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LSS 74: Fiber Science

With the season’s chilly weather requiring people to wrap up warm, it seems like a good time to talk about fibers and fabric. In this episode, first, you’ll hear Liz Mahood present a history of the creation and production of synthetic fibers. To learn more about this intriguing science history, see the links below.

Later in the show, Esther Racoosin interviews Dr. Mike Haaf, Professor of Chemistry at Ithaca College. Dr. Haaf recently published a research article in the journal Coloration Tech. It is titled, “In situ fabric coloration with indigo synthesized in flow”. The co-authors of the paper are Ithaca College graduate Katrina Piemonte, Dr. Tyler McQuade of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Lucy Cotton and Richard Blackburn of the University of Leeds in the UK.

In his paper, Dr. Haaf  and collaborators describe a new method for synthesizing indigo dyes. The method allows for direct coloration of cotton fabrics without using a typical vat dyeing process that is used in the garment industry to dye denim jeans.

Dr. Mike Haaf (right) of Ithaca College (Photo: Ithaca College)

Finally, we hear Meaghan McElroy present the science events calendar for the week.

Links to articles about the history of synthetic fibers:
https://www.herculite.com/blog/the-history-of-synthetic-fabrics
https://startupfashion.com/fashion-archives-history-synthetic-fiber
https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-fabrics-4072209
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_fabric
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Dr. Mike Haaf: Esther Racoosin

History of the creation of synthetic fibers: Liz Mahood

Science Events Calendar: Meaghan McElroy

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti.

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