Thread Number: 70257  /  Tag: Detergents and Additives
Retirement home for Miracle Fabrics?
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Post# 931629   4/10/2017 at 13:27 by paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        

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And so I was using my 1960's spare steam iron and coincidentally reviewing some vintage washer owner's manuals.
The ironing guide on the iron and the washer instruction manuals both make reference to (what I call) "Miracle Fabrics", the names of whom I have not heard in many years.

Viscose Rayon

Where are these fabrics now?
Can I go into a major retailer and order shirts of ARNEL? (It is appropriate for children's and women's wear, men's sport shirts and slacks, lingerie.)

Or how about a tennis outfit of Viscose Rayon? (Suitable for dresses, sportswear, blankets).

And who doesn't run out of underwear? Can I order underwear made of DYNEL (suitable for underwear, blankets).


And so I ask; where did these Miracle Fabrics go?
Is there a retirement home for Miracle Fabrics?

Post# 931636 , Reply# 1   4/10/2017 at 14:01 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Well it helps to look at the proper fiber names,

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Not trademarked brands. As most of those on your list are still out there, just called something else.

Creslan is an acrylic fiber.

Dacron is a type of polyester fiber.

Fortrel, yet another polyester fiber

Viscose Rayon has been around for ages and is still used but is fast being replaced by Lyocell.

Kodel is again polyester, still around and commonly used for batting/fiberfill and blended with cotton for textiles.

And so it goes.

Taking things into context you have to recall that the 1960's and 1970's were a heyday for synthetic fibers. Marketed under "Easy Care" or "Permanent Press" they were meant to liberate women and others from the endless laundering and ironing drudgery that came with cotton other natural fibers.

If you lived through the 1960's and 1970's you cannot help but recall those God awful "leisure suits", polyester "double knits" and or including "disco fashions". As for where most of them went, when was the last time you wore a shirt made from Qiana? *LOL*

People soon realized that these man made fibers were uncomfortable, hot and didn't breathe. If you were one of the many busting a move on a dance floor back then wearing Polyester, then you understand.

For reasons unknown many housewives in Europe during post war years though the 1970's or so embraced nylon and other 100% man made bed linen. Cannot imagine sleeping on such things. Not to mention what happens to nylon when it catches fire/burns.

As it relates to your iron owner's manual, many makers of such appliances by the 1950's and certainly 1960's began including heat settings for the "new" man-made fibers popping up.

By the 1960's and still today poly/cotton blends are popular for table linens and to an extent bed as well. Sold under "no-iron" or some such marketing it was meant (again) to free housewives from all that ironing of their linens. With the rapid spread of the tumble clothes dryer and special "Wash and Wear" settings on washing machines, the hype was things could be laundered and required little to no ironing afterwards.

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Post# 931637 , Reply# 2   4/10/2017 at 14:05 by ea56 (So. Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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OMG, the 70's were the very worst time for clothing fashion. WTH were we all thinking about, LOL.

Post# 931654 , Reply# 3   4/10/2017 at 16:08 by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
Wow, Whatta Dorcus!

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Can't pass up an invitation to link.


Post# 931661 , Reply# 4   4/10/2017 at 17:07 by paulg (My sweet home... Chicago)        
Thank you for the tutorial

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Especially you, Launderess, who put a lot of time into the response.
Much obliged! Questions answered with aplomb!

I AM a boomer, and I do remember the gawdafull fashions of the day. Although I do not remember the fabrics like ARNEL , BANLON etc, I do remember "no-iron".

Fortunately, as a teen in the 1970s, I stayed away from Polyester fashions of the day. I still often looked like a dork but probably less so than some of my friends. I didn't own platform shoes but did wear wedgies. "Jaguars" I think they were called. Thanks for the pictures, extreme as they are. I was probably closer to the tame guy (photo 2, second from left).

Thanks Joeekaitis for the link to James Lileks. I love his stuff, own his books but somehow missed his humor regarding men's fashion. Can't wait to check it out!

Post# 931665 , Reply# 5   4/10/2017 at 17:35 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Only good thing one could say about those horrible

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Double knit trousers, according to older females one knew at the time was you could "see what you were getting". *LOL*

Am almost certain all those adverts with male models from the 1970's were airbrushed. *LOL* Riding the New York City subways on some days was like a beach in Italy or Brazil for all the tackle displayed.

Post# 931667 , Reply# 6   4/10/2017 at 17:37 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Poly and her sister Ester

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Had a bad name even back in the 1970's; so to get around that names were given to the fabrics that made them sound anything else but what they were. Lyocell sounds streets better than polyester, more worthy of upmarket clothing I suppose.

Post# 931674 , Reply# 7   4/10/2017 at 18:16 by appnut (TX)        

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I had a maroon Banlon "golf" shirt in 1967. I still have some old college clothes in the back of the closet.  2 or 3 Quiana shirts.  I just "had" to have them as so many had them on campus. 

Post# 931765 , Reply# 8   4/11/2017 at 04:21 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Lyocell or in other words Rayon or Viscose are actually very upscale manmade fabrics with properties similar to cotton and silk. They absorb moiture unlike any other synthetic fiber, have a silky touch and can be dyed as easily as natural fibers. That`s because they`re made from raw materials like cellulose (paper) or bamboo, whereas polyester is just plastic.

Viscose and the like are rather expensive to manufacture and limited in application spectrum, so what we get most frequently today for synthetics are poly-cotton blends. These are still somewhat absorbant and have the desired properties of man made fibers like staying in shape for a long time with only little wear and almost no need to iron.

This post was last edited 04/11/2017 at 04:55
Post# 931952 , Reply# 9   4/12/2017 at 05:29 by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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Was a man made fiber (usually nylon) that was crimped during production to give it more bulk. This made it a natural for knits and the Ban-lon polo shirt, vests, sweaters along with other knitted garments were big during the 1960's and 1970's.

Name Ban-Lon came from the fiber being a type of nylon that was developed and patented by Joseph BANcroft and Sons Company.

Nylon does do some knits very well without the drawbacks of say wool, cotton or silk. It doesn't sag, stretch or bag out of shape easily, and is durable. All the properties (plus sheerness) that made women go crazy for "nylons" (tights or stockings depending upon which side of the Pond you reside.

As it relates to this thread, once again man made fibers were holding out the promise of "easy care" for knits. Unlike sweaters or whatever made from wool, silk or cotton you didn't have to block Ban-lon sweaters/knits back into shape after laundering. Nor did they shrink, stretch, fade or pill. You could simply bung the lot into one's washing machine on the proper setting and be done. The things emerged looking pretty much as they did when going in, except (hopefully) cleaner. No wrinkles, no muss, no fuss.

Story of J. Bancroft and sons is a sad but not unusual one for American textile manufactures. Long story short the trademark rights to "Ban-Lon" long expired and now the word can (and has) been used by others with nothing to do with the original nylon fabric.

Jockey makes or made a line of thermal undergarments for women sold under "BanLon", but they were a 65%/35% polyester and cotton blend.

It may seem totally odd to us today (well to Moi at least anyway), but Ban-Lon was seen as very upmarket back in the 1960's and 1970's. Besides polo shirts and sweater sets you had golf shirts, tennis kit and everything else for the "country club" set.


Of course we couldn't leave any discussion about Ban-Lon or 1970's man made fiber craze without touching upon the man and film that started a rush for the stuff; that would be Mr. John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever. For it was he and those "not so hide the salami" disco pants along with tight fitting Qiana shirt that put polyester and so forth on the map.

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Post# 931966 , Reply# 10   4/12/2017 at 07:58 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
Seems like this is best for DIRTY LAUNDRY!

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My miracle fabric was the nylon once "she" had worn "underneath"...


(Nylon is DOPE! Nylon Rules!)



-- Dave

This post was last edited 04/12/2017 at 10:00
Post# 931986 , Reply# 11   4/12/2017 at 09:54 by washerboy (Arkansas)        
uggg!!! what memories

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the mention of the leisure suite brings back. I had was a gross brown color and the other was Lime Green...yes..I went to church on Sunday morning dressed like a lime with some poly shirt that the collar looked like it would take flight. And of course to polish off platform shoes....I probably looked like a pimp!! Although I must sweet mama loved the garb...drip-dry over the bath tub and no dry cleaning bills. I know someone who's about 20 years younger than me...he loves that stuff from the 70's..refers to it as "vintage fashions" be honest it looks as rediculas on him as it did back in the day..but that's just my thinking..ha!

Post# 932057 , Reply# 12   4/12/2017 at 18:03 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I had two "leisure suits"; one in gray, the other dark blue.

There was a kid at school named David, who I would consider the king of the L.S. I think he had them in just about every color imaginable. He didn't usually wear one to school, but we went to the same church, where he wore them.

Most of the time I wore jeans or cords to school (like most of the other boys), but I did have a couple pairs of plaid or other patterned pants. Anything too outlandish would have been made fun of at our school, as the area was (and still is to an extent) rather rural.

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