Sartorial Sweets

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

sartorial sweets —clothes made with sugar—are surprisingly ubiquitous. Sugar weaves its way into fabrics both synthetic and natural, and clothing made of sweets offers a provocative aesthetic.

Several familiar fabrics are manufactured from molecules of sugar that nature has already stitched together. Cotton and linen consist largely of cellulose, a polymer in which glucose molecules are connected to each other, much like a line of dancers linking arms. Cotton fibers are unbranched, spiraling chains of cellulose, the strength of the fiber being directly proportionate to the length of the chain.