Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Technology => Topic started by: thedoc on 15/09/2016 14:09:33

Title: QotW - 16.09.13 - Why does line drying make clothes rough?
Post by: thedoc on 15/09/2016 14:09:33
Recently our dryer died. So we had to line dry our clothes until a new dryer could be delivered. Most things, especially towels, came out rougher and stiffer. Why is this?
Asked by Kevin Fitch


                                        Find out more on our podcast page (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/naked-scientists/show/20160913/)

[chapter podcast=1001468 track=16.09.13/Naked_Scientists_Show_16.09.13_1005704.mp3](http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/typo3conf/ext/naksci_podcast/gnome-settings-sound.gif)  ...or Listen to the Answer[/chapter] or [download as MP3] (http://nakeddiscovery.com/downloads/split_individual/16.09.13/Naked_Scientists_Show_16.09.13_1005704.mp3)

Title: Re: Why does line drying make clothes rough?
Post by: Atomic-S on 20/08/2016 06:24:13
Did you use fabric-softener sheets in your dryer? Even if you did not, the agitation of the dryer would likely loosen up the fibers some, making them more pliable.
Title: Re: Why does line drying make clothes rough?
Post by: chris on 20/08/2016 16:02:39
I agree with Atomic; the movement within the mechanical dryer would have loosened up the materials by the time you came to collect the dry results. Except when it is very windy, most clothing remains relatively static on the washing line and hence is not subject to the same perturbation.

A bigger question is, therefore, why does washing stiffen in the first place, and how do fabric softeners work?
Title: Re: Why does line drying make clothes rough?
Post by: jeffreyH on 20/08/2016 16:16:25
Moisture on a fabric will tend to pull fibres together. It may be that not all water molecules are lost during slow evaporation. This will tend to 'glue' fibres together. On a windy day the moisture that would have remained would then be ejected by the airflow. In a drier the hot air may have an ionising effect. Not sure on that one.
Title: Hear the answer to this question on our show
Post by: thedoc on 15/09/2016 14:09:33
We discussed this question on our  show



Laura Brooks put this to Neil Lant, research Fellow in the Fabric  Home Care division of Proctor and Gamble, who make Lenor fabric softener.



[Transcript to follow]



Click to visit the show page for the podcast in which this question is answered. (http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/naked-scientists/show/20160913/) Alternatively, [chapter podcast=1001468 track=16.09.13/Naked_Scientists_Show_16.09.13_1005704.mp3](http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/typo3conf/ext/naksci_podcast/gnome-settings-sound.gif) listen to the answer now[/chapter] or [download as MP3] (http://nakeddiscovery.com/downloads/split_individual/16.09.13/Naked_Scientists_Show_16.09.13_1005704.mp3)