Home Economics Department
“Will it wear?” This is a question commonly asked by the customer when confronted with a great many bolts of fabric of numerous patterns and weights. When the clothing budget is limited it is especially important that one choose a fabric that will give the most service. Often the customer wants to know, “Will the heavier material wear longer than the lightweight material?” Unfortunately, no one has found a way to answer these questions definitely by laboratory tests alone. The term “wear,” as used by the consumer, is a broad term. Not only is wear itself a part of the picture, but dry cleaning, aging, exposure to light, and any other treatment the garment must stand have something to do with how long it will last. All the “extra” treatment a garment receives, such as bending, rubbing, and creasing, makes it difficult to reproduce in the laboratory the actual effects of wear. So in order to study the wearing qualities of one type of fabric, 27 pairs of trousers were made from an all-wool material of three different weights. Nine pairs of trousers were made from each weight of material. This allowed three pairs for each wear period, thus avoiding the undue influence of one person’s wearing habits on the test. The trousers were worn by men students at South Dakota State College for one, two and three periods, each wear period being 1500 hours. This means that three pairs of each weight were worn 1500 hours, three pairs worn 3000 hours and three pairs, 4500 hours. The trousers were dry cleaned and inspected after every 300 hours of wear. Lengths of the same material were set aside as “control” fabrics. This material was not worn, of course, but was paired with the trousers and received the same amount of dry cleaning and aging as the worn garments. Another set of pieces was stored for a corresponding period without cleaning. By checking the fabric measurements of these samples against those of the worn trousers, it was possible to discover the separate and combined effects of wear, of dry cleaning, and of aging.
South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station
Lund, L. O., "The Effects of Wear on Wool Fabrics" (1948). Agricultural Experiment Station Circulars. 70.