5 Fabrics That Cause the Worst Winter Static (and 2 That Don’t)

Every November you pull out your favorite skirt that works as well with a sweater as it does a silky blouse. But some days the hem winds up at your waistband the second you step outside. Bad news: You’ve got static. To refrain from any accidental-flasher situations, here are the five fabrics that are the worst culprits—and a couple of safer bets.

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fabrics that cause static cling
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Fabrics That Cause Static

1. Wool. You know its hair-raising antics well. But why does your precious cable-knit have to be that way? Science lesson: Natural animal fibers have hidden, microscopic moisture in the follicles, causing conduction of electrons (i.e., static). 

2. Fur. Same reason as wool—but possibly worse since fur still has the hide attached.

3. Silk. Anyone who’s even attempted a slip dress around the holidays gets it.

4. Polyester. Synthetic fabrics like nylon tights are moisture-free. (Woohoo!) But dry environments also happen to be electrical insulators. (Womp, womp.) Unfortunately that means faux fur is a stage-five clinger, too.

5. Rayon. What about semi-synthetic, you ask? Still creates a dry situation. (Thanks, wood pulp.) So watch out for all your silk-look-alike blouses that may shift around to unexpected places.

fabrics that don t cause static cling
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Fabrics That Don’t Cause Static

1. Cotton. Of course, the fabric of our lives is on neutral ground. Anytime you need a guaranteed no-static zone, reach for your denim, chinos, tees, button-downs, cardigans and field jackets.

2. Leather. Somewhere in the tanning process, your moto jacket must have lost its conductivity. Yet another reason it beats your puffy coat.

how to prevent static cling

What You Can Do About Static

We’re certainly not telling you to skip any fabrics over others. (’Cause, uh, when would you even wear wool?) Just a friendly reminder to put these anti-static remedies to use: Wash with fabric softener; rub with a dryer sheet; spritz with hairspray (or water); run over with a metal hanger; or clip on a safety pin. 

susan waits

Lousy baker, stellar shopping buddy

You can find Susan either blissfully buried in a pile of clothes or on a plane between L.A. and NYC.