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What You Didn’t Know: Healing Textiles, Polyester Poison, and Scripture

Have you ever noticed your body odor lingers when wearing polyester or rayon? The problem is not you!

Once you change your clothes, you might realize the odor is in the garment itself not your body.


Believe it or not, these plastic synthetic textiles are not our friends. And yet, majority of garments and home textiles are made of synthetic materials. Perhaps you have already experienced the agony of throwing that viscose skirt or rayon dress into the wash and finding it entirely misshapen and shrunken before even putting it in the dryer. These synthetic materials do not respond well to water (including sweat).

So, what happened? The fashion industry compromised quality for quantity and efficiency. It was introduced in the 1950's as the cost effective fabric that did not need ironing. Polyester garments became popular in the 1990's with the rise of fast fashion and the growing demand for a greater quantity of collections from designers. We did not realize at the time the effect this textile would have on the planet and more importantly, our bodies.

Recently, companies have been trying to promote recycled polyester for the sake of the environment, but that just means your shirt is now made of plastic water bottles. So technically one step closer for helping the environment, but not helping our bodies.

Polyester has been linked to infertility as the chemical mixture in the garment reacts to the skin causing a hormonal disruption. The chemical formaldehyde that allows the garment to be wrinkle free has been linked to acne, skin irritation, asthma flare ups, and even cancer. This is also due to the lack of breathability.


In order to avoid these chemical imbalances, let's go back to nature: natural fibers.

Natural fibers are healing for the body! Linen and wool are especially fascinating and have been through extensive studies regarding their affect on the body.


Consider the type of materials used to wrap wounds since ancient times: linen, “At the electronic cellular level, flax cells are highly complementary with human cells; producing a benevolent effect on the human organism. The human cell is capable of completely dissolving a flax cell. It is interesting that flax thread appears to be the only natural material utilized for internal sutures in a surgical setting” (The Thread).

Linen is a purified textile that repels dirt, and is known to even be a barrier to disease hence the use of linen for those recovering from an intense flesh wound.


Did you know that the way wool is woven has the capacity to keep you warm or cool you down? It works both ways according to the needs of your body! Wool has also been known as an antibacterial and aids those who struggle with allergies to dust, read more in the scientific study here.


In addition to the antibacterial element, wool also reduces body odor!

Many of the secular articles (discussing the benefits of linen and wool) cite the Old Testament! There was one passage consistently referenced, the Lord commanding: “You shall keep my statutes…nor shall there come upon you a garment of cloth made of two kinds of stuff” (Leviticus 19:19) which is clarified in Deuteronomy 22:11, “You shall not wear cloth made from wool and linen woven together.” The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary offers an interesting explanation for this command which is coherent with the science of fibers:


“The law did not prohibit the Israelites wearing many different kinds of cloths together, but only the two specified; and the observations and researches of modern science have proved that 'wool, when combined with linen, increases its power of passing off the electricity from the body. In hot climates, it brings on malignant fevers and exhausts the strength; and when passing off from the body, it meets with the heated air, inflames and excoriates like a blister' [Whitlaw].”


The Lord knows the needs of His own creation! This is not an article urging scrupulosity or demanding we take up the Old Law again, but to marvel at the consistency of faith and reason.

No need to throw out all polyester but if you notice your body responding poorly to a certain garment, take care of your body, and get rid of that certain dress. We can always strive to be more intentional in the garments we purchase by noticing the fibers. Choose to invest in natural fibers rather than giving into the demands of fast fashion. More and more companies are striving to create garments from organic fibers which is a bit encouraging.

Let us know if you have noticed a difference between your natural fiber and synthetic fiber garments!


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