What’s the meaning of “Formaldehyde”?

What’s the meaning of “Formaldehyde”?
Formaldehyde is the simplest aldehyde, it is an organic compound with the formula CH2O or HCHO, its CAS number is 50-00-0. In 37% aqueous solution is commercially called formalin.

In these terms it seems the generic definition of a chemical commonly used substance: in fact it is for domestic use but whit a very high rate of toxicity by contact and inhalation . The International fellowships in cancer research, the AIRC, have included it in the list of carcinogenic substances since 2004: the exposure to large quantities of formaldehyde is in fact potentially lethal.

For the reasons that we have just talked about we could think that the formaldehyde is banned from the commerce but unfortunately it isn’t. For the legislation using this substance is not allowed in great measure but the use in low dosages is permitted, so the danger for health is not reset.

It is used as a potent bactericidal in household disinfectants and in many products as glues, resins, solvents, insulating foams, in food preservative and (unbeknown of consumers) also in the textile production where it is employed to improve the dimensional stability and the crease resistance neglecting its harmful effects.

Are really necessary these types of treatment? Are we really willing to expose ourselves to this type of substance, comfortably sitting on the sofa (covered of soft fabric with formaldehyde)?

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Cashmere: a short presentation

Cashmere is a particularly rare and precious fibre. In fact annual world production of cashmere is only five million kilograms. Cashmere fibres are obtained from a certain species of goat, commonly known as the Kashmir goat, which is bred in places such Iran, Russia, Afghanistan, Turkey and India. But the most beautiful and most prestigious cashmere in the world comes from the highlands of Inner Mongolia, in China, a territory with a very harsh climate. Inner Mongolia Cashmere is outstanding for the fineness of its fibres (14 – 15 µ), their length and uniformity and for the particularly soft handle they give.

To protect themselves from the cold, Kashmir goats have two coats: one superficial, of bulky hair, and one closer to the body, consisting of a short, fine and very warm down known as duvet. In springtime, shepherds cut the outer coat and then they collect the inner wool manually using special combs with long teeth. The fibres of the two coats are then separated, because only the duvet makes real cashmere.

Mohair: a short presentation

Mohair is the fibre produced by the Angora goat, whose name derives from Ankara, the capital of Turkey, where it has been bred for over 2,000 years.
From Turkey the breeding of Angora goats spread as far as Texas, though South Africa is now where the finest quality animals are to be found. South Africa mohair offers outstanding luster, cleanness and uniformity of fibre and absence of impurity.
Mohair’s main characteristic, apart from its shine, is its resiliency, making it the most crease-proof natural fibre and therefore the most suitable for producing permanent-press clothing.

Mohair is used extensively in both knitted and woven fabric production. Finer fabrics are made of kid mohair, the fibre from the animal’s first clip, which is done in the first six months. These produce the finest and most beautiful batches, with smooth and shiny transparent white fibres.
Kid mohair is only about 19% of South Africa’s annual total production.

ART AND FABRIC: Alighiero Boetti @ Maxxi – Rome

“The work of the embroidered Map is for me the maximum of beauty. For that artwork I did nothing, I didn’t choose anything: the world is as it is, I didn’t designed it, the flags are what they are, I didn’t design them, I did absolutely nothing; when there’s a strong idea, a strong concept you have to choose noting”

Alighiero Boetti’s art is conceptual, conceptual in forms and in contents, his works are full of references even if he uses a clear graphic language typical of the illustration.

Boetti (1940-1994), born in Turin but roman by adoption, is the extraordinary artist that put at the centre of his research a reflection about colours and the importance of the artistic matter and his processing.

Maps hand weaved by afghan women that we can see worldwide in the most important museums, are exhibited in Rome, at Maxxi Museum, till September 29th. The Roman museum, after the retrospective at Tate Modern in London last spring, offers a deepening on the artist’s life in Rome. An exhibition curated by Luigia Nardelli that explores the relation between Boetti and the city the he lived like a link to the East and to faraway cultures.

Alighiero Boetti a Roma
Curated by Luigia Lonardelli
till September 29th, 2013
MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo – ROMA


Wool: a short presentation

Wool is a natural fibre that is obtained from the fleece of sheep, rabbits, camels and some types of blade. It is obtained through the shearing, ie the cutting of the hair, which occurs in the spring for the sheep. The wool thus obtained is called pure new wool.

Every year two billion kilograms of wool are produced worldwide. The most prized variety comes from the fleece of merino sheep that are shorn once a year and their fleeces have fine and very curly fibres, used exclusively for clothing.
The most prestigious wool is called superfine, amounting to a mere 15% of annual production.

There are around 20 parameters for classifying wools. The key parameters are fineness, length, cleanness, strength, limited percentage of short fibres, uniformity of length and fineness, colour, absence of impurity, style.
Only one of these is objectively measurable and thus indisputable:
Fibre fineness.
Fineness means the average diameter of the fibre.
The standard unit of measurement is the micron (µ), which is one thousandth of a millimetre.