The Mysterious Sweater Holes

Many people at Hallahan have either experienced having a hole in their sweater (specifically on the elbow) or they know someone who has. However, despite how common they are, no one knows exactly how they got there nor at what time they actually appeared!

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The Mysterious Sweater Holes

Myahn Walker

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Many people at Hallahan have either experienced having a hole in their sweater (specifically on the elbow) or they know someone who has. However, despite how common they are, no one knows exactly how they got there nor at what time they actually appeared!

Because I have discovered that many people have wondered why exactly this occurs, I have gathered information and researched data on the possible reasons for the holes. First, I gathered information from my fellow students by asking what they think is the reasoning that everyone is getting holes in the same spot on their sweater. Most people think it is because of leaning on their elbow. It is a probable cause due to the constant rubbing and stretching of the sweater when this happens. Another answer was that the holes are a result of the dryer machine. This also makes sense due to the fact that the fibers of clothes will burn if they are not on the right heat setting.

With this information in mind, I started to look up information regarding the fibers themselves. The sweaters are made of 100% acrylic fibers, which is a type of synthetic fiber created to be lightweight, soft, warm, and wool-like in texture. This sounds like it is a great type of fabric especially for a Hallahan sweater. However, because it is a synthetically generated fiber, it is heat sensitive and can be weak. Before the entire process is explained, here are a few terms in regards to fabrics:

  • Abrasion resistance– the ability to withstand wear from repeated rubbing
  • Elasticity– the ability to stretch
  • Heat sensitivity– the level of heat the fibers are able to withstand
  • Strength– the length of individual fibers and the amount of twists in the yarn

The elasticity of the acrylic fibers are seemingly low and the created tension in turn makes it harder for the fibers to return to its natural state after being stretched. The abrasion resistance of acrylic fiber is the third highest (nylon and linen being the highest) but the constant friction between the acrylic sweater and our cotton shirts should be noted. Together the elasticity and the abrasion resistance affect the overall strength of the fabric. With the fibersa�� lack of ability to stretch and the tension of the sweater and other fabrics, our sweaters wear away. Acrylic fibers are very heat sensitive and it is recommended on the tag that we dry our sweaters on low heat. I know for a fact that I do not do this because 1.) most of my clothes dry on higher settings and 2.) I never knew we were supposed to. This may be the case for my fellow students also.

In conclusion, our sweaters are made of 100% acrylic fibers in order to be the most comfortable. However, the mysterious holes that have been occurring in our sweaters are happening as results of both the wearing of the sweater when leaning on our elbows and the added high heat dryer settings we use to dry our clothes. I hope this information was helpful to all those who wondered why this happened, however there is still one thing we must know. How do we prevent this from happening if we dona��t know when they happen until after there is a hole? A�A�A�A�

Sources:

  1. http://www.worldinaspin.com/articles/characteristics
  2. https://knowledgetextile.wordpress.com/more/advantages-disadvantages/acrylic-advantages-disadvantages/

 

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