. I've taught in a school that had bottle green.

Because almost everyone has to have the uniform, school uniform basics such as shirts, trousers, skirts, and grey school jumpers are available very cheaply from major supermarket and high street chains. I pay less than 10 per pair for the GMNT's trousers, and he takes an adult size (36" waist, 32" inside leg). Fabric choices and composition are usually geared more to a price point than any particular cloth type. Cheap poly with Teflon coating for stain resistance, made in China for as cheap as we can get it seems to be the rule. I'm not complaining: I couldn't keep him in school shirts and trousers for that if I had to make them, even without costing my time. There is a place for bespoke and really fine quality RTW, but the school playing field isn't it. Cheap and washable so you can afford several pairs of trousers and lots of shirts for when they rip them leaping over fences, catch then with saws, and splash chemicals and paint on them, or slaster themselves from head to foot in mud during the normal course of the day is what we need.

I have so far been very impressed with his 17" collar shirts for 8 for a pack of three, trousers at less than 10 a shot, and a school blazer (42-44 chest, and 40 from the school shop) that are all fully washable. Teflon coated fabrics definitely have their uses! And I'm telling you, these Asda special 2.67 a shot shirts are very well made for the price!

#9 Terri

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:45 AM

I think there are many questions to be asked about coatings that are put on fabrics to make them more washable, durable or no-iron. How bad are they for the environment in both their production and disposal and more to the point what do they do to the person wearing them next to their skin?
The undisclosed (not on the label) chemical spray that is put on "no-iron" shirts makes me wonder if all these things that are made to save us time and money come with many other costs- our health foremost among them.My link

#10 Sator

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:23 PM

In the case of Teflon you should also remember that it is now classified as a "likely carcinogen" as well:

http://www.washingto...5062801458.html

http://www.drweil.co.../u/id/QAA356881

Note however:

the danger of exposure to PFOA concerns those involved in the manufacturing of Teflon, not users of Teflon-coated cookware. Teflon itself appears safe unless it is heated to high temperatures, when it emits fumes toxic enough to poison caged birds in kitchens....If Teflon fumes can poison birds, what can they do to us? Probably nothing good.



#11 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 06:42 PM

I must admit that we don't go for easy-iron shirts... Polly-cotton will do! It's usually pretty easy to iron as it is, and I often just tumble dry the shirts and hang them up warm. In summer I just line dry them, or hang them on hangers to dry. After they've been dragged on by a 15 YO, had the sleeves rolled up, and then a school blazer dumped on top, no-one could tell if they'd been ironed anyway!

For a true look at the environmental cost, one needs also to look at the care a traditional garment of the same type needs over it's whole lifetime... From how the cloth is produced to washing and easy care over dry cleaning chemicals or boiling, ironing, and starching.

#12 Naive Jr

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 06:09 AM

Dear Kate XXXXXX, thanks for your interesting comment. I live in German-speaking Switzerland and Southwest Germany, and I can assure you the attitude to synthetics is quite different here. Many Swiss and Germans are concerned about the environment. Switzerland is a practical country, and Germany a country in which there are persons concerned with how to develop more consciousness about everything. For example, both major Swiss foodstore chains Migros and Coop, sell bio food. I know mothers have a cost problem due to rapid clothes' change, but Swiss and German mothers as well as the foreign mothers who for whatever reason live here, look for 2nd hand clothes, for example, church fairs, etc. offer such events for mothers seeking clothes for children. Obviously, the mental attitude in GB or UK must be different. Personally, I don't know anyone here who likes or wears synthetic clothes, but on the streets everywhere one sees such outerwear for ski and sport and so on (Jack Wolfskin etc). I don't wear synthetics, and if I had children, I wouldn't want them to wear them. For example, Icebreaker New Zealand merino wool has grown every year here in sales. But you help me understand why the N&L offers Teflon-coated Covert Coats - they really don't see any problem. In any case, I see I must do some more research about Teflon-coating - this time by internet search - because the more ladies and mothers i talk to here, the more I'm told I shouldn't buy such Teflon-coated coat.
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#13 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 08:25 PM

I'd go for all natural fabrics if I could find and afford them, and if they worked. I have to take into account the use the articles will get (VERY rough, in the case of such things as rugby shirts and school trousers!), the cost when the lad is still growing, and their purpose. A waterproof jacket for cold wet weather (think wearing in it horizontal driving sleet waiting for a school bus! Or walking the fells...) needs to be fully wind and waterproof, while also being light weight, warm (or large enough to go over the blazer or orhter warm layers), and cheap enough to replace at least once a year when he grows out of it (he's already 6'1", with a 42" chest and 17" collar shirt, and only 15). And then it has to pack down into his school bag during the day... I've yet to find a natural fiber garment that hits all those requirements.

On a recent (September) trip to Dortmund I didn't notice any more natural fiber garments or fabrics for sale or in use than here in the UK. The friend I was staying with was impressed with our local recycling arrangements: better than Dortmund's when we compared them for what was recycled and the collection arrangements.

Things may have changed in the last 10 years, but one of the best coats the GMNT had was bought in Zurich (we'd gone for lunch and he'd forgotten his coat! Long story... :Big Grin: ). It was a three-layer Gortex type construction in rip-stop nylon, from one of the better kid's clothing shops. That coat looked good, did him two years (they bought it with room for growth), and I saw it on at least 3 other kids after he grew out of it. It still looked new.

The point is that there are times and places and conditions where both natural and man-made coated fabrics have their place. What I try to do is pass on to friends and/or charity shops anything that we no longer need or fit into, buy or inherit things on a similar basis, and make sure that everything that is still wearable gets used to the max, no matter what it's made from. I cannot pass on shirts with permanent stains, trousers with patches, and blazers with the collars ripped off or sleeves hanging out. And I can't find pre-loved clothing in his size! But we have used old trouser legs for stuff bags, made things like the GMNT's Hussif out of remnants from other projects, and I recycle as much of any toile as I can into peg bag linings and toiles for smaller garment parts. I've spent my whole life doing this, as my mother has before me. 'Make do and mend' didn't stop here with the end of clothing coupons! The modern throw-away society has largely passed us by (even my laptop computer is old and pre-owned).

The lads at the GMNT's school (and now many others here in the UK) wear suits for their final two years. At that time they need a suit for things like university and job interviews, so wearing them to school makes sense. The boys tend to look and behave like responsible young men rather than school kids, and take pride in their appearance (when in uniform they do their utmost to 'customize' it to the latest uniform-wrecking fashion!). Outfitters like Burtons do package deals of shirt, tie, suit and shoes for under £150. It looks fine, the lads are still growing, so parents are reluctant to spend excessively, and the items are easy care, so don't distract them from their studies by taking extra time to look after. Poly/viscose mixes with Teflon coatings are ideal for the use, while not as tailorable as a beautiful wool at many times the price.

By the time he needs such a thing, my son looks like being about the size and shape of Jonah Lomu. If no-one makes suits of this type for someone that size in a version we can afford, I may well be making it for him. This is one of the reasons I'm here to learn and to extend and improve my skills. If I can make him a decent suit from something Teflon coated and poly/viscose or a wool mix for a price we can afford, then I shall be happy. I certainly won't be sending him to school in a pure wool suit that cost me £35 per meter or more for the cloth! A GOOD suit will come later...

A good book will fall apart in your hands... A good suit will be remade for your grandson.

#14 Naive Jr

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:13 PM

...many questions about coatings that are put on fabrics to make them more washable, durable or no-iron. 1. How bad are they for the environment in both their production and disposal 2. what do they do to the person wearing them next to their skin?
My link


Terri from Canada is confronted by non-iron shirts and presents this problem on her website. I've never purchased any non-iron shirts because I read all non-iron shirts are made in China. I refuse to buy any clothes made in Asia under intransparent and inhuman conditions. But thanks to Terri now I have another reason to avoid non iron. -

I immediately sent along with the original German text of my Swiss girlfriend about the negative influence on the environment of Teflon manufacture an English translation to the Director of N&L, but received no reply.

As a New Year's resolution I promised him not to send him any further exchange with third persons - after he replied he found it inappropriate I sent him per Cc copies of my exchange with A. Hume's sales representative, who couldn't see any outer difference between Bladen's and N&L's Covert Coat except Teflon-coating, which she said makes rain run on the trousers. Like Kate XXXXXX the A. HUme salesperson (both in UK) was surprised about my question about Teflon-coating.

It's clear that tailors and other professionals here don't really have to confront this problem of synthetics because they use highest grade natural fibres.

Edited by Naive Jr, 06 January 2010 - 11:35 PM.

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#15 Sator

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:36 PM

In this case, we are talking about a natural fibre cloth - only one coated with a synthetic substance. They have been making pre-water proofed cloths for a very long. These days, this involves the application of synthetic waterproofing chemicals. Some very high end makers seem to be offering this sort of thing. But who knows what these "nano" coatings really are. It's a can of worms because you can sadly no more expect big firms to disclose potential risk eg carcinogenicity than you can expect the same of tobacco companies.

As far as concern for environmental issues, adverse reactions to chemicals used in growing foods, applied to clothing worn by our children etc it is true that there is more mainstream discussion and awareness of these issue in central Europe compared with English speaking countries. I don't want discussion to become too political but suffice to say that Helmut Kohl and his centre right CDU were pushing for reduction of greenhouse emission at a time when both in the US and Australia global warming was dismissed by some elements in the centre right as a left wing conspiracy theory. Please note I am aware that things have changed (please let this not turn into a full blown political debate :Praying:). The way these things are handled by the mainstream in central Europe tends to predict the way things become a decade or so later in English speaking countries.

That said, I am sure that a Steiner pupil will be more acutely conscious of these issues than most. Whatever forum member's personal social views, there is no doubt that issues such as environmental impact may become more important in the way consumers choose to buy clothing in the future. This applies as well to natural fibres. I heard a statistic (via the German media oddly enough) that to grow enough cotton for a pair of jeans you need to use 600 litres of water to grow the cotton plant. If things are taxed in future according to environmental impact it may start to affect pricing as well.

#16 Naive Jr

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 10:48 PM

I recognize that Sator's formulation is preciser as my own above:

"In this case, we are talking about a natural fibre cloth - only one coated with a synthetic substance."


Various reasons are given to justify Teflon-coating, one of which is in regard to water:

"They have been making pre-water proofed cloths for a very long."


Why the question about Teflon-coating of coats belongs to "Warp and Woof":

"These days, this involves the application of synthetic waterproofing chemicals. Some very high end makers seem to be offering this sort of thing. But who knows what these "nano" coatings really are."

"It's a can of worms because you can sadly no more expect big firms to disclose potential risk eg carcinogenicity than you can expect the same of tobacco companies."

Who puts Teflon-coating on Covert Cloth manufactured in Yorkshire?

"As far as concern for environmental issues, adverse reactions to chemicals used in growing foods, applied to clothing worn by our children etc it is true that there is more mainstream discussion and awareness of these issue in central Europe compared with English speaking countries."

New & Lingwood, A. Hume, Kate XXXXXX are all in UK. If I had the opportunity to visit London and UK, I would be in another position to judge everything.

"That said, I am sure that a Steiner pupil will be more acutely conscious of these issues than most."

Interest in critical evaluation of Steiner's book such as my own is not necessarily shared by those called or calling themselves "Steiner pupils". Steiner's first wife is reported to have noticed her husband returned from his presumably first visit to UK wearing new clothes and bearing a new attitude. In principle, "Steiner pupils" would be interested to know Teflon, but I am not aware of any publication on this theme.

"Whatever forum member's personal social views, there is no doubt that issues such as environmental impact may become more important in the way consumers choose to buy clothing in the future. This applies as well to natural fibres. I heard a statistic (via the German media oddly enough) that to grow enough cotton for a pair of jeans you need to use 600 litres of water to grow the cotton plant. If things are taxed in future according to environmental impact it may start to affect pricing as well."

My Swiss girlfriend and Sator have brought to my attention the impact of Teflon on the earth and mankind beyond my initial concern if a Teflon-coated Covert Coat might be dangerous to my health if I wear it. I neglected to ask Sator for his permission to bring the sources about Teflon - which he kindly gives above - to the attention of Ask Andy Forum readers of my thread about Teflon, and apologize for my oversight.

Edited by Naive Jr, 06 January 2010 - 11:54 PM.

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#17 Sator

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:00 PM

I believe teflon is produced by DuPont?


Just like DDT... :Straight Face:

#18 Naive Jr

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:46 PM

After I asked above in my previous post if DuPont had to do with Teflon, I decided it would be better to check in Internet, where I could confirm its truth. Then I omitted by revision the question to which Sator correctly refers. I was not aware that DuPont was also involved in DDT and appreciate that Sator took the trouble to bring this to my attention as well.

Edited by Naive Jr, 06 January 2010 - 11:52 PM.

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