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Do your clothes make you itch?

Colored TextilesIf your clothes make you itch and you get rashes where your clothes rub your skin, you are not alone. More and more people are discovering their clothes are making them very uncomfortable. I have a few suggestions you can use to help make your life more comfortable.

 Causes of textile allergies:

• Dyes, Formaldehyde and N-methylol, fire-retardant coatings, anti-cling, anti-static, moth-proof, mildew resistant, anti-shrink and waterproof finishes. These finishes are being used more and more.
• Remains of detergent, dyes in the detergent and perfumes in clothes can cause irritation.
• Friction from clothing The areas of the body that come in the closest contact with the affected materials are: underarms, inner thighs, inner elbows, around waist and neck.
• Latex from gloves, rubber additives and in elastic.
• Chemicals used to dye and process leather, and glue products.
• Metals, especially nickel in buckles, cheap jewelry and even some expensive white gold jewelry.
• Dyes on inexpensive beaded costume jewelry.

This is a summary of the best solutions I have found so far.

1. Do not buy highly colored synthetic fabric clothes that will touch your skin. Be careful of highly colored natural fabrics also, be sure to wash all clothes at least three times before wearing.
2. Do not buy any article of clothing, especially for babies and children that is: wrinkle resistant, resistant to stains or odors or has fire-retardant coatings.
3. Be especially careful buying underwear. NEVER wear any clothes that touch your skin, even totally white ones, before washing several times.
4. Use special clothes washing detergents that do not have added fragrances or dyes. Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda, 50 Load Bagis my favorite, there are many others available. I also rinse all my clothes twice.
5. Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softeners, I use a Natural Anti Static Dryer Bal like Nellie’s PVC Free Dryer Balls with pretty good success. I also use vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser on my machine, it helps to remove detergent residue and softens clothes. Even fabric softeners without fragrance are unnecessary, they just add chemicals to your clothes.
6. When relaxing at home, have special “pure and natural” clothes that you can feel completely comfortable in. Wrinkled, white on white 100% organic cotton, may not be a fashion statement, but I sure feel more comfortable in my special “at home clothes”. I get mine at Cottonque.com.
7. In the winter I wear white or off white long underwear under my dark or brightly colored clothes. I like silk the best, it doesn’t make me look bulky or make my clothes too tight. Wintersilk.com has some great styles. Of course, I notice my silk long johns will turn light blue after wearing them under blue jeans. This dye would normally be deposited on my skin, no wonder blue jeans make me itchy and break out in rashes.

If you have any other hints to help make life us more comfortable in our own clothes, please leave a comment.


3 Responses

  1. My son has lots of allergies to food and environmental. His eczema is bad and we are constantly trying to find ways to help him. Last week we went camping and he slept in a sleeping bag. It seemed like his wrists and hands improved while we were there. After one night of sleeping in his bed he had scratched nearly all the skin off his wrists (he wears gloves to bed but takes them off while he is sleeping…he is 4). I’m thinking it may be the dyes in his sheets. How can I be sure of this? Are there any tests that can be done to see how sensitive he is to dyes? He seems fine in all of his clothes.


    • Hi Angela,
      You can have him tested for dye allergies, but an easier and cheaper way would be to buy 100% cotton (preferably organic) in white or natural without any wrinkle-free or stain-free finishes. Anything with polyester or a wrinkle-free finish is out. Also a higher thread count will be softer on his skin. Wash the new sheets several times in dye-free, perfume-free detergent and rinse twice. Pottery Barn Kids has organic sheets in 200 thread count in twin-sized, be sure to get white. Company Store also has organic sheets The company Store http://www.thecompanystore.com/organic-percale-sheets/e4m7-ps-a13.html?start=1&cgid=sheets-eco-friendly has organic sheets also.

      When I travel I always breakout in a rash from the detergent hotels use on their white sheets. Sleeping on colored sheets is really bad for me also.

      Good Luck, I hope your little one has a good night’s sleep very soon.



  2. HI, I found that sleeping in 100% pure silk sheets has worked wonders for my partner’s skin allergies. We swear by it and don’t use any of our old sheets anymore. Lucky silk dries quickly 🙂 It was a tough to decide where to get the sheets from, as silk is so expensive. I got lucky and was given a coupon code for deluxesilk.com (I added it as the website to this comment) and bought from there with free shipping. If anyone is worried about quality from the internet I can vouch for this site being a good one.
    You can try the coupon code if you like and see if it still works: 14OJtts30. It got me 30% off. After buying the sheet set, it was so nice we went all out and bought the duvet, pillows and mattress protector all in silk. It’s divine.
    I hope this helps anyone out there willing to try it.


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