Breakthrough forensic research at Northumbria University, Newcastle, has revealed for the first time that textile fibres can, under certain circumstances, be transferred between clothing in the absence of contact. This new forensic discovery has not been demonstrated before and could have a major implication for fibre evidence in certain criminal cases.
Because it has largely been assumed that fibre transfer only occurs when two surfaces touch, it is generally accepted in a case that two surfaces have, at some point, been in contact with each other. However, researchers at Northumbria University have revealed that under certain conditions, this is not necessarily always the case... The results of this study demonstrate that when certain strict conditions are met (i.e. time, sheddability of garment, proximity and confined space), airborne transfer of fibres can occur in forensic scenarios, and that these could be in potentially significant numbers for fibre types, such as cotton and polyester.