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Buyer beware. The past didn't present by word of the bewildered consumer shoppers in the modern marketplace looking for the Best Buy the safest product and find a perplexing jumble of good. The consumer's choice is the story behind this program series. Buyer beware. The finery of a spring wardrobe and the permanently styled wigs may be tempting to a consumer and a merchant as well. But these products may become the object of deception in the wrong hands. Not only disappointment but tragedy has been a part of the story of textile wares for sale. Complaints of consumers range from Tales of shrinking dresses to blouses engulfed in flames. With the development of new manmade fibers. The consumer has become even more confused about the performance and care of articles of
clothing. The Federal Trade Commission has been charged with the responsibility of clearing up this bewilderment legislation has been passed to ensure clear and exact labeling of fiber content ready made clothing and yard goods. GARVER attorney for the Bureau of textiles and furs at the FTC explains these acts. The first consumer labeling commission. It was regarded it was required to administer watch your products labeling act this statute was passed in 1940 and basically what they were all products Labeling Act requires he is that person. Various fabrics present and fabric article apparel or other well product be disclosed that is the amount of indecent to break into requiring a disclosure of the percentage they will reprocess tool and reuse
will of course see any other fabrics which are present in the product must also be disclosed in addition to the name. All rather then occasionally manufactor artistry of Euro product must appear on the label. With such information on clothing sold to consumers it is possible to expect certain characteristics in a garment. Nylon may be noted for breaking strength spandex for stretching ability and wool for warmth. Hang tags may also indicate care required for the fibers used in the garment and must guide the busy homemaker who seeks all washable permanent press clothing for her children. But an elegant dry cleanable evening dress for herself. People who suffer from allergies to certain fibers may easily avoid them or reduce exposure. Ruth Galbraith head of the division of textiles and clothing in the department of homemaker nomics at the University of Illinois in about discusses a few of the characteristics of a lable to consumers with a recently developed
fibers. The spirit of development of new chemical types of fibers which occurred after the second round were are slowed down drastically within the past 15 years. Few new generic classes are expected for the years ahead. Instead textile technologists are working to improve the properties of the Pipers now on the market. Especially in the areas of plastics. Below have a fiber of fabric its appearance its Di ability the ability to get different color patterns on it. And finally in the ease of care only fabric. The true synthetic fibers such as the acrylics the nylon supinely ousters have brought us the possibility of fabrics which don't shrink or stretch which can be heat to a given shape or with creases or pleats. They've given us a quicker drying better wrinkle
recovery. And in some cases such as a nylon some poly ousters they've given us great durability. However these same chemical structures which have produced these good properties that we like so much have also given us more difficult days in dying and a full range of colors with adequate color fastness. They've given us all a stain retention inability to alter clothes without old seams or hams showing fabric peeling and problems with static electricity. Now their words are always two sides to the calling. Now these are problems the industry is trying to solve. While still retaining most of the good Piper properties we're starting to get anti-static nylons out on the market. We're getting fibers that have the feel on the loft or silt.
These are some of the improvements in a flat ICs that the industry is trying to produce in addition to the competition from the newer synthetic fibers has also increased research toward improvement of the older fibers. We now have stronger and more stable right than we have wrinkle resistant cottons and women's. We have washable wool ones. Even in the near future we may have durable profitable ones. Ruth Galbraith also notes some consumer techniques which might be considered when shopping for the best selections in clothing. We turn flat pieces of fabric into three dimensional articles of clothing by the use of themes and themes remain the weakest point in our clothing. This is because we are using our thread to go through a fabric and the thread usually has last stretch or give to it. Then the fabric does
especially if the seam is going across is going Katic corner diagonally rise across the fabric. Or if we have a very stretchy fabric. Now in order to get clothing with themes that will stand up for at least a decent length of time you should look for stitched links that aren't too long. The more thread you have in your stitch the more give you that stitch will have on when they have a stitch too long and it's more apt to snap. They think you should have thread them so they are secured so that the seam doesn't come unstitched And so that you don't have and dangling down below the hammer and that was leverage your cup. This sort of thing you should have adequate seam allowance so that the seam does not pull out or so that you can do alteration if you need to make
the garment slightly larger in certain places. If the fabric ravels very easily as some of our fabrics do then the fabric will need some type of seam finish such as a zigzag or an overcast. Often pinking is used and this is not enough for our very loose fabric R1 that ravels vary greatly. Better dresses buttonholes are make cross life the garment and stead of lengthwise. It is of course cheaper to make them like flies because the sore can go right straight down the length of the garment down. But these are more apt to unbuttoned as you move around. Another quality item is buttons that are somewhat on singly and stead of
using a chain. One thread which sells a whole line of buttons down a garment in one of these comes off then the next one next one starts to unravel and fall on down one line. Another one is fleas and which the underarm seam is sawn separately and then the sleeve is set into the garment. And less expensive garments it is cheaper to set the sleeve into the arms I think garment with both garment and sleeve flat and then flow the entire underarm and side seam as a single seam. This type of seam is very apt to snap and break at the extreme curvature under the arm. You simply have too much strain on that thread for the amount of thread that you can put in there. If you have that breaks with
plaids and Stripes. Then they should match. If you are buying garments that are durable and craft then they should fit in the store because they cannot be altered without the same line showing they can sometimes be shortened. If the if you're willing to accept that a slightly rounded that doesn't press lap such guidelines are often the only help to the shopper because the clothing market is in constant change from season to season and few items are nationally available. Walker San backed director of Consumers Union explains the reluctance of this organization to run tests for their magazine Consumer Reports. I'm not sure. How severe the problems are with regard to clothing as we do testing and limited testing and voting. There's a problem there with regard to testing is that
it's very difficult to name an item that we test that's going to be available and stores in Chicago or San Francisco or whatever because they have myriads of labels labels and the consumer would have a hard time knowing whether they were buying something that we had actually tested. So we are limited to a few national brands like rego where you can identify the item that we are testing. With. Once clothing has been purchased it must be kept clean. Shoppers in the modern marketplace are exposed to a barrage of advertisements and colorfully decorated boxes in many supermarkets soaps and detergents may occupy two aisles or more. Products may contain additives to whiten and brighten and even sanitize your clothes. Prices may range from the giant economy size to the regular box of detergent. Compare prices per ounce carefully and then study the ingredients claimed on the box.
Consider that plain chlorine bleach purchased separately may be less expensive than the bleach added in granular form to the sole boarded Turgeon which you you. Also rate the efficiency of the enzyme products in terms of stains commonly found in your wash. Remember that enzymes work best on protein stains not on grease and oil. So if you're tackling body oils or even oil from the lawn more enzymes may not be much help when you use the product which you've chosen. Follow directions. Too much is just as bad as too little. Another choice made by home makers involves textiles used in household furnishings. Ruth Galbraith offers some alternatives to consumers when shopping for such items as carpets or we get asked more questions. When people go shopping for carpets than on any other type of item this is of course because of the high cost of the carpet and the very big deal
and it puts in the consumer's budget. And also because of the length of service time that's desired for a carpet the carpet quality is dependent on both the fiber qualities and the construction. Probably the most important single item and carpet quality is the amount of piled fiber. On the surface of the carpet and how it is distributed. By this I mean the relationship between the pile height and the pile dancey. If you have a long tough day or a long pile on the carpet then it need to be supported by very dense packing of the pile. Otherwise they all lay over on their sides. Now Matt down you'll have a traffic or wear pattern that shows up faster than you really think it ought to be aware sooner
and they'll be much more difficult to clean properly. Medium height dance loop piles as a loop piles one which comes up and makes a loop it's not cut up pop. How the hi asked Bill Oddie and are the easiest to clean. Any of the carpet constructions we have at the present time Tweety are pretty good color patterns or Roman and ones or textured surface patterns for instance high low pile combination will help to hide soil. However the Hi-Lo patterns may be more difficult to vacuum especially things like threads that can get down on the low part and be hard to be brought out by your brush or your suction. Your fibers. I do have an effect but many of the fibers are now being a little do make good carpets. So I would say
look for construction first. All of these considerations may help the consumer save money and find a more serviceable product but the federal government imposes strict requirements on one feature of textiles. How easily they burn. William H Garver of the Federal Trade Commission explains the federal flammable fabrics act when the Final Five exam in 19 in 53 apply to basically 2 0 0 0. Article the wearing apparel and fabrics sold for use in articles are way up there. These are the final five and I end up eating a couple of commercial Sanders a commercial center one night one day 53 in one night. Today 53 which were spanners Flamby only was voluntarily developed by the Department of Commerce in cooperation with the end.
Over the years this particular needs particular standards in effect made two things especially one night one day 53 which will primarily with clothing the other day out with plastic and that sort of thing. You made your nation and your video burning. And under that banner and in general we have found an extremely hazardous products have been there and it will remove from the market. Final fire attack was an act irrationally because of burning for such things a so-called torch sweaters which were high say low base sweaters and ran on and cotton related to cellulosic fiber is not remotely working for one to write on the thing there were a number of cowboy suit little boy suit with furry
champ Mr. Garber is concerned about the consumer's faith in this act. He outlined certain misconceptions about this standard and Major Garrett will not rule out the marketing product which you may be somewhat slow doing that may burn like everything you want to answer we have we've run into problems races where you might have a say locally. Outer garment may be an undergarment and the real danger might come from the mailing of an outline and fill in a lot of factors that really were not considered in the original banner. The Department of Commerce standards is studying these problems and when I also say that in this regard I don't think the average consumer realize that anything will burn his question of how fast it will burn traces we have found a number of
answers for things like good children flannel nightgown or flannel shirts warm go. There are a number of other products or even an ordinary cotton shirt can become ignited and produce very severe burns. So what you had done up until this time is to keep the extremely hazardous products out of the market. As Mr. Garber mentioned flammable standards were first devised by the National Bureau of Standards a branch of the US Department of Commerce. Malcolm Jensen acting deputy director of the Institute of Applied Technology at the National Bureau of Standards reveals this process of establishing a mandatory standard. There is a usual rigamarole legal rigamarole to give standards. The effect of law. First there must be published in the Federal Register document called statement of probable need for the standard in which the secretary says it had
looked at the data. We conducted some research and we found it in the case of let's say children sleep where the standard probably is needed. Individuals companies are given abt a need to comment on that and the basis accountants makes a decision that a standard is or is not needed if it's needed he publishes that fact plus a proposed standard and for 30 days comment on that then with all the facts available to him he publishes a standard in establishes a and effective date and which can be a year down the road or two years down the road or could be immediate. If there's an emergency Mr. Genson answers the query of the consumer who wants to test the burning rate of textiles found in the hole included in the act as the authority to impose labeling requirements we hope this will not be necessary but we do hope as standards are developed that producers of wearing apparel rugs arc or drapes that meet the standard will freely and openly label this fact enforcement responsibility resides in the Federal Trade Commission.
We have seen some evidence that the individual states will follow up on a federal activity impose similar standards and share you know that. Normally law enforcement is is far more effective as a state and local level as at the national level. I do believe that there will be those who will have a concern about a particular sample or a particular piece of clothing. The Federal Trade Commission will be in a position to testify on request or find consumer complaint. I don't think that will be possible for Mrs Jones in Chicago or anywhere else simply to say well I'm going to test this now they guess there is sizable money equipment in the disaster of the tort sweater is still a possibility even with such standards. The Federal Trade Commission is hampered in enforcement of this important regulation by two problems limited staff and limited legal power limited staff is a difficulty in most areas of consumer affairs legal restrictions may also be a common malady. Ralph Nader's
suggests a stronger position for the FTC in all its scope of authority from textiles to household appliances and from food advertising to lumber. Very Commission doesn't have sufficient power OFF-MIKE there are many agencies in government such as the Securities Exchange Commission that has a lot of weight unless supported very commission can obtain the part to levy criminal penalties. Fine so fine the corporations and corporate officials to to to pursue these people in Marion junction is not going to be able to fulfill its statutory mission of protecting the consumer in these manifold areas around the country. There's also an additional bill now up before Congress to broaden the jurisdiction for the commission to include consumer abuses that affect commerce and this also is needed because the courts are allowed under the surface of the pirate culture
to move in on areas that simply effect interstate commerce rather than our gain directly in interstate commerce informing consumers who may have been involved in deceptions will often turn to the Federal Trade Commission for Assistance. The FTC will take an active interest in these consumer comments and may start legal proceedings against an offender. However any attorney for the FTC explains a common misunderstanding here. We get an awful lot of complaints from consumers and they really don't understand the limitations of our power. First of all we cannot. There has to be the practice must occur in interstate commerce. That is it must be going occurring across state lines. This is not always appreciated. Secondly we can act only in the public interest. Our method of proceeding against corporations which are out of line is cease and desist
order. This will stop the practice as far as the future is concerned but it won't help the people who've already suffered from the practice to get restitution or something like that. And if consumers are really interested in a federal agency undertaking restitution on their behalf. They should know that there is right now no law no federal law which will achieve this and they ought to agitate it seems to me they're cutting their congressman. For such powers. Consumers have discovered a more direct means of obtaining help in the problem of fraud. Officials at the Illinois state attorney general headquarters have handled the sorts of complaints from shoppers in other states consumers bureaus other state officials have heard stories about pairs of shoes that didn't match. One shopper explained the
reason for her complaint to a state official this way. I had my heart set on a new wig so I went down to Brett's wigs and purchased a beautiful blonde wig with a down payment of only thirty nine dollars and 78 cents. I was told that I could pick up my purse in four days. When I returned I was told that Mr. Brett was away for a few days and things had been delayed. I went back three or four times and each time they said to wait finally Mr. Brown was there but he insists that he still had to stretch my way. When I went to pick it up and took it home I was really disappointed. It didn't look anything like the one I first chose. I talked with Betty Johnson who owns a wig shop and she looked at the way she said that she had ways like it available for under $25 and then she showed me where my wig was all torn around the bottom. Then she explained that the wicked never been stretched at all. And what's more the wig wasn't even permanently styled. This dissatisfied shopper filed her complaint with the attorney general and exposed some of the fraudulent practices of this store. Such pressure at the
state and local level may persuade merchants to choose textile wares with more care. But most shoppers do find clothing fairly reasonable and safe and not a primary source of dissatisfaction. Buyer beware. Still low by word of the consumer. Shoppers search for information and protection to buy the best for the least. Our next program will follow consumers on a house hunting expedition. A roof over my head is the next topic for Buyer beware. This is the national educational radio network.
Buyer beware
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Clothes On My Back
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 71-8-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “Buyer beware; 3; Clothes On My Back,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “Buyer beware; 3; Clothes On My Back.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Buyer beware; 3; Clothes On My Back. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from