School Shorts: Material--Terylene

Figure 1.--Terylene is a popular fabric for school shorts in Britain. It replaced flannel in the 1960s-70s, iin part because it held a crease much better and thus had a sharp look. .

Terylene is a trademark name for a synthetic fabric. It was the first wholly synthetic fibre invented in Britain. Gradually after World War II (1939-45), synthetic fibers were introduced in the manufacture of clothing. The most popular fabric in England proved to be Terylene/wool, a blended weave including wool and nylon. A tehnical more precise definition is a polymer (polyethylene terephthalate--PET). It is comnparable to dacron in America. Terylene was produced by polymerizing ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid. It was a streachy material characterized by lightness and crease resistance. Terylene fabric had many variesd uses. Manufacturrs used it to produce pants, suits, amd rainwear. It was also used in making heavy shirts. Other non-clothingb uesc included sheets, ropes, rugs,and sails. It was was was used to produce both short and long pants. Shorts made of this material had a much smarter look as they retained the crease even without ironing. Today the most common material is a polyester/viscose cloth which is entirely man made. The Terylene mix in the material used in British made shorts was generally 65 percent polyester/35 percent viscose mix, with only a very small variation on this. The heavier, warmer more expensive shorts are normally 55 percent polyester/45 percent wool. The typical differing in trade and manufacturing names means that clothing produced in South Africa for retail in that country are labelled as Trevira and Viscose (in a 65/35 percent mix). For school shorts in Britain, Terylene was usually done in grey shades, but any color could be produced. Terylene as used in trousrs is a blended wool fabric often called Terylene worsted. It had a dressy look. They were worn with matching coats in a suit combination or with colored blazers. For every day wear at school Terylene shorts were commonly worn with sweaters called jumpers. A few British schools had summer cotton shorts, but at most schools, Terylene shorts were worn both in the winter ad summer. It was more cotton in New Zealand toi change to cotton shorts during the summer. The Terelyne shorts, unlike the long pants for school wear were almost alkways done with white coittib linings.


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Created: 9:15 AM 6/8/2012
Last updated: 9:15 AM 6/8/2012