OEcotextiles

Indulgent yet responsible fabrics

So we have produced the frame and put in the suspension system.  Next in line are the cushions – something soft to sit on. 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 …

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When plastic was introduced in 1869, it was advertised as being able to replace natural products like ivory and tortoiseshell in items such as jewelry, combs and buttons – so it would “no longer be necessary to ransack the earth in pursuit of substances which are constantly growing scarcer.”(1) What a success: Plastics are versatile …

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Chrome-free leather?

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Last week we took a look at chromium in textiles – and leather. With the increased interest in avoidance of certain chemicals and industrial products that are particularly harmful to our environment, it’s not surprising that manufacturers are becoming ingenious in pointing out attributes that play to this script. So we now see claims for …

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Antimony in fabrics

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

Synthetic fibers are the most popular fibers in the world – 65% of the world’s production of fibers are synthetic, and 35% are natural fibers. (1) Fully 70% of those synthetic fibers are polyester. There are many different types of polyester, but the type most often produced for use in textiles is polyethylene terephthalate, abbreviated …

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Mercerization is a process applied to cellulosic  fibers  – typically cotton (or cotton-covered thread with a polyester core)  but hemp and linen can be mercerized also – to increase luster.  It is done after weaving (in the case of fabrics) or spinning (for yarns or threads).  But early on it was found that the process …

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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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This week we’ll begin to talk about the fabric used in your sofa – which we (of course) think is a very complicated and important topic! One thing to remember is that there is much more fabric used in constructing an upholstered piece of furniture than just the decorative fabric that you see covering the piece – …

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Beyond natural fibers

O Ecotextiles (and Two Sisters Ecotextiles)

It looks like the plastic bottle is here to stay, despite publicity about bisphenol A and other chemicals that may leach into liquids inside the bottle. The amount of plastic used to make the bottles is so enormous that estimates of total amount of plastic used is staggering. Earth911.com says that over 2,456 million pounds …

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