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Consumer survival kit number 126 The naked truth about clothing the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting from the Maryland Center for Public Broadcasting. This program is funded by public television stations. The Ford Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from the fruit bearing fig tree came mankind's first fashion design of natural Cellulose Fibers and divine construction. It seemed for a while the perfect gardener but the climate changed and so did fashion. Ever since a man has been searching for that elusive combination of stylish garments that last next on consumer survival kit the naked truth about clothing.
Me. Hello I'm Larry Lohmann. When we buy clothes we buy more than just protection from the elements. We buy a style a look clothes we can enjoy wearing. The challenge is to find the combination of style and quality that meets our wardrobe needs yet doesn't break the bank. Consumers spent over sixty three billion dollars last year about $300 a piece to dress themselves. Many of them watch their garments pill pull shrink shred Faid pucker bleed rip and otherwise underperform. Quality control in the apparel industry seems to have taken a backseat to marketing and advertising. This means the responsibility for inspecting garments before purchase falls on the consumer. Tonight we'll show you how to distinguish between well-made clothes and well marketed clothes and give some alternatives to hefty retail markups. Bob Smith looks at garment labels and the law Sandy
hardener reports on dry cleaning and friend Johannsen has our survival kit. But first number one men's clothes are made better than women's clothes. True or false. Number two you can expect any government to be dry cleanable unless it's care label warns that it is not true or false. Number three in the long run fabrics made from natural fibers pure wool cotton linen or silk are more durable than fabrics made from blends of natural and synthetic fibers. True or false. Now let's compare answers. Number 1 is true men's clothes are generally made of higher quality fabrics and constructed with more care than women's clothes. This is because fashion is more important than quality. When it comes to marketing women's clothes with the exception of sports sportswear men's garments don't very much from the classic styles so they can be marketed year after year according to their ability to wear. On the other hand a high percentage of women's garments have a short
selling life because fashions change so often and the rule seems to be the shorter the selling life of a garment the poor the quality. In fact the hottest selling fashions are usually the most cheaply made. Classic styles that sell year after year like tailored sportswear and the shirt waist dress are likely to be better made. Number two is also true according to the Federal Trade Commission you can expect any government to be dry cleanable as long as its care label does not warn against it. BOB SMITH We'll have more on permanent care labels a little later. The answer to number three is false. There may be a certain amount of prestige attached to fabrics made wholly of natural fibers but partially synthetic fabrics can be as durable and in many cases more durable than pure wool cotton silk or linen by combining synthetic with natural textile technology has produced a wide variety of blended fabrics that give the best of both fibers to take advantage of all these fabric options. Consumers need to know which fibers or blends are right for their needs.
We went to the prettiest three it do we need it to suit your needs. You can choose to be fantastic. So how about some kind of nice in this good company. My gosh. Because now I'm picking die. She doesn't look
too good. You should have gotten 100 percent cut in check because I spent so much in there. No place just about everything. Please don't make it. Let me find out how to stop it from the shape of something that is so soft hey it's day Man you to sick. That's how you go through five minutes and then it cost plenty. Maybe you could get in a suit
which is open to students like junkies. Junkies will just take it's so easy to keep. So are you can handle the high temperatures. Was easy to speak got my face looked like that but it's not too pushy about it. He didn't hesitate. I thought you know maybe another option maybe some other thoughts of his Poppy. She didn't mess around with that. So this isn't
even close and it came down like a day. So it's just really messy. You know maybe it's not purely You can people's to me to take them in. How about this. It's man made. That's great. Plus that looks like a big step. This is the stuff that right there. And you could see the stupid people can't even see of course his
money is no object. Oh our sartorial swindler's failed to mention two very practical fibers. Ray on a nylon around polyester blends make good wash and wear fabrics nylons chief characteristic is strength. It doesn't shrink or stretch 10 or 15 percent nylon in a bland extends I'm gonna slash that but what about fabric quality. Well a lot of different fabrics may be of the same bland those that are thinly woven won't last as long. Check for this by holding the fabric up to the light. Generally speaking the closer and more even the weave or knit the stronger the fabric with pattern materials check to see if the pattern has been created onto or woven into the fabric threaded patterns may fade and bleeds sooner than woven patterns patterns that are woven into fabrics will be clearly visible on the reverse side looks almost the same on one side as it does on the other. That's because the yarns that make the pattern are died before they're woven credit patterns on the other hand show through as
clearly one side and the other finally check for shrinkage resistance fabric which has been pre-shrunk may shrink again after it's washed and dried if the care instructions are followed the gamut should still fit even with the additional shrinkage. If you want some extra reassurance that you're a size 15 collar won't end up a 14 and a half. Look for a guarantee that Twinkies will not exceed 2 percent. Now how do you turn a good fabric into a good garment. Here's some expert advice I'd like to talk to you about construction or not the kind I do all day but the kind we put on our backs. You see clothing and buildings in all the different costs if there's good work put into them. They last a long time. Let me give you the inside story. Now you seems that like the mortar of your clothes. They hold everything together. So look for a strong scene because a weak one can really take the charm out of your chop chop chop. If you've got a healthy seam allowance you can alter the garment if it shrinks or you experience a little personal inflation.
But remember some synthetics adorable press garments can't be altered. The cost increases are permanently set into the fabric and not a thing. An unfinished edge on a new garment is like a loose screw. You're going to have a lot of thread showing later if your fabric is the kind that ravels I don't mean that phrase really easy on the edges. So check for finished fabric gadgets now scenes can be finished by painting over casting or covering with scene tape or a line and not a thing look for good tight stitching or stress points like darts underarm seams pockets and zippers. And then there's the hand. This is a nice smooth one. If there's a scene tape along the handbag sure it's sturdy and woven tightly. If not it can unravel a generous Ham is handy if you ever need to make a garment longer. Now here's two clues to how well your garment will hold its shape. For one check for seems at a small them pressed open for to check that the vertical threads of the fabric fall straight from the shoulder if they're
straight the garment was cut on the grain as they say in the trade and off Grand garment can scratch and bag and it'll hang like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The only exception to this rule. A close cut on the bias or diagonal. Now Kalas lapels cuffs necklines and sleeves facings should have been interfacing to keep the garment in shape. Interfacing is like the filling in a fabric sandwich. Try squeezing the interface areas to see how well they spring back. Remember if it's made good on the inside it will go on the outside. You'll save time and money on repair and replacement. Now if you'll excuse me I've got a couple of alterations to make more about construction to help you choose clothes you'll enjoy for a long time. This time the outside story first checked to see if your plaid stripes and diagonal lines match up along the seams and the pockets. And this is another clue to whether
your garment was cut on the grain or so a matched plaid just looks better. Check out buttons and buttonholes buttons should be sewn on securely so you won't lose them and buttonholes shouldn't have a raggedy edges or they will stretch out of shape hems shouldn't show from the outside and take a good look at the seams from the outside to under the arms and at other intersections the seams should criss cross perfectly. Also are the seams or Dart's puckered on the outside. Or is fabric caught in the stitches. That's a warning of poor workmanship and that leads to a poor fit. I take the time to check these things out in the store. You probably won't find all the good construction features on a single garment but the more you do find the better the investment. Here's another way to learn more about your clothes before you buy them. Boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom.
Interesting. Yes very interesting. Good day good day and welcome to Smith's Emporium home. Good good. And where are the wearables. So glad you could make this little get together. Today's topic. A look at the label friends date with us Mystery's will be unfolded. Now that modern technology makes possible ingenious combinations of fibers. It's hard to tell what fabric you're buying just by looking at it touching it so it is fortunate is it not that under federal law the purchaser must be told to present it. Each fiber present by weight in amounts of 5 percent or more. You see the mystery disappears. Does a fabric wholly or partially natural look on the label for the generic or family name of the natural fibers. Cotton wool silk complex. Also examine the label for the generic name of the man made fibres for their trade names are legion but their family names are acetate acrylic metallic motor acrylic nylon glass overfilling polyester. Read on and rub Bersa around and
spandex. Know the Lloyd and erimus. Try acetate then sorry feel liberated areas be away. Yes well. These fiber labels are so precise that one of them once noted the content of 15 percent trash which means the sweepings from the fabric had been reintroduced into the knitting not us and brought them down and of course now other federal legislation prevents deceptive labeling of wool and furs wool means fiber which has never been reclaimed from any woven or felted wool product reprocessed wool is fibre manufactured from scraps of new fabric or from a wool product which didn't sell re-used wool is fibre reclaimed from wool products which have been sold and used no mysteries at all. Just letting it all pardon the pun hang out. Now we're very elegant don't you think this
lepping coat that federal labeling laws won't let you call it lepping the label must tell you the true English name of the animal producing the fur and lap and dear friends is read the label must also tell you whether the fur product is dyed bleached artificially colored or if it's natural. The name of the manufacturer and the country of origin if the fur is imported. If the fur is used or if it's composed of paws bellies scrap pieces of waste furs that must be on the label. You see lucid labeling is the law. Now to keep your purchases pristine Perouse permanent care labels most clothing manufactured since 1973 must have carry labels that stay attached and illegible for the life of the garment. These permanent care labels tell you how to wash bleach dry iron and dry clean your garments right away at the care label says hand-washing cold water. The government may not be color fast. Another thing that the care label will tell you. Know is
how to maintain the plain resistance built into your children's sleepwear. In summation. Show me a well read label and I will show you a sophisticated shopper. A discerning dresser and one of whom it can truly be said this is a consumer. When you put a garment on your body every little wrinkle has a meaning of its own horizontal wrinkles I mean the garment is either too tight or too long. Vertical wrinkles too wide diagonal wrinkles mean the shoulders and armholes must be altered. Now alterations are sometimes expensive so if you fall in love with a garment that doesn't fit. Be sure to get an estimate on the cost of alteration. Add it to the purchase price before you make up your mind. Now what should you look for in the way of fit. We'll demonstrate by using a man's suit. Some of these points apply to women's tailored clothing to the suit jacket should hang straight from the shoulders to the lower edge with no wrinkles or bulges. By the way small vertical falls for the shoulder and arm
action shouldn't be considered wrinkles. The jacket is the right length on most cases that means that it should cover or extend past the trousers see. The collar is set close to the neck at the back and sides with about one half to three quarters of an inch of shirt collar showing in the back. Both sleeves are comfortable with pressed without a crease and lead half to three quarters of an inch of shirt Cup show. The V formed by the lapels ends in a soft roll at the top of the jacket button. The jacket doesn't look too tight or feel too tight when it's button on the lining of this suit is smooth and it's well fitted. The trouser waist is snug but it isn't tight. The trouser legs should fit comfortably and hang straight from the waist with the creases running with the lengthwise grain of the fabric and they should either touch the top of the shoes or extend one or two inches beyond the shoe top. If extensive alterations are needed especially to make the suit jacket fit right through the collar the shoulders
and chest. Look for another suit. Remember that alterations on durable or permanent press clothing may be a problem. By the way permanent press or durable press garments usually need no ironing at all. If their tumble dried and hung up promptly. Good wash and wear finishes need just a touch with an iron wrinkle resistant finishes usually need more than a touch more and more washable garments are produced each year but some clothing still needs the attention of a good dry cleaner if dry cleaning. Been giving you grief. Here's where to look for help. What do you do if your new shirt comes back from the dry cleaner with a stain. Or your suede jackets discount. Well with complaints to the dry cleaner fall on deaf ears you can make use of this unique organization. The International fabric care Institute.
This IFFI research center is in Silver Spring Maryland. Many dry cleaners are members of this organization and for their yearly dues they get up to date information on the best ways to dry clean various fabrics. Experts here can also make specific recommendations to the cleaner on how to correct or improve his processing technique. The institute will do practically the same thing for the consumer. For a $5 fee which the consumer usually takes. The five will examine the stain or discoloration and determine whether it's the fault of the dry cleaner. Consumer. Or the manufacturer. When a garment arrives at IFFI it's checked in and coded for analysis. Under the eye of a microscope a specialist then examines the item to determine the fiber content. Once the fiber content is determined it is then tested for color fast properties and probable cause of damage.
After the analysis is completed. A follow up letter is returned along with the garment. This letter contains the analyst's findings and also States whether the damage was the fault of the consumer manufacture or the dry cleaning. If the analysis finds the dry cleaner at fault and he's an IFR member chances are he'll pay you for the damage. If he's not a member and is uncooperative you can sue him in small claims court. Your letter from the Institute will stand as expert testimony that he is at fault. If the manufacturer is at fault as is often the case this letter will help you get satisfaction. To get in touch with the FBI. Contact your local Better Business Bureau or consumer protection agency. And ask them about glomerata now by the international fabric area. Of course. The best medicine is always prevention. So if you do get to stay. Have the garment cleaned as soon as the stain occur. Tell them. What caused the stain if possible and the market
with a can. Also make the cork aware of special care labeling made so it can be noted on your ticket. And always inspect your garments before you leave your store. If you can judge fabric construction and fit you can choose well-made clothing that lasts and looks good. You'll be able to recognize it no matter where you find it. Which means you're ready to venture into the world of underground shopping underground shopping means different things to different people. Basically it means looking where the amenities are fewer. The overhead is lower and the marketing structure is less conventional. Manufacturers outlets and sample stores market overstocked merchandise clothes out items and samples leftovers. Basically what some of these leftovers are top of the line merchandise at great savings and some of them on some of the things and factory outlets and discount stores are seconds or irregulars. The apparel industry calls it a second if it has a visible defect in fabric or construction and irregular has a less obvious
defect. Perhaps one sleeve a bit longer than the other. Practically speaking you may find it difficult to even find the flaws. If you've never bought seconds or regular's you might want to consider them especially for socks hosiery underwear and children's clothes. Since children do grow so fast and economical plan is to buy a minimum number of garments of just adequate quality you will have to launder them more often. But they'll probably last until the child needs the next larger size. Some woman may be able to shop men's stores for shirts sweaters and pants for their own wardrobe. For some figures the fit may be satisfactory. The quality may be higher and the price lower or wherever you shop you'll be happier with your purchases. If you study your own closet first buying coordinates to extend what you already have is old advice but it's easy to forget when you take an impulsive liking to something in a store. Or perhaps you're thinking of joining the ranks of 45 million homes sowars proficient sowars can make dramatic savings on some garments but don't buy more sewing machine than you need. If your machine can do a
straight stitch and a simple zigzag stitch you can do just about any kind of sewing you want. You can make buttonholes and overcast fabric edges with a little practice you can even so NYTs you think you might want to do fancier things eventually. Ask if the machine has attachments which can be purchased later. More tips on clothing coming up. You can get more if your clothing dollar. And after reading this week's Survivor can you will the first step is to learn something about the retailing of clouds. And for that we have an article entitled Behind the price tag of $110 a dress and explains what happens to the price between wholesale and retail. We also have tips on how to select clothes that will last. It shows you what to look for and construction features and fabrics. We have an overall guide to manmade fabrics that list the pros and cons of each. It will show you how to treat the different kinds of wool like worsted insurge when it
comes to buying children's clothing. There are some special considerations. They're all covered in the cat and we have information on what to look for in a good dry cleaner and how to care for garments made of leather and suede. And if you're in the market for a sewing machine you'll find lots of help in the cat on which features to look for and which ones to avoid. We also have a summary of tonight's show and a bibliography of helpful books for your consumers have had on clothes. Send one dollar to cover reproduction costs poulticing handling to clothing box 1975 Owings Mills Maryland 2 1 1 1 7 that's 1 dollar to clothing box 1975 Owings Mills Maryland to run 1 1 7. If you are dissatisfied with the government it is possible to complain to the manufacturer the manufacturer of a textile fiber product a product or a product must state his name or his Federal Trade Commission registered number on each gun or
this number is preceded by the letters are N or WBL. A marketer might replace the manufacturer's name or number with his own. However if you ask him who actually made the garment he must tell you if you need a manufacturer's address or if you need to turn a registered number into a name and address right. Paul Giamatti. Federal Trade Commission Washington DC 2 0 0 5 8 2. That's Paul Jamali FTC Washington DC 2 0 5 8 2. However before you contact the manufacturer you should try to get satisfaction in your own community. In. Anything the consumer can do about clothes that don't last. One suggestion. Look for product guarantees. These are relatively new in the field of textile products. If the garment fails to perform is guaranteed take the sales slips the guarantee tag and gone back to the local retail merchant to claim a refund or replacement. But even without a guarantee you should still seek satisfaction according to the American apparel manufacturers association a
permanent care label is an implied warranty that the product will be satisfactory if the care instructions are followed. Most retail stores will take defective merchandise back. So next time you follow the washing instructions but your new blouse falls apart. Take it back. The naked truth about clothing is that you can say but to be a successful shopper at a manufacturer's outlet or the most elegant shop in town you must be knowledgeable. What kind of fabric suits your needs. How good is the fabric. What does the label tell you about the keratin age. Is the garment made to last and fit. If you know the answers you may find that combination of style and quality that makes clothing more fun than a fig leaf. See you next time on consumer survival kit. Yes you.
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Consumer Survival Kit
Episode Number
The Naked Truth About Clothing
Producing Organization
Maryland Public Television
Contributing Organization
Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Clothing, #123, production #25-331
Series Description
Consumer Survival Kit is an educational show providing viewers with information about consumer affairs issues.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Consumer Affairs and Advocacy
Media type
Moving Image
Copyright Holder: MPT
Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Maryland Public Television
Identifier: 27434.0 (MPT)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:30:00?
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Chicago: “Consumer Survival Kit; 126; The Naked Truth About Clothing,” 1978-06-17, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 27, 2023,
MLA: “Consumer Survival Kit; 126; The Naked Truth About Clothing.” 1978-06-17. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 27, 2023. <>.
APA: Consumer Survival Kit; 126; The Naked Truth About Clothing. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from