What is natural fabric?
Natural fabrics are textiles made from all-natural fibres and substances. These can come from animals or plants and have been used for thousands of years to produce clothing, interiors, furnishings, and more.
At Contrado, we custom print some of the most popular animal fibres including silk, wool, and leather, and plant fibres such as cotton, bamboo, flax, and hemp. Each natural substance is unique and is suited to different types of uses. One thing that is consistent, however, is that natural fabrics are typically more environmentally friendly than manmade materials. The fabrics in this category are 100% natural, meaning they are not blended with any synthetic materials.
In terms of plant fibres, cotton is perhaps one of the most well-known fabrics available. It's loved for its softness and versatility. We offer both 100% cotton fabrics as well as cotton blends, as different materials can alter the overall fabric's properties. On the other hand, silk is one of the most popular animal fibres. It's incredibly strong yet elegant and regal.
How are they made?
Each type of natural fabric is manufactured slightly differently. Natural fibres can be spun to make thread, filaments, and rope. When these are woven, knitted, bonded, or matted, they become the natural fabrics we all know. Textiles such as natural linen fabrics are of the oldest known materials. Through the years, the only thing that has changed is the manufacturing process.
When it comes to natural fabric printing, we've done our research and have two decades of experience. We use two methods to print natural fabrics: reactive and pigment printing. Which method is used will depend on the composition and temperament of the fabric you've chosen. These techniques are designed to deposit the colour in the way that is best suited for the material fibres. Once the process is finished, the design will be bright and have superior longevity.
This process typically only takes us 1-2 days, or sometimes 3-4 days for more intensive fabrics such as pure silk. We specialise in small runs as well, meaning there's no minimum order amount. You can tell us the custom measurements that you need your fabric to be, and we can print exactly that. You don't need to worry about having to overorder or underorder to get the right amount for your project.
Advantages of natural fabric UK
Natural materials have been used for centuries in all corners of the world. They are utilised predominantly in the fashion and clothing industry, but they are also used for furnishings, interiors, insulators, and technology.
Thanks to their myriad of helpful properties and the fact that they are produced more sustainably, natural fabrics have continued to grow in popularity. Some of these characteristics include:
Many people opt for natural over synthetic thanks to the fabric’s soft and breathable qualities in addition to their limited impact on the environment. These fabrics are generally more sustainable and can be biodegradable.
Natural fabrics can also be blended together with other fibres, both natural and synthetic, to bring even more uses to the table. They are versatile as well as strong and when mixed together, their qualities can be expanded to include stretch, ease of care, colour durability, and lots more.
Natural fabric printing is one of our favourite things to do at Contrado. Get started by browsing through the fabrics above, and choose which ones you want to print your design on. All of our fabrics can be ordered as a test print, so you can see your design on the fabric before you commit to a full order. Or, you can order our natural swatch pack to compare each fabric and feel which ones you like best.