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Material in shoulder pads in 50's and 60's

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Fluuux, Jul 21, 2021 at 12:01 PM.

  1. Fluuux

    Fluuux Registered Guest

    Hello everyone.

    I just today tried on a dress from the 50's or 60's (not 100% sure). The shoulder pads was totally disintegrated and there were only a kind of yellow dust or "flour" left of what once were the pads. This dust got all over the fitting room I was in and I have to have inhaled quite a bit.

    Now to my question. Does anyone know what material this could have been? I'm a bit concerned that it might not be too healthy to get in the lungs.

    I would be really really grateful for any answers!

    Kind regards,

    Linnea
     
  2. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds like what we call here Devil Dust :no: - and no, not good at all. I haven't had any personal experience with it, but I know many of our members have.
     
  3. Fluuux

    Fluuux Registered Guest

    Thanks for your reply. Do you know what it is? And why it isn't good?
     
  4. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    It's as far as I know a synthetic product that just desintegrates with age, usually something foam-like like shoulder pads, or padding in bras, swimsuits etc. To inhale anything like that is not really good and people with asthma or similar might get problems with that. And of course it's a big mess when you have all that dust everywhere - best is probably to vacuum everything where it might have got, and wash the clothes you were wearing underneath. If it's "only" shoulder pads that's not quite so bad if you can remove the remains and maybe replace them with new ones if the dress needs them, but if it's the padding in a bra or swimsuit, it's not something you can just take out and it might mean that the garment is not wearable anymore as it is.
     
    Fluuux likes this.
  5. Fluuux

    Fluuux Registered Guest

    Thanks again! I didnt buy the dress cause I didnt want to deal with that. I also asked this question on Quora and they said it could be things like asbestos and/or cyanide (same as with old mattresses) and that sound SUPER scary :( Do you know anything about this?
     
  6. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

  7. Fluuux

    Fluuux Registered Guest

    Cyanide or anything else scary? I think they used to be that yellow foam, like an old matress so I guess thats why people said asbestos. But I really hope not.
     
  8. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    It's probably polyurethane - it was/is commonly used for making foam, from those hanger covers to shoulder pads to seat cushions... It breaks back down into dust that is chemically inert, but you aren't supposed to burn it because that can create harmful vapours. There is a LOT that needs to be done to better understand plastics and what they do as they break down. We are told that plastic lasts centuries or more, but frankly, in museum environments, its hard to keep plastics longer than a century, and sometimes after 20 years they begin to break down. Wet look vinyl granny boots from the early 70s will not survive another couple of decades -- a fashion style that virtually every woman had at least one pair will be gone. The couture patent leather versions will survive, but not the shiny stretch vinyl...
     
  9. Fluuux

    Fluuux Registered Guest

    Hey.
    Hey. Thank you so much for your reply, greatly appritiated. Ive read now that polyurethane have something called isocyanate in it which is very bad for health. So I guess I just have to hope for the best.
     
  10. Jonathan

    Jonathan VFG Member

    I believe that is only a problem if you burn the foam. As dust it is inert.
     
    Fluuux and Vinclothes like this.
  11. Fluuux

    Fluuux Registered Guest

    I really hope you are right, thank you :cheer:
     

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