Clothing that 'breaks down'?

I noticed a very strange odour coming from a wicker basket of (rarely worn) clothes in my bedroom recently. It smelled like rancid cooking oil with a pronounced chemical bouquet (for want of a better description).

Anyway, after much detective work, I found a synthetic top buried deep in the basket that absolutely reeked of the above stink. Also, the top felt damp and greasy to the touch, as if it was starting to decompose. Note that all the clothes (including the pongsome top) were put away clean and dry so it wasn’t a case of true dampness causing the problem. And it was only this top, but of course the stink had contaminated other clothing as well.

Are there particular synthetic mixes in clothing that can start to degrade like this?

It’s possible for synthetics to break down (acetate, for example, breaks down in acetone). What exactly was it?

This phenomenon was been studied during the 1970s by one Rose Rosannadanna. See her work on a polyester blouse that smelled like New Jersey.

It’s a polyester/rayon blend (64%/36%). No acetate.

I’m keeping it in the backyard at the moment to see how this progresses. I hope the neighbours don’t complain about the smell. :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you have a link by any chance? My googling brought up nothing connected.

Unless this is a double woosh, that was a woosh I think.


Thanks alice. :stuck_out_tongue: