CAREERS IN FASHION: TEXTILE CHEMISTRY
If your love for chemistry and fashion is unmatched, you might enjoy a career in textile chemistry. As a textile chemist, you would be responsible for making the compounds needed to create synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester. You might even be the next inventor of a brand new type of fiber!
For example, imagine a chemist is treating a cotton–polyester blend garment for water resistance. During the finishing process, he or she applies a chemical that is known to work well to protect polyester from absorbing water. However, this ingredient happens to be ineffective at protecting cotton fibers. In this scenario, even if the ingredients were applied generously over the entire piece of clothing, it would not end up being water resistant. This is because, in order for a treatment to fully protect against an element, it needs to form a bond over the surface of the fabric. Since the chemical makeup doesn’t work on cotton fibers, it is not able to create a barrier on the surface of these materials. This would effectively leave tiny holes throughout the layer on top of the fabric, allowing water to seep through, and ultimately making it susceptible to this element. This is why it is essential that chemists pay close attention not only to their formulations but also to the fabrics for which it is intended. If a certain material is not tested during the trial phase, the end result could be detrimental to the garment to which the solution is applied. Luckily, chemists are trained to be extremely
SCIENCE IN FASHION
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