Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    42

    Cordura damaging clothes?

    Been meaning to post this for awhile, but never got around to it. I noticed that some of my tops (t-shirts, hoodies, etc) had a lot of unexplained pilling/damage in the back. Initially, this only happened with brand new clothes, so I thought it was just bad quality control or something, but it continued to occur and I realized that this only happened when I was using the Smart Alec. This is in large part why I never really use the Smart Alec anymore. I'm assuming the issue arises from the back of the Smart Alec being made from Cordura, since this doesn't seem to be a problem with ballistic nylon, which is what most of the back of the Super Ego is made from. But the top of the back of the bag is made from cordura, and now that I'm looking for it, I've noticed some minor pilling/damage to clothes in the corresponding area after using the Super Ego. I guess it's not that big of a deal, but it is quite annoying. Has anyone else had this problem?

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Honolulu, HI
    Posts
    2,267
    Quote Originally Posted by judge View Post
    Been meaning to post this for awhile, but never got around to it. I noticed that some of my tops (t-shirts, hoodies, etc) had a lot of unexplained pilling/damage in the back. Initially, this only happened with brand new clothes, so I thought it was just bad quality control or something, but it continued to occur and I realized that this only happened when I was using the Smart Alec.
    <snip>
    Has anyone else had this problem?
    There was this old thread in the forums, but I haven't noticed this effect personally.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    461
    HI Judge:
    I had posted about this a week or so ago with reference to the Ruck's Sac. I think, in general, cordura is a "rougher" finish; so the friction between that and the clothes is much higher than ballistic nylon which has a smoother face as they say. The two fabrics are very different in feel and look, and in general, this is why I have preferred ballistic nylon. They have also different tensile strengths and weave quality...so I am sure there will be pilling; but it also depends on the clothes themselves. In general, I find all cotton knitted garments will pill more than woven cotton; finer cottons will pill more...and so on. Wool will definitely pill.
    I have ordered the Ruck's Sac--but plan to use it mostly for hiking trips and so on when I am most probably wearing "exercise clothes" etc., I have been hesitant ordering Smart Alec for every day work for this reason.....
    Darcy or Tom may be able to answer this question more effectively too.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    milwaukee
    Posts
    105
    this was also mentioned recently (within the past few weeks) in another thread... i will try to find the link in a second... but i mentioned there that the smart alec definitely put a lot of pills on my shirt the first day i ever wore it (the bag, and the shirt). the t-shirt was mostly pima cotton, so it was somewhat "delicate" i suppose. i wore the smart alec with other t-shirts on the same trip, and so did my husband, without problems, but they were more "regular" cotton. other than that, i've only been wearing the smart alec over a jacket, so i haven't noticed any problems since my jackets are typically more durable than my t-shirts.

    now that this has come up a couple of times, though... i really am wondering about the cafe bags and whether they rub people's clothes the wrong way!


    edited to add: here's the thread i was thinking of... i think it's the same one Shiva was referencing above.
    Last edited by bluedawg; 05-31-2009 at 10:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,752
    Tom Bihn bags have the same quality material and workmanship as when they were first made in Santa Cruz.
    One fabric sure to be neutral on clothes is Dyneema, we need to ask for more products in that fabric and more colors.


    Clothes piling is not due to bag's fabrics but the clothes poor workmanship and ever declining material's quality .


    Ten years ago, I bought a number of Gap's Big Oxford shirts. After wearing them almost everyday, they still look as good as new.

    In contrast, the same kind of shirts, available now, feel flimsy.

    Microfiber shirts I bought in 06, around the same time I got my first Large Cafe Bag, look really really tired. Cotton shirts I purchased one year ago show sign of wear and the couple of microfiber shirt I got on sale recently... well, one shirt has already been through a cold wash and it really doesn't look good.

    My Large Plum Cafe Bag, used everyday before I got a Small Storm Cafe Bag, this spring, looks new.


    98% of clothing manufacturing has been moved to China, Vietnam, Turkey and Mexico, places where labor is cheap and there are no unions.
    In a race for cheap clothes, square inch of thread for material has been thinned to the point of looking transparent and only look good on retailer's racks.

    Once they are purchased, the time they hold their shape is of no concern to the manufacturer or retailer, if the garment unravel or is damaged while washing and drying, another one of the same flimsy quality is going to be bought. This is one of the reason returns are not accepted after a tags have been removed from garments.


    I just happened to realize the difference of quality in garment while desperately trying to avoid doing laundry. No luck on that, , but I think the blame need to be put where it belongs, the clothes, not what is carried on top of them.


    A disclaimer, I don't work for Tom Bihn Inc.
    As much as I would like to see Indigo/Steel bags popping out of the screen into my living room, they don't.
    (Star Trek fan here) I can stare at the screen and say "computer make it so" as much as I want, it ain't gonna happen.
    Last edited by backpack; 06-01-2009 at 10:28 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    311
    I think you are right that some clothing--especially knits--have a tendency to pill when exposed to friction from other items. One of the big offenders is Travelsmith's little black dress--it washes and dries in a flash in a sink and refuses to wrinkle even when balled up in luggage. So it would be a perfect travel companion except for the fact that the fabric pills at the slightest provocation. I have a nice diagonal band of pilling across the front of it from wearing my seat belt!

    I've given up on nylon based travel knits--they don't play well with others.
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    461
    Yes: the quality of clothes has become quite poor in the last many years....however, I am a bit reluctant to lay it all at the feet of manufacturing going overseas. We "get" what we ask for as customers; we have been wanting everything faster and cheaper and more of it; hence the race to get it done cheaper. After all, not everyone buys Tom Bihn, or Red Oxx, or Waterfield Designs --cos they are expensive compared to most on the market. And for many it is the attitude of, "I would rather buy 5 bags over 15 years than keep ONE for 15 years." I think those of us on this forum do think differently...
    So I am afraid unless we consumers are willing "to pay more" and "have less"--this will continue!

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    milwaukee
    Posts
    105
    just for the sake of putting it out there, the t-shirt in question is probably one of the more expensive t-shirts i own--although i got it on a great sale, so that brought it into the reasonable realm. it was from banana republic, and it is 95% pima cotton, 5% organic cotton. i just checked, and it was made in vietnam.

    now that it's summer i imagine i'll be wearing my smart alec with more shirts (as opposed to jackets), so i guess we'll see how that goes! i remain optimistic.

  9. #9
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    Quote Originally Posted by backpack View Post
    Once they are purchased, the time they hold their shape is of no concern to the manufacturer or retailer, if the garment unravel or is damaged while washing and drying, another one of the same flimsy quality is going to be bought. This is one of the reason returns are not accepted after a tags have been removed from garments.
    at the request of my wife, i picked up a gift certificate for my niece from a store called "21 forever."

    my niece just turned 15, so i'm not sure why she shops at a store called 21 forever, but that's a separate discussion.

    i haven't shopped at this store before.

    but i was shocked to see their return policy. once you buy something there, they will not issue a refund to your credit card (or in cash if you paid cash). if you haven't worn the item of clothing / haven't washed it / haven't removed the tags, they will accept it for return within a period of time - 30 days i think, but only for store credit.

    seeing this policy makes me not want to do business with them.

    sometimes, you don't want to try clothes on at the store. maybe what you're getting is a gift. maybe you think a shirt you found will go really well with a pair of pants you have at home. maybe you're sweaty because you've been running with your 3 year old all around the mall and you'd rather not try on the item of clothing out of courtesy for your fellow shoppers. maybe there is a silly long line to try clothes on. whatever the reason, sometimes, you'd rather try on clothes in the comfort of your own home.

    or what happens if you get home and realize that the shirt doesn't look right after the first time it's been washed? this would happen either because you don't know how to wash your clothes or because the garment is of poor quality. if the cause is the latter, you want to be able to take it back.

    a store who sells a quality product and has good customer service will stand behind it with a reasonable return policy.

    to contrast, stores like nordstrom, l.l. bean, rei have the complete opposite for their return policies. likewise, tom bihn lets you try out their products in the comfort of your home and return them unused up to 60 days after the date of purchase if it isn't the right fit your you.

    i think the issue about their return policy has come up before, because i noticed that the cashier asked each person if they've read the return policy as she rung them up.

    i think the thing to do when you see a clothing store with a return policy like that of 21 forever is to walk away and take your business elsewhere.

    seeing that the clientele at 21 forever was middle and high school girls, i can see why they can get away with such a return policy.

    i think we all understand that everything has a limited life - clothes, cars, even bags. some last longer than others. i may be able to give my grandchild one of my tom bihn bags (yes, my son is only 3). someone may be able to pass on his (regularly serviced) rolex watch to his son.

    but an item of clothing should not look unacceptable after one or two washes or after being worn a few times.

    speaking of piling, let me share a story about my tumi gym bag that was not inexpensive. i'm not sure what the material was, but it wasn't any kind of ballistic nylon. a gym bag brushes against your side to some extent when you carry it. me carrying this gym bag was from my home to the car parked in my garage or outside of my home, from my parked car to my gym locker room, and then back.

    i would wear either shorts to pants depending on the weather.

    i did not expect that this bag should end up with the fabric on the side being worn because it was rubbing against my clothes.

    i never would think the cause of this bag ending up with worn fabric was caused by the clothes i was wearing.

    i'm not sure what i did with the bag. i'll check the basement. if i find it, i'll share a picture.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    100
    I've walked through a number of Forever 21 stores, and even purchased something (just once!). My experience confirms (to me) maverick's speculation about how a store's return policy is frequently commensurate with the quality of their goods -- the shirt I bought at Forever 21 was made from such poor quality material that it significantly pilled and faded after a (very) few wear/wash cycles. My impression is that such stores are purveyors of relatively "disposable" clothing that is highly fashionable for the time (and for that age group) but will become obsolete almost as quickly as the garments degrade.

  11. #11
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    is choosing disposable fashion at the dismissal of quality something the younger generation will outgrow? or is this the attitude one they will continue to embrace as they grow older?

    i have clothes that i bought in college (early 1990's) that i wore until i grew horizontally out of them. i still have them and they look great. these are classics. they aren't the latest hip thing, but they are made out of fabric that does great wash after wash.

    when a quality piece of clothing no longer fits you or isn't in style anymore, you can pass it on to a homeless shelter or others who can use them.

    you don't have that option with poor quality clothing. it is going to end up in a land fill. when we make choices like this, we may save a few bucks on an initial purchase, but we are going to pay more for clothing in the long run, and more importantly, it will cost us a great deal more in other ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by yeti View Post
    I've walked through a number of Forever 21 stores, and even purchased something (just once!). My experience confirms (to me) maverick's speculation about how a store's return policy is frequently commensurate with the quality of their goods -- the shirt I bought at Forever 21 was made from such poor quality material that it significantly pilled and faded after a (very) few wear/wash cycles. My impression is that such stores are purveyors of relatively "disposable" clothing that is highly fashionable for the time (and for that age group) but will become obsolete almost as quickly as the garments degrade.
    Last edited by maverick; 06-01-2009 at 01:57 PM.
    -m

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Topeka, KS
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    but i was shocked to see their return policy. once you buy something there, they will not issue a refund to your credit card (or in cash if you paid cash). if you haven't worn the item of clothing / haven't washed it / haven't removed the tags, they will accept it for return within a period of time - 30 days i think, but only for store credit.

    seeing this policy makes me not want to do business with them.
    Sadly this is happening in many stores today. Barnes & Noble used to have a rather liberal return policy but no more. I feel it is due to the present state of the economy and it seems to be the way that returns are going to be handled in the future.

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    2,295
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryS View Post
    Sadly this is happening in many stores today. Barnes & Noble used to have a rather liberal return policy but no more. I feel it is due to the present state of the economy and it seems to be the way that returns are going to be handled in the future.
    barnes & noble's return policy sounds pretty reasonable:

    "Simply bring the item and your cash register receipt to your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore for a refund to your original form of payment or, if you have a gift receipt, for a refund as a gift card. Please call your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore for more information."

    also, when buying books at a book store, i usually spend a little time and read the first few pages or the first chapter before i buy the book and take it home. sometimes, i like the book so much that i can't stop and keep reading .

    amazon does the same with the kindle by letting you preview the first bit before you make the purchase.

    i can understand if you get a book for someone that you may want to take it back if they don't like it. i suppose you may also not have time to preview a book before you buy it and decide you don't want to read it after you preview it at home.

    so i would hope that returns at a bookstore are few.

    i can't say i agree with a store's logic to change return policies in this economic downturn.

    if your sales are hurting, imposing a return policy where returns aren't allowed is going to cause you to lose the customers who care about customer service. it will cause people to wonder if you're going to be around. i understand there are people who abuse a return policy and there are other ways to deal with that.

    why would you want to force someone to keep something they've purchased from you when they don't want it. they will keep that item because they don't have a choice, but chances are you'll lose them as a customer and won't make any more money from them.

    take that unwanted item back, and you have lower revenues this period. but you also have a customer who appreciates your good customer service and will want to come back and buy more from you. so in the long run, you'll make more.
    Last edited by maverick; 06-01-2009 at 03:00 PM.
    -m

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Topeka, KS
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    barnes & noble's return policy sounds pretty reasonable:

    "Simply bring the item and your cash register receipt to your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore for a refund to your original form of payment or, if you have a gift receipt, for a refund as a gift card. Please call your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore for more information."
    It used to be 30days with or without a receipt and sometimes beyond if you had a receipt you could still get your money/credit back. Now it's 14 days and if you have no receipt you are SOL. With a receipt over 30 days you get to exchange your item for another item for equal or lesser value.

    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    also, when buying books at a book store, i usually spend a little time and read the first few pages or the first chapter before i buy the book and take it home. sometimes, i like the book so much that i can't stop and keep reading .
    That's how I sell books. If I recommend a book to a customer I suggest that they sit in one of our comfy chairs and read the first chapter or two. If they don't like it then I tell them to come and find me and I'll find them something else.

    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    so i would hope that returns at a bookstore are few.
    Sadly that is not the case. I believe that due to the fact that a large percentage of books are bought as gifts is the main cause of returned books (that and the fact that books ordered on the internet sometimes arrive in less that perfect condition).

    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    i can't say i agree with a store's logic to change return policies in this economic downturn.

    if your sales are hurting, imposing a return policy where returns aren't allowed is going to cause you to lose the customers who care about customer service. it will cause people to wonder if you're going to be around. i understand there are people who abuse a return policy and there are other ways to deal with that.

    why would you want to force someone to keep something they've purchased from you when they don't want it. they will keep that item because they don't have a choice, but chances are you'll lose them as a customer and won't make any more money from them.

    take that unwanted item back, and you have lower revenues this period. but you also have a customer who appreciates your good customer service and will want to come back and buy more from you. so in the long run, you'll make more.
    I totally agree but I think in B&N's case they are hoping to cut down on the number of people trying to exchange something they bought three months ago and from the condition of the book it looks like everybody in the family has read it.

    I am even more disturbed in the trend toward "shopper's cards" and "gift cards" but I won't get into it here.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    you don't have that option with poor quality clothing. it is going to end up in a land fill. when we make choices like this, we may save a few bucks on an initial purchase, but we are going to pay more for clothing in the long run, and more importantly, it will cost us a great deal more in other ways.
    My (German) great-grandfather had a wonderful saying - "The most expensive is the cheapest".

    I've found it a pretty good philosophy as long as it's applied reasonably, and ignored where necessary. (Trivial single-use items such as paper plates.)

    When we had to make major repairs to our house we chose the builder who understood the saying. The brick porch had bad cracks over an arch. One builder wanted to demolish to the top of the pillars and rebuild using horizontal steel mesh in the brickwork to reinforce (this had already been done to it before we purchased the house - lasted about 5 years); another to the bottom of the pillars then rebuild with concrete filled pillars and mesh reinforcing in the brickwork; the third did extensive soil testing to determine how much it's likely to me and how large a foundation it needed, demolished the lot, removed the badly cracked 80 year old 6" thick foundations and put in 2 feet of foundations then rebuilt the lot. It cost three times as much and will last longer than we do. It will last longer than the rest of the house.

    As for old clothes, in the 1970s when I was about 10 I took to developing holes in my socks. I eventually worked it out when I stepped in a puddle and got a wet foot - I'd worn a hole completely through the sole of my (school uniform) shoes. All the socks were darned, and they still sometimes come out from the back of the drawer and get worn!

    And I expect a life-time of use from my Tom Bihn bags! (Getting back on topic!)

    Audrey

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0