I have been tempted by a Jenni Kayne sweater recently that is a mohair/acrylic blend. Like you, it’s the color that enchants me. They have a 100% cotton version that’s not as vibrant and, thus, I don’t like it as much. Generally, I find synthetic fibers uncomfortable as soon as I put them on, but some blends seem to be just fine and I can’t seem to narrow down why. It’s not a particular percentage or price point, as near as I can tell, it’s just a mystery!

@ Jenn - I’ve been reading as much ‘industry’ stuff as I can source on the ‘net, and though I’ve learned a lot I still can’t figure out the magic formula! The one consistent for ‘better’ quality (especially in natural fibres) seems to be long staple vs short.

An informative thread! I also don’t have any strict rules about synthetic v natural. These days, I rather feel that all sweaters tend to look shabby rather fast… no one is gonna be stealing my sweaters twenty years from now for fashion like I stole my dad’s.

The only fiber I ban is acrylic because it pills so badly.

My rule of thumb is to largely avoid acrylic. Acrylic looks AMAZING in the stores in fall - chunky, soft, gleaming knits. It is cheap, shows well, and fits the season, which is why you see so much of it in sweaters and scarves come fall. But to me it almost NEVER delivers - starts fluffing after a couple of wears, pills, stretches out and generally looks worn out and awful. That little bit of cashmere would make me suspicious too.

I have had a couple of acrylic blanket scarves work for me, but that's it. I don't but acrylic anymore. My sweaters and scarves are wool, silk and cashmere - sometimes with some polyester in them to help with washing and keeping their shape. These fabrics are a lot more expensive - which is why I normally thrift them.

Jenni, Lycra and elastane and spandex are all the same things. Lycra is a particular brand name, while elastane and spandex are generic names. So you're right!

Thanks Ginger, I put that in for Carla who I think liked one but not the other, which was inconsistent if they are the same thing!

Exactly! It should be all the same fiber. There can be variations by manufacturer, but still a lot less than with natural fibers.

Interesting thread.

I try to buy tops in cotton or linen (or silk but that's rare). I also have rayon which has mostly been successful.

My sports gear is mostly synthetic (dryfit or lycra or merino and this works well.

I still have a couple of polyester things in the closet but trying to stop adding any more. I find it wears well and the colours are excellent - but the microfibre leakage does worry me.

I just had to google… the only OK materials for clothes are tencel & linen (manmade cellulose and bast)… according to the Independent… oh dear…

I'm not a fan of acrylic personally, it's often itchy.
Some polys are definitely better than others, but I buy blends the most.

As I understand it, synthetic fleece fabric is getting better and better. Great for performance gear and wears very well. But you knew that. I have a poly fleece vest from Uniqlo which is ten years if it’s a day and still going strong.

For knits, not so much. I think it’s something to do with the texture of the fibers. That said, these days I would trust a quality synthetic over a cheap natural textile. I heard acrylic is improving, and if my St Pauli soccer scarf is anything to go by, this is probably true. Also, I’m currently in the midst of a major closet overhaul and noticing how well the viscose knits are holding up. They drape very nicely too.

@ approprio - so nice to ‘see’ you!

In summer I have to wear cotton or linen. It’s so hot, in the upper 90s for weeks on end, that anything else just doesn’t cut it. Some say cotton gets wet. But it dries, too.

In winter, it’s cold here, but very low humidity. Synthetic tops tend to be staticky. A synthetic blend sweater is a little better in this respect than blouses, but only a little.

For coats, I definitely want pure natural fibers. It’s getting so difficult to find, except at extremely high prices. I manage, sort of, by stalking things, going to discount sites like The Rack and 6pm, and buying used. As I mentioned in another post, I bought from EF Renew, and my takeaway is Buyer Beware. Their idea of “good as new” is not the same as mine.

I have been buying from EF Renew and hope that.velvet pants from the last couple of years show up soon. I only wear already purchased polyester in the fall and maybe early spring. Otherwise I really need natural fibers and am using the same places you are too keep the price down. I have had pretty good luck with Renew, but avoid anything a that might snag or have snags. If you have a Dillard’s store near you their end-of -month sales on EF are worth checking out. Even on mostly no returns you have a couple of days. I had great luck in KS where few wore an XS and they were regularly on the sale rack. In the Boulder area they sell out of XS or S first so the sale rack is full of large sizes. Hence interest in Renew.