OEcotextiles

Indulgent yet responsible fabrics

So for the past two weeks we’ve discussed the differences between synthetic and natural fibers. But there’s more to consider than just the fiber content of the fabric you buy. There is the question of whether a natural fiber is organically grown, and what kind of processing is used to create the fabric. First, by …

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Since the 1960s, the use of synthetic fibers has increased dramatically,  causing the natural fiber industry to lose much of its market share. In December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF); a year-long initiative focused on raising global awareness about natural fibers with specific focus on …

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So from last week’s post, you  know that you want a durable, colorfast fabric that will be lovely to look at and wonderful to live with.  What’s the best choice?  I’m so glad you asked. You have basically two choices in fibers:  natural (cotton, linen, wool, hemp, silk)  or synthetic (polyester, acrylic, nylon, etc.).  Many …

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In an upholstered piece of furniture, the cushions need a filler of some kind.  Before plastics, our grandparents used feathers, horsehair or wool or cotton batting.  But with the advent of plastics, our lives changed.  You will now commonly see polyurethane foam, synthetic or natural latex rubber and the new, highly touted soy based foam. …

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The case for natural fibers

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

I’m going to be taking a few weeks off,  and thought I’d recycle some of our old posts.  So if you think you’ve seen these before – you have.   But the issues remain important and it doesn’t hurt to remind you.    I’ve updated the topics a bit if necessary. Since the 1960s, the use of …

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Nylon 6 and Nylon 6,6

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Nylon is a synthetic polymer called a polyamide  because of the characteristic monomers of amides in the backbone chain.  Polyamides are also naturally occurring – proteins such as wool and silk are also polyamides. We commonly see two basic types of nylon used in fabrics: nylon 6 and nylon 6,6: Nylon 6,6:  Two different molecules …

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LEED and human health

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Does living or working in a LEED certified space mean that you are safe from building contaminants – or does it promote a false sense of security? A study published by the nonprofit,  Environment and Human Health, Inc. (EHHI),  in May 2010, emphatically claims that you are not safe.  The lead author of the study, …

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Printing – part 2

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Bear with me – I’ll eventually get to the environmental aspects of printing – including digital printing.  But I think it’s important to know the basic steps and processes in order to be able to understand green claims.  So there will still be a Printing – part 3 before we get to the environmental topics. …

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White biotechnology and enzymes

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

For tens of thousands of years, humans relied on nature to provide them with everything they needed to make their lives more comfortable -cotton and wool for clothes, wood for furniture, clay and ceramic for storage containers, even plants for medicines. But this all changed during the first half of the twentieth century, when organic chemistry developed methods to …

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At the  International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM ) Congress   in February, 2011, Ann Shankar from Biodye India, a company that produces natural dyes based on wild plants,  made a provocative suggestion –  that the term “organic textile” is not an accurate description of any textile where synthetic dyes and auxiliaries are used.  The …

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