The Touch..the smell...of cotton (and silk, and rayon)...
May 14, 2011 1:19 PM Subscribe
Many new garments have a distinctive smell that disagrees with me. What's the likely source of this odor?
posted by jocelmeow to science & nature (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
About 20 years ago, I started noticing that something that I'm guessing is applied to finished garments makes me feel dizzy and unwell. I first noticed this odor when standing in a display of knitted silks as a teenager. Those seem to be the worst offender, but just this week my mother sent me some new pajamas (knit cotton and woven cotton) that also have The Smell.
It's difficult to describe...it's chemical-ish and sort of more masculine than feminine somehow, but it's not cologne-ish at all.
If I handle the fabric or just try something on, it comes off on my skin to some extent.
It is removed by washing, so my guess has always been that it's some sort of sizing or other fabric finish.
I have not noticed it when shopping for fabric itself; just finished garments. Any ideas what it might be, hive mind? Thanks.