thorough and go through many tests before a formulation reaches its final stages. For example, according to an article published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials , scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a short-chain polymer that will work with natural fibers. The industry has long relied on compounds with long-chain polymers, which are slow to biodegrade and only resist water, rather than repelling it. The breakthrough short-chain compound will be water repellant, and more environmentally friendly. Tests were conducted to determine if a process called initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD), could then apply the compound. The process combines multiple manufacturing steps and therefore is more cost efficient. iCVD only works with short-chain polymers. Chemistry and Synthetic Fabrics There are many things to consider in any discussion of the fashion industry, and like any business, budget is near the top of the list. While natural fibers such as silk make for popular fashion, they aren’t the cheapest things to produce. On average, silk can cost a whopping five dollars a pound to produce. These high overhead costs encouraged chemists and fabric companies to seek a more cost-effective option. What is the answer to high raw material production cost? Synthetic fibers . First introduced in 1941, polyester remains one of the most popular synthetic materials on the market today. This material is cheap to produce, coming in at about one dollar per pound, and is extremely durable. So durable, in fact, that scientists estimate it would take more than 200 years to fully decompose.



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