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All about crimplene

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Part of Crimple Valley, near Harrogate, after which the fabric was named

Crimplene (polyester) is a thick yarn used to make a fabric of the same name. The resulting cloth is heavy, wrinkle-resistant and retains its shape well. Britain's defunct ICI Fibres Laboratory developed the fibre in the early 1950s and named it after the Crimple Valley in which the company was situated. Crimplene was used in garments that required a permanently pressed look, such as skirts and trousers.


The fabric enjoyed popularity upon introduction in the 1950s in response to its convenient 'wash-and-wear' properties. Crimplene was often used to make the typical A-line dress of 1960s Fashion. Likewise, it was popular amongst men in British Mod Culture for use in garish button-down shirts.

In the early 1970s, Crimplene began to fall out of fashion. Other, lighter-weight polyester fabrics like Trevira replaced Crimplene for their ease of movement and ventilation. Crimplene is seldom used today as fashion-preferences have drifted towards more natural cottons.

Crimplene suits were regarded in some countries as "working-men's going-out clothes".

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