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Q&A and Useful Industry Information

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Mysterious Underarm Discoloration


Q: I just took a blue silk blouse out of the cleaning machine and where the perspiration has discolored the underarms, holes have appeared. This has happened before and the customers always think it is my fault. Can you explain this type of damage?

A: Yes, chemical testing over the years of many, many similar situations almost always reveals the presence of chloride salts in the damaged areas. Textile research has shown that chloride salts of any type will weaken silk yarns over a period of time.

Chloride salts are present in many foods, beverages, medicines, table salt, and salt water, as well as perspiration and some deodorants. The location of your damaged area definitely indicates that perspiration and/or deodorant have deteriorated the silk yarns to the point that the agitation of cleaning caused the weakened yarns to tear. Unfortunately, there is no practical way to predict or prevent this type of damage from occurring during acceptable cleaning.

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/7/2016 2:11:53 PM