Your armpit is a wild and woolly place. Take care of it, shop handloom.

My husband swears by his handloom silk shirt we got in New Delhi at “Fab India,” a retail chain which emphasizes handwoven goods. He wore it for our last day and continued to wear it on his flight New Delhi-Istanbul-Frankfurt.

Then after a day of airing it out, he took a sniff and decided it was ok and wore it the next day. He has a super sensitive nose so I know he's not just blinded by his love for handloom.

It made me consider how different fabrics react to sweat and it took me to a frightening world. Basically, your armpit is a wild and wooly place.

The natural germs on the skin feast on chemicals in sweat and give off pungent odors. While natural textiles can absorb these odors and over time release them, these funky juices take up microscopic spaces in between the fibers of synthetic materials and flourish. And then they never leave.

There are more microbes in one armpit than there are people in the world, according to scientist Chris Callewaert of Ghent University in Belgium, who also known as “Mr. Armpit.”

If that silk shirt had even a whiff of polyester, those microbes would have more of a party. Polyester shirts harbor more of the odiferous germ Micrococcus luteus than cotton or other natural fibers such as silk or linen. Surprisingly, this is not a germ that naturally grows in your pits. Consider it an invasive species; it somehow follows the polyester.

“Something about sweat-filled polyester enriches these sour-smelling bacteria,” Callewaert wrote in a study published in 2014 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

This is indeed a problem since polyester structure does not "breath" and wearing it makes you sweat more than you would normally.

While there are benefits to polyester – you don’t have to iron it and you probably spill red wine all over it and it will come off – but there is no way around the stink factor.

There are entire message boards devoted to how to get the stink out of polyester clothing.

Worse yet, now scientists are looking into the possibility that these bacteria not only survive the washing machine, they spread to other clothing.

At Indigo Handloom, we are devoted to the non-polyester world with where the only microbes are the ones that are on your skin naturally. Life is too short for polyester.

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