Now we have all heard of organic farming and organic food, but how about organic fabric? Is it possible to produce organic fabrics that are as diverse and user friendly as some of their man-made, “treated” counterparts? And what is organic fabric and why is it a good choice? We have found a number of organic fabric options for you, each with its own unique quality and uses, have a read, the options available may surprise you!
Why Organic Fabric?
- It’s natural! Seeds and soils have not been treated with artificial pesticides and fertilisers
- Natural harvesting methods, no toxic chemicals used
- Chlorine bleaching used to whiten non-organic fabrics creates toxic by-products which are released in to the environment
- All natural dyes used
- Water-based inks are used for printing. Pigments used in traditional fabrics often contain heavy metals and petroleum
- Fair Trade criteria applies (see our blog on Fair Trade)
- Although the initial cost of organic fabrics can seem more expensive the long-term effects on the environment are priceless.
Some interesting Sources of Organic Fabric.......
Soy Protein Fibre
Soy fibre is made from the waste product of an abundant resource. After oil is extracted from soybeans, a soy “cake” is left behind. Protein is collected from the cake through distillation and is then refined and converted into a liquid form by adding non-toxic auxiliary agent and enzyme. Soy protein fabric is the cashmere” of the organic fabric world, it is extremely soft and warm to the touch. It breathes better than cotton and also has excellent absorbency, anti-bacterial and UV protection properties.
Bamboo is a highly sustainable crop as it does not claim farming land, grows very fast and needs minimal care. It is a much better CO2 extractor and oxygen emitter than trees, and all bamboo products are completely biodegradable and recyclable. Bamboo fabrics can be made with both bamboo fibres and bamboo pulp, making it a very resourceful fabric. Bamboo fabrics are soft and silky to the touch, drape well, and possess properties of excellent moisture absorption and permeability.
Yak down fibres are a fine, soft protein fibre. They are just over an inch long and are combed or shed from the yaks that are a Tibetan plateau specialty. They are then de-haired for the yak down. Its short staple length makes it a challenge to spin in its pure form, therefore it is often blended with longer staple fibre such as wool, hemp and silk.
Hemp is the longest, strongest most durable natural fibre known to mankind and has been used for over 12,000 years. Hemp can be grown in two months, does not require any herbicides or pesticides and uses a fraction of the water compared with cotton. Hemp can produce four times as much pulp per hectare than trees and can produce over 50,000 products including paper, plastics, cosmetics, clothing, food, fuel, wood products and medicine.
There are so many organics fabrics now being produced in Australia it would be impossible to list them all, however, it is worth investigating as we are sure you will find an organic fabric to work for every occasion! “Google It” the results are astounding!