The population of coloured textile fibres in domestic washing machines

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Science and Justice - Journal of the Forensic Science Society, 2005, 45 (2), pp. 75 - 83
Issue Date:
2005-01-01
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A population survey was carried out to analyse examples of the coloured fibre population that may be expected to exist in both front- and top-loading domestic washing machines during Spring, in Sydney, Australia. White cotton T-shirts were washed both individually, and with a normal household wash load, then taped to recover extraneous fibres transferred during the wash cycle. Twelve thousand one hundred and seventy-eight fibres were classified according to length, colour and generic class. Cotton fibres were most prevalent (69.4%), followed by man-made fibres (24.2%). The most common colour/generic class combinations were black/grey cotton (27%), blue cotton (20%) and red cotton (15.6%). Other combinations generally represented under 2% of the total fibre population. Two thirds (65.9%) of the recovered fibres were under 2 mm in length, the proportion of fibres decreasing with increasing fibre length. Variations in machine type did not affect the distribution of fibres with respect to fibre type, colour or length. © The Forensic Science Society 2005.
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