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KNOW YOUR FABRIC

Cotton

A soft usually white fibrous substance composed of the hairs surrounding the seeds of various erect freely branching tropical plants (genus Gossypium) of the mallow family.
The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, Egypt and India.

"The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable, and durable textile.”

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It accounts for about 40 percent of clothing manufactured around the world, thanks to its properties of being absorbent, soft yet strong, and easy to care for. Moreover, its natural fiber is hypoallergenic, which basically means anyone can wear it, as it is comfortable for sensitive skins too.

- You may have seen yarn counts at retail, especially on bed sheets, such as 600 count. That number represents the number of yarns per inch of fabric.
- Cotton is not absorbent or pure white it is a tannish color.
- The cotton fiber is made up cellulose which is a natural polymer.

 

There are four different types of cotton;

- Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean
- Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America
- Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan
- Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula

Cotton Initiative strives for sustainability

Cultivating, harvesting and manufacturing cotton takes a lot of time and effort, as you could by now have guessed. Tens of millions of farmers around the world rely on cotton for their livelihood, but glvobal production also requires billions of tons of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, not to mention the unimaginable amounts of water that is needed to be the world’s number one fabric. In other words, it creates quite a large environmental footprint.

Organic cotton is generally understood as cotton from plants not genetically modified and that is certified to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals, such as fertilizers or pesticides. Its production also promotes and enhances biodiversity and biological cycles.

 

Linen

Linen is one of the most widely used fabrics and it comes directly from the flax plant. Known as a strong, durable, and absorbent fabric, linen is almost always found and used as a fabric for bedding because it’s soft, comfortable, and it dries much faster than cotton – making it an ideal fabric for people who sweat when they sleep.

Linen is best described a fabric that is made from very fine fibers, derived from the flax plant. These fibers are carefully extracted, spun into yarn, and then woven into long sheets of comfortable, durable fabric called linen fabric.

‘’linen is quite lightweight, which makes it perfect all year round. Linen naturally keeps your warm during the winter months, and it’s moisture-wicking properties help to keep you dry and cool in the warmer months.’’

 

Linen Facts

- 85% of the world’s linen comes from Europe. If you have linen bed sheets, tablecloths, or a dress…chances that it came from Europe.

- Linen is unquestionably the most sustainable fabric. It is 100% biodegradable, produces zero waste, and retains carbon that is released into the atmosphere. As a bonus it is naturally hypoallergenic. It’s good for the environment and you!

- Growing linen doesn’t require wasting water. Unlike other natural and cellulose fibers that require irrigation and tons of water, flax needs only rain to survive.

- No harmful junk is required to produce linen. Flax seeds require very little fertilizer, and no pesticides or defoliants. It actually protects and fertilizes the soil, and is grown from certified GMO-free seeds.

- Using linen means you are conscious consumer. You are contributing to a more eco-conscious and sustainable world by using materials that are natural and don’t cause harm or destruction to our environment.

"linen is friendly to the environment in a number of ways: the growing of the flax plant does not harm the soil; considerably less fertilizers and pesticides are needed to grow flax compared with other crops; no part of the plant is wasted; linen fibers are recyclable and eventually biodegrade."

Absorbent
Linen absorbs water well, plus it allows water to evaporate quickly. This is one of the reasons that it always feels soft and cool, which is why it is still used as high quality bedding material. Linen is also a perfect choice for table linens.

Doesn’t stretch
Linen absorbs water well, plus it allows water to evaporate quickly. This is one of the reasons that it always feels soft and cool, which is why it is still used as high quality bedding material. Linen is also a perfect choice for table linens.

Anti-static
This makes it resistant to dust and many stains.

Non-allergenic properties
This helps people who suffer from allergies, particularly dust mite allergies.

Lint free
it is resistant to lint.

Durable
It is also resistant to abrasions, making it even more durable.

Temperature
It is able to withstand high temperatures.

Linen is typically a little smoother than cotton and an incredibly strong fiber. Linen garment gets softer and softer over the time with washing and adjusts perfectly to the body. Flax remains colourfast and launders beautifully, but it’s good to remember, that under the direct sunlight items made from linen might change the colour. Linen requires ironing, but the tendency to wrinkle is often considered part of linen’s particular charm.


Modal

Modal fabric is a semi-synthetic fabric made from beech tree pulp that is used primarily for clothing, such as underwear and pajamas, and household items, like bed sheets and towels. Modal is a form of rayon, another plant-based textile, though it is slightly more durable and flexible than the standard version.

Modal fabric is a bio-based fabric that is made from spinning reconstituted beech tree cellulose. Modal is generally considered a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton because beech trees don’t require much water to grow and therefore the production process uses about 10-20 times less water.

Even though the material is plant-derived, the production process includes soaking the fabric in chemicals like sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfate, which in turn classify modal as semi-synthetic. Modal is a type of rayon fabric, but it is generally more durable than regular rayon and feels softer, like cotton.

What are the Benefits of using and wearing Modal Fabric?

Soft
Modal l has an incredible soft touch, and is often used for bed sheets,pajamas and undergarments.

Breathable
Modal is great for sports clothing and everyday clothes because the fabric’s weave is very breathable.

Water absorbent
Modal is 50% more absorbent than cotton; micropores inside the fabric absorb any water or sweat they come into contact with.

Eco-friendly
Modal is made from regenerative plants and there
vare fewer chemicals used in the production process than with other types of rayon.

Doesn’t crease
Modal resists wrinkles and will stay smooth with minimal ironing.

it has been certified as both biodegradable and compostable under home, soil, industrial, and marine conditions.

It’s growth is more sustainable than that of cotton, and it’s responsible for yields up to ten times as high. It also uses 20 times less water!

Water is also saved when you’re wearing those new modal fabric organic pajamas. The material doesn’t require heavy washing and you’ll have no need for whitening agents or fabric softener.

Modal is comfortable and durable. You can anticipate that clothes made with this material will be able to withstand stretching and moving and years of wearing.

Modal was originally developed in Japan in the 1950s. Today, most modal is produced by the Austrian company Lenzing AG, which has the trademark for the fabric; its brands include Lenzing Modal, China Modal, and Formatex. There are even lighter versions of the material dubbed MicroModal and Modal Air by Lenzing. These versions are even finer knit than standard modal and make the end product softer, therefore items made from these fabrics are considered even more luxurious.


Silk

Silk is a natural fiber known for its luster, shine, strength, and durability, and it has a long trading history across the world. Silk is the epitome of luxury due to its high cost to produce, soft feel, and elegant appearance, and it is thus a popular textile in high-end and couture fashion design.

The earliest example of silk fabric comes from China when it was used in a child’s tomb to wrap the body. China dominated the silk industry for many years, and initially the material was reserved for the Emperor. The Chinese used silk as a form of currency, and cost was measured in lengths of silk. The Silk Road, which connected industries from the East to the West, was a popular trading route named for the material, and that region of the world, still maintains the name today.

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- Sericulture is the official term used to refer to silk production.
- A silkworm’s weight multiplies by 10,000 from the time it is hatched to the time it reaches 1 month.
- One silk strand is composed of around 4 to 8 silk filament that are twisted together.
- Its production process is what makes silk so expensive in the market.
- The Bombyx Mori moth lays over 500 eggs in less than a week and then dies soon after.
- Silk is a naturally self-adjusting fabric that is cool during the summertime, and warm during winter.
- Silk naturally curls away from any flame.
- To produce 12 pounds of silk, over 30,000 silkworms are needed.

"The process of making silk is called sericulture, and it involves harvesting silkworms for the material. "

Silk is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial.

Because of the unique characterictic of its proteins, and in particular sericin, silk fabric boasts some pretty enviable properties. For people with sensitive skin or allergies, silk is naturally hypoallergenic and unlikely to cause irritation. its also antimicrobia, meaning it hinders the growth of microorganisms like molds fungus, and bacteria. Overall, it’s great choice to have in your home!

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Viscose

Viscose is a semi-synthetic type of rayon fabric made from wood pulp that is used as a silk substitute, as it has a similar drape and smooth feel to the luxury material. The term “viscose” refers specifically to the solution of wood pulp that is turned into the fabric. Viscose was first produced in 1883 as a cheaper, artificial silk.

Soft and lightweight, viscose fabric is a fixture of many wardrobes and homes and has been in use since the late 1800s. Viscose comes from trees, but it is not as environmentally as other types of rayon, such as modal, because the production process uses high concentrations of chemicals. Viscose is cheap to produce and is a versatile fabric used for clothing items such as blouses, dresses, and jackets, and around the home in carpets and upholstery.

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THE WORD ‘VISCOSE’ COMES FROM ITS MANUFACTURING PROCESS

A type of Rayon, it was originally known as ‘artificial silk’ because of its smooth, shiny qualities. There are three types of rayon: modal, lyocell and viscose. During the process of rayon, at one point it is a ‘viscous’ (meaning gloopy, thick and sticky) type of liquid that, after it has settles into a solid form it can be used for a material or fabric. ‘Viscous’ then became ‘viscose’, the most popular of the three rayons.

 

“Viscose is super absorbent, making this fabric suitable for day wear in summer. Moreover, viscose fabric retains color well, so it’s easy to find it in almost any hue.”

 

Viscose has a myriad of brilliant qualities, which makes it a popular fibre to work with. Thanks to its characteristics, several industries use it, to create a wide range of products. Some of the most beneficial characteristics of viscose include:

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Versatile
Breathable
Drapes well
Excellent colour retention
Highly absorbent
Very smooth
Does not trap body heat
Relatively light
Strong and robust
Soft and comfortable
Inexpensive
No static build up

Tencel, lyocell, micro-modal, modal, rayon, and bamboo rayon are all viscose. They are just brand names (or old brand names which are now used to distinguish tweaks in the process. Technically, Tencel is a lyocell viscose fiber).

You can make yarn by combining numerous kinds of fiber into the same one. It’s called an intimate blend. But 100% viscose yarn is made from 100% cellulose.


Voile

Voile is a lightweight, plain woven fabric usually made from 100% cotton or cotton blend. It has the higher thread count than most cotton fabrics, which results in a silky soft hand. Voile fabric is a perfect dressmaking option for summer because it is lightweight, breathable and semi-sheer.

‘’Cotton Voile fabric is a slightly translucent fabric made from 100% natural, hypoallergenic cotton fibers. Cotton Voile fabric is soft and lightweight hence the French word “Voile” which translates to veil in English. Cotton Voile is 58/60” wide, 0.14mm thick, and weighs approximately 4oz per linear yard. This cotton fabric can be cleaned easily, drapes elegantly, and flows naturally.”

 

‘’Voiles are available in a range of patterns and colours. A Voile fabric is also used in dressmaking, either in multiple layers or laid over a second material. It is similar to chiffon.’’

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Voile characteristics:
Lightweight
Flexible
Breathable
Sheer
Elegant
Light drape
Stiff – no stretch

How to wash and care Voile:- Wash warm, normal cycle.
- Tumble dry low.
- Use only non-chlorine bleach
- Use warm iron.

Long Filament Fiber Usage
Originally voile was made with natural fibers, such as cotton, linen and wool—which are fibers that have a long filament, or naturally come in long strands. The fibers are combed and then tightly twisted to give them the stiffness and slight sheen associated with the fabric. Contemporary manufacturers of voile have expanded the fiber repertoire to include other long filament fiber, such as worsted silk (which is unwrapped from around the silk worm in one long strand) and synthetic fabric (which can be manufactured at any length). No matter the fiber content, whether 100-percent natural, blended or completely synthetic, twisting the fiber is what gives voile the sheer, clean-cut appearance that can rival organdy.

 

Due to the fact that voile is usually made from cotton or its variants, it is best to wash the fabric in cold water to maintain its shine and weave. The material’s light weight and sweat absorbing qualities make it a very comfortable material for clothing and a popular choice when wearing casual clothes.


Wool

Wool is the textile fibre obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, hide and fur clothing from bison, Angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camelids. Wool consists of protein together with a small percentage of lipids.

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A few key facts about wool sustainability:

- Sheep are part of the natural carbon cycle, consuming the organic carbon stored in plants and converting it to wool. Fifty per cent of the weight of wool is pure organic carbon.
- Wool products have long lifespans, meaning they are used or worn longer than other textile fibre products
- Wool textile products tend to be washed less frequently at lower temperatures which has a lower impact on the environment
- Wool is readily recyclable: with a market share of 1,3% of all textile fibres, wool claims 5% within the recycled fibres market share!
- Wool biodegrades readily on land and in water – as a protein-based fibre, wool does not contribute to microplastic pollution

 

Wool does not contribute to microplastic pollution

As a natural fibre, wool does not shed microplastics which can negatively affect ocean health. Scientific studies show that wool is 100% biodegradable in both land and marine environments and so. Machine washable treatments, such as Hercosett, are also fully biodegradable.

 

Wool facts

- Wool is still able to keep you warm even when it gets damp.
- Wool is fire resistant. Nothing is more important to us than your safety!
- Wool is wrinkle resistant. That’s ironing one less thing for you to think about.
- Wool can be extended to up to 70% of its natural length and when the tension is released, it returns to its natural length. Now that’s durable!
- Wool absorbs and releases water vapour as humidity rises and falls, which is why it works so well as a natural insulator.
- The word jersey originally meant any knitted item make from Jersey wool, especially stockings.
- Wool garments are typically longer lasting than those made of cotton or silk. A wool fiber can be bent 20,000 times before breaking, whereas cotton breaks after 3,000 bends.
- Alpaca wool can come in twenty-two different colors!

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