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Is it wrong to wear clothing of mixed fabrics?
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Is it wrong to wear clothing of mixed fabrics?
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Dear Friend:

   The question: "Is it wrong to wear clothing of mixed fabrics?" has been of considerable concern to many.

   The physical law found in Deuteronomy 22:11 and Leviticus 19:19 against wearing a garment of wool and linen mixed is still binding. This command is a PHYSICAL, not a SPIRITUAL, MATTER.

   It is just as binding as the laws of God against racial intermarriage.

   Although the Scripture mentions by name only wool and linen, this principle applies to other fabrics: linen and wool are named specifically because they were the main materials the Israelites had for cloth-making. Wool does not absorb perspiration readily, as does linen. Wool also retains body heat. That's why you don't want to wear it in summer.

   The command pertains to garments in which two materials are woven together. A cheapened quality if often the result. Apparently this is one reason for God's command. He wants us to own and use the best quality within our means.

   When one buys a garment of mixed material he receives inferior quality. This constitutes a waste of money and also detracts from personal appearance.

   It is not necessary to throw away mixed materials that you already have. (Some people would have nothing left to wear if they did.) To do so would be quite rash. Just be careful to select approved material the next time you purchase clothing.

   Any extra garments of mixed fabrics may be given to worldly charities. Notice the example in Deuteronomy 14:21. The same principle would apply in this matter!

   It is not wrong to wear one garment or linen and another of wool at the same time. Neither is it wrong to wear a wool coat with a rayon lining; the rayon lining is not woven with the wool and will not cheapen the wool of the coat. The same applies to cotton pockets in trousers that are made of wool or other materials, also probably to the pure rayon or nylon band that is sewed around the neck of some T shirts. One should not buy socks with nylon reinforced heel and toe because in such socks the two materials are interwoven.

   You are likely to more frequently encounter the problem of mixed fabrics in socks, suits, sweaters, sport shirts, and blankets. (There is no difficulty in selecting dress shirts, underwear, hats, or scarfs because they are usually made of one material.)

   The question may arise whether it is wrong to buy materials that are a mixture of wool and angora, or cashmere and wool. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of mixture. Both are natural and are animal products of good quality. However, combinations of silk and cotton are not proper. They are of two different kinds.

   The question of synthetics and natural fibers is another facet of this question.

   Synthetics of some types are not the best for body health and comfort. Nylon, especially, is not conducive to comfort in some of its uses. Dress shirts, socks, and blouses of nylon greatly hinder the health-giving circulation of air, hold in body heat, and reduce body comfort.

   A good health test to use when buying synthetic material or a ready-made garment is to hold the material up, hold your hand about six or eight inches from the material and blow through it. If you can feel the air you can be pretty sure that air is going to come through and circulate around your body when you have such material on.

   Usually a synthetic material that is woven very tight is not good, but one that is woven more loosely might tend to be much better. This is where each individual must use his or her own judgment about whether or not the material is-suited for him. Some people know what type of material their body is suited for some cannot even wear any type of synthetic material.

   Next, is it good to wear a fabric that is a mixture of natural and synthetic fibers?

   Synthetics differ markedly from wool. Synthetics are chemically treated vegetable products usually cellulose. Wool, by contrast, is an animal product. The physical law in Deuteronomy regarding wool and linen would apply here. Mixtures of wool and synthetics are not good.

   BUT, since many synthetics are chemically processed vegetable products, cotton and synthetic combinations constitute another question entirely. The problem is similar to that of racial intermarriage. Marriage among nationalities differs in degree (and is not absolutely wrong), but intermarriage between distinct races differs in kind and is absolutely wrong.

   Bemberg rayon, for example, is made of cellulose from cotton linters. Rayon may be made from chemically treated wood pulp or cotton. On the other hand, orlon is derived from such basic raw materials as coal, air, water, petroleum, limestone and natural gases.

   In purchasing garments of a synthetic and natural blend, you might notice that before too long the synthetic being much stronger than the natural fiber will tear the natural fibers of the fabric. This is not always the case, but it does happen in some instances. The rule in such blends or mixtures is this: if the characteristics of the synthetic do not differ markedly from the natural cotton (or linen), then the combination is not prohibited. If AS IS OFTEN THE CASE they do differ markedly in strength, washability, absorption, etc., then they should not be used.

   Combinations of one synthetic with another are to be judged on the same basis. If the characteristics are similar, it would not be wrong to purchase them.

   REMEMBER, THIS IS A PHYSICAL LAW NOT A SPIRITUAL LAW. ONLY IF YOU LUST AFTER WHAT GOD SAYS YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE, DOES IT BECOME A SPIRITUAL SIN. Let us not go to extremes in this matter. Not all combinations are wrong.

   Keep in mind that the genuine article is always of better quality than the artificial.

   You can usually find a natural fabric without too much trouble. You may have to pay a little more, but don't you think it is worth it?

LETTER ANSWERING DEPARTMENT

Letter Number: 912

Publication Date: 1958
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