Time for another fiberglass post, everyone! Today, we're admiring some wonderful fiberglass curtains, which were described by the unbiased observers at Owens-Corning as "the perfect drapery fabric" because it "never needs dry cleaning, never will shrink, sag, mildew or burn." All true, except for the "perfect" bit, which is subjective, obviously, and can't be proven or dispr... Hey! a picture!
In the fifties, asbestos was starting to get a bad reputation for making people hideously sick and dead for several thousand years. So, everyone was looking for a new fire-retardant fabric to make everything out of. Owens-Corning stepped up to the microphone and shouted "fiberlass!", then absently scratched at some little bumps on the side of it's neck
In this ad, we see some curtains made from fiberglass, but not for long, because the pattern on the curtains will make your eyes cross if you look at it for more than a second or two. The curtains were definitely good at not burning, shrinking, or wrinkling. But, there was the strategically glossed-over feature that, if you touched them too much, or a little bit, you'd probably get something called fiberglass dermatitis. See?
Dermnet.com and whoop it up. As for me, after finding these pictures I am-scrayed, for fear of a total breakfast reversal (TBR).
Fiberglass dermatitis isn't a disease. It's just a condition, caused by little glass shards stuck in your skin. It will go away, if you just get all the fiberglass out of your skin. I was always told that cold water and scrubbing will take care of it (hot water will make your pores open up, causing the fibers to bury themselves even deeper). Here's a case study on Pub Med. If you tried to wash fiberglass curtains in your washing machine, the glass fibers would be released into the washer, where they'd deposit themselves in all your other clothes forever, because they're almost impossible to get out of the machine. Fiberglass curtains should be washed by carefully hanging them over a tree limb and gently setting the tree on fire. Or, spray the soiled curtains with a warm soap-and-water solution, then jettison the curtains into space. If you don't have access to a space program, spray the curtains with whatever you have, and scrub them with your face. Wear gloves.
But it's not like children, pets or humans ever brush up against / hide behind curtains, right? Well, there are reasons fiberglass curtains are hard to find now. Fiberglass fabrics have been supplanted by other fabrics that can be made to be fire retardant. Jury's still out on fire retardant chemicals for now. Stay tuned!
In later years, Owens-Corning produced these curtains in magic-eye versions. This example is from their Rock Legends collection. Allegations of Sudden Explosive Aneurysms are largely unfounded.
Skin irritation is definitely better than cancer, which is what you got from asbestos curtains. My curtains have always been cotton, I think. They burn more easily, but that's why I've made an early warning system with bowls of methyl ethyl ketone, which burns quite joyously. The smell of burning MEK should wake me up long before any fire gets out of control. (It stings the nose, donchaknow.) So far, I have yet to percieve any negortrive shide orffertcsrahh.