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augustlan's avatar

Why is clothing in the color 'heather grey' almost always made from a fabric blend?

Asked by augustlan (46639 points ) October 12th, 2012

There could be one shirt that comes in 20 colors, all 100% cotton. Except the heather grey color, which, as far as I can tell, is almost always (maybe always?) a poly/cotton blend. What’s up with that?

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14 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’ve noticed that, too, and I’m not sure about the reason. But… Why is it that clothing in heather grey is almost always incredibly comfortable and comforting?

laureth's avatar

I am guessing here based on my experience as a dyer and spinner of fiber into yarn. Heathered colors are a twisty blend of two colors, a darker and a lighter. Because of this, you need two fibers that take up dye at different rates, or you won’t get that heathered effect. Cotton takes dye more readily than polyester, so the part that is colored is the cotton and the part that resists dyeing (the white or lighter part) is the polyester. The solid-color shirts can be all-cotton because you don’t want the heathered effect.

lillycoyote's avatar

No answer but seconding @WillWorkForChocolate‘s “I have noticed that too…” and have no clue. E.g., I used to buy long sleeve t-shirts for my Dad and he wanted 100% cotton and I could always find them, except in the light or, I guess, “heather grey,” they were always, like 90% cotton and 10% polyester, or something like that… so I will be following your question with great interest. I have wondered about this too.

lillycoyote's avatar

@laureth Wow! That may very well be the answer, to a question that has apparently perplexed at least three of us here on fluther.

augustlan's avatar

@laureth That seems reasonable, but I know I’ve seen other “heather” colors mixed into the bunch, and only the grey heather gets called out as a blend. It’s weird. Of course, now that I’m looking for an example, I can’t find one!

gailcalled's avatar

See the Hanes t-shirt here

“Comfort begins with cotton.

Super-soft cotton V-neck (Grey Heather cotton/polyester).
TAGLESSĀ® tee means no-itch neckline.
Coverstitched sleeve openings and hem for added elasticity.
Taped shoulder seams helps prevent stretch-out.

augustlan's avatar

@gailcalled I meant an example that had other ‘heather’ colors that are 100% cotton, while the grey heather is a blend.

gailcalled's avatar

@augustlan:You’re pushing me beyond my limits.

zenvelo's avatar

I think you are buying things at the wrong place. LL Bean has all cotton shirts in Heather, as does Brooks Brothers. They’re not dress shirts, because “Heather” is not a dress shirt color. But they have various t-shirts, henleys, sweaters, even LL Beans famous Chamois shirt comes in Heather.

augustlan's avatar

Moving this to social!

augustlan's avatar

It’s interesting, @zenvelo. In the catalogs I get, including from higher end places, it usually mentions that the heather grey is a poly/cotton blend. But I’m finding that on their websites, they mostly don’t mention it. Makes me wonder if people are buying them assuming they are 100% cotton, and getting something else.

zenvelo's avatar

@augustlan The LLBean and Brooks Bros. websites said they were all cotton.

augustlan's avatar

@zenvelo Yes, so does Lands End on most of the items I checked there. But I know I’ve seen different in their print catalogs.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have a bunch of really cheap gray heather t shirts that are all cotton. I have purchased them at a store called Best and Less and also I have seen them at K Mart. I haven’t experienced what you are describing. I can send you a bunch if you would like!

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