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Why are more and more clothes irritating our skin?

I’ve been allergic to fabric dyes and textile finishes for the last 12 years. Things seem to be getting worse. I’m not talking about my skin condition, but the clothes that are for sale now have more irritating finishes and colors than ever before. More people are getting a fabric allergy and are allergic to their clothes

It’s very hard to figure out what will irritate your skin when buying new clothes. Price really is no indicator of safety. I have found expensive clothes that make me break out from irritation to the dyes and finishes just as I have problems with less expensive clothes. It’s like I have a new clothes allergy. I do find that natural fibers are safer than synthetic fibers. The dyes used in natural fibers are less irritating to my skin. Watch out for fabrics advertised as wrinkle-free and stain resistant, this “benefit” is created by using chemicals as a fabric finish. Many people are allergic to the finishes on new clothes.

I always wash my new clothes three times using a dye-free and perfume-free detergent before wearing them for the first time. I also set an extra rinse on my washing machine for all loads.

Don’t forget your towels and wash cloths. My husband pointed out that we were still using brick-red and navy blue towels, after I knew for sure I was allergic to red and blue fabric dyes.  I now use natural colored natural fiber towels and have less problems.

Try natural fiber clothes from http://wintersilk.com or  http://cottonique.com, The detergent I use is Nellies All Natural Laundry Soda and dryer balls, see my Allergy Comfort Zone Shop for more products I recommend:  http://allergycomfortzone.com/comfort_store.html

Comment below if you have suggestions or questions.


8 Responses

  1. I’ve had the same problem with clothing irritating my skin. I hate to throw out very old clothes. Often I buy new tshirts and no matter how many times I wash ‘cotton’ tshirts, I feel they are scratching me, and these new shirts go into the ‘goodwill’ box for donations. Even had this experience with ‘organic cotton’ tshirts from WalMart.


    • I certainly agree, some clothing no matter how they are marked or how many times they are washed, still cause problems. I find it’s good to have a few “safe & comfortable” items of clothing that I use for my relaxed at home times and times when I am working out and sweaty. Yes, they are getting old and faded, but they feel so good on my skin. I’m thrilled when I find a new “safe” item to add to the collection.

      Good luck with your search. I wish there was a fool-proof way for finding those “safe” items.


      • Can you please recomend a source for full length cotton long johns? Cotinique only has the capri lenth ones. Are the silk one organic/untreated? It doesn’t say on their site. Also, please tell me where to find untreated sheets. Thank you!!


        • Hi Irene,

          I prefer the silk because it is thinner under my clothes. Here are a few sites with organic cotton long johns or tights.
          I have not ordered from any of these companies, so can’t recommend products.


        • Thanks! I will try the silk. Where do you get your sheets?


        • Hi again,

          Silk for long johns, 100% organic cotton for sheets. I do use a silk pillow case, I love the way it feels on my face and my hair doesn’t stand up in the back in the morning. As I said before, my sheets are very old and soft, I don’t remember where I purchased them. If you do a search on 100% organic cotton sheets there are a lot that show in the list. Go for a high thread count so they are smoother on your skin. If you find a good set let me know, I will be needing new sheets someday and I’m sure other reader would like to know.



        • Thanks Dayne!
          I will order the silks. Where do you get your sheets?


        • Hi again,

          I am using 100% cotton sheets I bought many years ago, they are so soft and smooth. When they wear out I will look for some organic cotton sheets and wash them three times before using.



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