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Advantages and Disadvantages of Teflon-coated Covert Cloth


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#19 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:43 AM

The whole issue of the environmental impact of everything from 'organically grown' cottons and wools through to man made fibers and coatings is something that needs much more thorough investigation than we can have here. I don't know enough to judge which turns out to be 'better', and in what way, or by which criteria this judgement is made. Unfortunately, like so many others on a restricted income, I have to work on a horrid muddle of what is available, what I can afford, and how the cloth performs in the environment in which I need to use it. Is a cotton shirt 'better' because it's fibers are organically grown, use horrific amounts of water to grow, and has a huge environmental impact on the area in which it is grown because of the acres given over to it, and then needs MORE water and some chemicals to get it clean each time one wears it, more energy, and then only last two or three years, or is a viscose shirt 'better' because it's easy care and uses less cleaning energy and smaller doses of chemicals,never needs ironing, is made in a factory with controlled emissions, and then lasts for 27 years? It's a tough call. Where are there statistics on all this so that the comparison can be made? I know there was a huge debate a few years back about cotton vs disposable nappies/diapers, and when the whole cycle was taken into account, it came out pretty even. The same might be true of these coated cloths.

On the 27 year old viscose shirt: I made it for my husband at this time of year, after buying a new sewing machine to make my wedding dress. He finally stopped wearing the shirt last summer when one sleeve started ripping out because the fabric was giving way. The Vyella (cotton/wool mix) one I made at the same time, and which looked and felt almost identical except for the colours, gave up the ghost within five years. We were married in 1982.

#20 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:47 AM

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.


Du Pont have always been a chemical manufacturer rather than a just a cloth or fiber manufacturer...

#21 Naive Jr

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:21 AM

Du Pont have always been a chemical manufacturer rather than a just a cloth or fiber manufacturer...


Although the Wensum Tailoring representative declines to say if her company made the Teflon-covered Covert Coat sold by New & Lingwood, I have approached her by another route and asked if Wensum has experience with Teflon-coated coats.

As far as Kate's approach to synthetics and synthetic applications to natural fibre cloth is concerned, I'm not acquainted with British mentality sufficiently to understand why she doesn't budget so that her family lives in a different style. Maybe it's not possible for certain reasons in Britain. In Switzerland and Germany it is possible.

DuPont must have some way of marketing Teflon for its application to cloth. Purdey sells Teflon-coated merino wool sweaters - I've not noticed if Holland & Holland also sell outdoor clothing with Teflon coating because I previously never considered this issue. I believe I just recently noticed that some articles in the Chrysalis catalogue are advertised as having a Teflon treatment. I wonder who is responsible for this Teflon-coating and when it is applied. I have never encountered nano-particles in clothing, but I know the university in Basel does nano research.
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#22 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 08:16 AM

As I pointed out, there are times when the synthetic fabrics, designed for a particular job, are exactly what is needed, not merely from a budget or environmental point, but also from the practical.

There are more than just 'environmental' concerns in the mix, and the way many folk choose to live here is not necessarily the way would I choose to live, given the income to afford a different choice. Such fabulous things as organic cotton and pure wool, linen, and silk cloths are still luxury items with a premium price. Where they occur at an affordable price, they are often produced in far from ideal or environmentally or ethically acceptable conditions.

You may not choose to use them, but man made fibers and special coatings have their place in the textile world. Producing many of them from waste products is often environmentally better sense than growing something more 'natural'. For purely practical reasons many of us need more clothing than we could have if we had to pay for much more expensive items made from ethically produced organic natural fibers. And I don't exclude other household and industrial textile products when I think of the global environmental impact of the textile industry as a whole. Nor do I exclude the environmental impact of the laundering or dry cleaning of these items.

I for one am heartily glad of polyester pillows and duvets, being allergic to feathers (and the production of down is hardly either environmentally friendly nor ethical in most instances), of recycled PET bottles being made into polar fleece when I cannot wear wool unless I'm seriously well insulated against it, of school trousers I can actually afford for my son, and of coats that keep the wet out when I take my environmentally friendly holiday in the UK, walking the hills rather than flying off to some exotic place where I'd need air conditioning to prevent heat exhaustion.

To get back to the synthetic coatings on natural fiber cloths: this is a very old idea updated. Think of linen canvas covered in pitch, for example... Whether or not an artificial fiber or a more naturally produced one, and the coating that is added for stain prevention, water repelling, or to make it less difficult to iron, has greater or lesser serious physical environmental repercussions for the future, when durability and manufacturing processes and the lifetime of the finished article are accounted for, may still be unsure. It is never safe to assume that just because a process is natural that it has a less harmful effect on the planet as a whole than a man-made process.
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#23 Sator

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 09:05 AM

I can tell you that this nano technology business is generally just hype. Researchers need it to make themselves look interesting to gain attention and funding. So they come up with these trendy catch phrases to put old wine in new bottles. It's still just chemistry.

#24 Sator

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 01:31 PM

Oddly enough, there used to be a thriving industry of weavers of quality woollens in Australia, along with some bespoke tailoring firms with large turnovers. One day DuPont brought them all up before closing them down about 6 months later. This was back in the 1970/80s from what I am told by local tailors. I imagine this was to try to shut down the competition with synthetic fibres used in RTW manufacture.

#25 Kate XXXXXX

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 06:58 PM

Oddly enough, there used to be a thriving industry of weavers of quality woollens in Australia, along with some bespoke tailoring firms with large turnovers. One day DuPont brought them all up before closing them down about 6 months later. This was back in the 1970/80s from what I am told by local tailors. I imagine this was to try to shut down the competition with synthetic fibres used in RTW manufacture.


Stupid, really... There's nothing to beat good wool and traditional tailoring in the right places. I love it and wish I could use more wool. Synthetics are fabulous for outdoors gear, and I'm a big fan of Polartec Windbloc and Thinsulate interlining for our currant weather, and some of the base layer fabrics with their superior wicking qualities are really great at keeping you warm and dry in extreme cold. But for tailoring the moldable qualities of wool and the drape characteristics are much nicer than the rather cardboard look you get with some synthetics and fusing. Mind you, things have improved in that area from the '70's. But you do pay a premium for good wool...

#26 Naive Jr

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 06:21 AM

I appreciate all the comments of the three persons who took the trouble to comment to my question. Kate XXXXXX has a giant son, and if he's happy in his polyester, fine. The N&L director wrote me he's made good experiences with the Teflon-covered Covert Coat. I would like to ask him what he means, but I haven't received a reply from him to my most recent Email. I think he's unaccustomed to my lack of style in approach and prefers to help the customers now suffering from snow and ice in England than to bother with some crank worried about Teflon-coating.
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#27 Naive Jr

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 11:22 AM

I wrote DuPont as well as a manufacturer of country clothes with Teflon coating. At the end of the day I decided to simply buy the coat. Now I wear it and I can't recognise the Teflon coating.
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