Ten years ago I would have stuck a fork in my own eye rather than utter the phrase in the title. But I’ve changed my mind. Sometimes I feel like I need to come to the defense of modern day synthetics. They aren’t your mother’s synthetics. Heck, they aren’t even your synthetics from the 80s and 90s. I used to hate synthetics with a passion. Does anyone remember the Natural Fiber Fabrics Club? I was a long-standing member, maybe even a charter member. I would look down my nose at any polyester or nylon or acrylic, even rayon – especially rayon, actually. To me, rayon was a synthetic that tried to masquerade as natural thanks to the fact that it’s made from wood chips.
So what changed my mind? Technology. Synthetics used to have an oily, heavy feel. They didnt breathe. They came in fugly colors and prints and if you wore them you were likely to overheat in 70-degree(F) weather. But times they have changed. Nowadays, many of the polyester (note that I am saying many, not all) and other synthetic fabrics on the market breathe as well as Egyptian cotton, don’t retain heat, and wash beautifully. Check out high end designers – Versace, Chanel, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein – you name it, they all use synthetics, even in the Haute Couture. The fabrics have gotten that much better.
Yeah, I know, I sell these types of fabrics. That’s not my ulterior motive for posting here. I actually wear those fabrics. They’ve improved them that much. So do keep an open mind about synthetics. They’re not all bad. After all, if it weren’t for synthetics, Malden Mills would never have invented Polar Fleece, right? And Gore-Tex? Fabulous stuff. And there are lots of non-technical synthetics that are great. Give them a try – you might surprise yourself like I did and find that you actually like them!