As consumers have become increasingly interested in environmental conservation, interest in organic products is growing. Organic food is becoming more mainstream, and organic fabrics are also gaining more attention.
At Imports Oriental we have been looking into organic fabrics for several years now. Organic fabrics are textiles that use organically cultivated fibers. These are fibers that have not been exposed to harmful pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other agricultural procedures and substances which can negatively impact the environment.
Here’s a quick look at a few common organic fibers.
For most people, wool is the first organic fiber that springs to mind. Wool is hypoallergenic and extremely resistant not only to bacteria, but also to mildew and mold, which are common allergy triggers. Wool is a natural fire retardant; firefighters wear wool for this reason. Unlike synthetic fibers, wool will not ignite when exposed to open flame. For wool to be certified organic, the animals producing it must be raised in accordance with standards for the management of organic livestock.
The most common organic fiber used by textile manufacturers is cotton. Organic cotton fiber production creates a small carbon footprint; not only is it biodegradable, the wastage residue during the manufacturing process is less than ten percent.
Organic cotton retains the characteristics of regular cotton – such as wash-and-wear properties, durability, and moisture absorption – and also resists dust mites. Hypoallergenic properties make it relatively safe for people with sensitive allergic conditions such as asthma, skin allergies or dust allergies.
Yes, you can make fabric out of bamboo. The bamboo is pulped and used to make fabric. It produces more fabric per acre than traditional fibers. Bamboo textiles are also biodegradable.
Bamboo textiles have many advantages over cotton. Bamboo takes less water to dye than other textiles, and no chemicals are needed to aid the dyeing process. Bamboo textiles are soft to the touch and inherently antibacterial. The fabric absorbs moisture well, but dries twice as fast as cotton. Organic bamboo textiles are not bleached with chlorine.
Hemp fabric is not widely used in the apparel industry due to the association with marijuana, but it is a legitimate alternative fabric. Hemp fabric offers greater UV protection than many other textiles, and can be recycled when it has outlived its usefulness.