Learn all about organic fabrics; what they are, how they are produced and what are their benefits. From organic cotton fabric to linen, find out how organic fabrics can work for your next project.
What is organic fabric?
Organic fabric and organic textiles are grown and harvested in controlled areas with no chemicals, herbicides or pesticides used to enhance their growth. To help them grow, natural fertilisers are used, and the soil and water are carefully monitored throughout the growing process.
There are several organic trade associations worldwide who monitor and clarify whether a fibre can be certified as “organic.” Generally, a fabric can be called organic providing 95% of the material contains the organic fibre.
Organic textiles, such as organic cotton fabric, are growing ever more popular, thanks to their eco-friendly properties and their sustainability.
How is it manufactured?
There are several popular organic materials, which are used in a wide range of industries. These fibres are manufactured slightly differently. Some examples include:
- Organic cotton fabric – cotton is harvested (often by hand) and several cleaning steps take place. Cotton fibres are separated from other plant material and spun to make yarn. This is used to create organic cotton fabric available wholesale or online.
- Linen – fibres are naturally degraded from the plant and the pectin is removed. Stalks are treated by removing the woody portion, and the fibres are combed into long stems of natural materials which are spun to make yarn.
- Hemp – hemp plants are cut as soon as male plants begin to exude pollen. Stems are laid out for several weeks so that retting can occur. This causes the pectin to decompose leaving the long, bast fibres exposes. The woody core is removed and the fibre is spun. The hemp fibres are then spun to make yarn.
Purposes of organic fabric
Organic fabric has so many uses that span across several areas, from fashion and baby apparel to upholstery and home textiles. Organic clothing is becoming increasingly popular in the fashion world, thanks to its myriad of benefits. These fabrics have a majorly positive impact on your health and the overall health of the planet.
Organic textiles are widely popular with people with skin allergies, sensitivities or intolerances, thanks to the lack of chemicals used in their harvesting and manufacturing methods.
Properties of organic fabric
- Organic cotton fabric – organic cotton fabric wholesale and online. Grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Soft, insulating, breathable
- Linen – made from the flax fibre which is another traditional fibre crop. This needs few chemical fertilisers and less pesticides than cotton. Strong, doesn’t strain, has natural lustre
- Recycled polyester – uses PET as the raw material which, when used to make recycled fabrics, prevents it from going to landfill
- Organic wool – produced using sustainable farming practises and without toxic sheep dips. Naturally insulating, mold resistant, water repellent
- Hemp – very ecological crop; productive, easy to cultivate and pest tolerant. A traditional fibre from the marijuana plant. Strong, durable, insulating, breathable
Advantages of organic fabric
The advantages of organic fabrics are vast and impressive. Thanks to their sustainability and the way they are cultivated and harvested, organic materials have properties that benefit the consumer and the environment. Some of these include:
- Safe to use of sensitive skin
- Soft and comforting
- Environmentally friendly
- Uses far less harmful chemicals and pesticides
- Improved health for farmers
- Cheaper to produce
- Strong and naturally durable
- Prevents soil erosion