Is there a way to make fiberglass so safe that it can be used for everyday clothes?

From what I've found glass fibers are itchy when thick, so reducing their diameter helps make them soft on touch.

But In safety of asbestos and similar materials like carbon fiber I've found that reducing diameter below 6um makes them increasingly more carcinogenic, as such small shards are hard for the body to remove from the breathing system. 100nm are orders of magnitude more carcinogenic, danger when exposed for decades increases cancer rate tens of percents, and are similar in size to what asbestos has, but asbestos has a lot of short shards that are loose, so probably keeping all the threads long or impregnating them with rubber-like material that won't let shards loose might help? Are there attempts to make fiberglass clothes?

An example use where it could be very handy is tents.

Everyday clothes is a desired safety level, not an actual use case. I know that tent materials are often much less safe, and don't want this to be the case this time.

  • $\begingroup$ Why do you want glass fiber clothes to begin with? Sounds like an XY problem. What characteristic about glass fibers are you after in your clothing? It can't be fire resistance if you're willing to rubber impregnate them and there are better solutions for tensile strength (which I can't imagine you would need for "everyday" clothes.) $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Oct 4 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ In my humble opinion, this is a material science R&D question not an explicitly engineering question. Maybe there are engineers or scientists in the polymers/fashion industry that can provide better information. $\endgroup$
    – J. Ari
    Oct 4 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ @J.Ari materials science and engineering are birds of the same feather $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Oct 4 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ Any small fibres are an issue for the breathing system. Perhaps that is why materials and sizes are chosen based on the use profile. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Oct 4 at 15:48
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    $\begingroup$ @TigerGuy But they aren't the exact same bird - the nuance is key, to me atleast. That said, I didn't down vote the question in case there are people in this forum with pertinent information. From my corner of the engineering world, questions like these get sorted out in the lab and engineers come in to make the product at scale. $\endgroup$
    – J. Ari
    Oct 4 at 16:04

Fiberglass is used in specialty clothing already. Cut resistant gloves for instance.

Also for thermal protection for welders, fire fighters, and lab rats.


  • $\begingroup$ It's not clear from your example link whether fiberglass is ever exposed on the outer layer of any of these. $\endgroup$ Oct 5 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft It's not. There was some clarifiaction that came later, but the glass will need to be sequestered in a polymer. $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Oct 5 at 15:06

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