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Out of the frying pan

Out of the frying pan and onto your clothes.

DuPont's Teflon, which put the no-stick coating on cookware, is broadening its stain-free finishes for ready-to-wear where most spills bead up and can be blotted off.

Last fall, Koret of California, which caters to the working woman, added Teflon fabric protector to a collection of wool separates for women.

Even silk, a fabric that bathes you in luxury and then takes you to the cleaners, literally, can be treated to stay clean longer without losing its soft touch and bright color.

Adrianna Papell, a New York manufacturer, put the finish on its entire spring line of silk suits, dresses and blouses. The company named the treated fabric ""Safe Silk" and is using it on labels and hang-tags.

According to DuPont, Teflon was first used on fabric some 30 years ago when London Fog put it on rainwear. DuPont says the water-base finish resists chemical interaction with other materials. It works by forming a molecular bond to the fibers, guarding them from oil- and water-base stains, dust and dry soil. The company says it is undetectable by sight, smell or touch and doesn't affect color, feel or breathability of a fabric.

Jaynee Berkman, executive vice president, claims a silk garment can be drycleaned from six to 10 times before the finish wears off. She also says handwashing and ironing will not diminish the protective finish.

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