Tanya Dann, in completing her studies for a masters degree in clothing and textile science from the University of Otago, wrote this thesis, which has more than a touch of the forensic about it:
“The tearing behaviour and effect of laundering on knicker fabrics,” Tanya Jayne Dann, thesis, Master of Science, University of Otago, 2011. (Thanks to investigator Betsy Devine for bringing this to our attention.)
Dann is now a doctoral student in the zoology department, where she is investigating the life history and distribution of two New Zealand damsefly species.
You might enjoy her blog.