Northumbria University Centre for Forensic Science

The retention and recovery of transferred fibres following the washing of recipient items

R. Palmer. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 43(3), pp.502-504. (1998).


Laboratory coats which had been subjected to contact with a yellow polyester/cotton polo shirt were subsequently sent to an external laundry service. Surface debris tapings were taken from the items on return, and these were searched for fibers originating from the target garment. Additionally, a mock assault by an “assailant” wearing a blue acrylic top was carried out on various “victims” who, after returning home, discarded their upper clothing prior to domestic washing. Surface debris tapings taken from this clothing after drying were searched for fibers originating from the target garment using the FX5 automated fiber finding equipment (Foster & Freeman). The number of garments demonstrating the retention of target fibers, as well as the number of retained fibers, were noted.

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