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Organic Clothing Terms from Organic Bug

Organic Clothing Terms from Organic Bug

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Published by ootb2008
Dye types, organic, hemp...what does it all mean? As you shop for eco friendly clothing it is important to understand what the terms mean.
Dye types, organic, hemp...what does it all mean? As you shop for eco friendly clothing it is important to understand what the terms mean.

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Published by: ootb2008 on Mar 19, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Organic implies food and other items derived from raw materials that are wild-crafted or organically grown. The processes used minimize damage to the environment and improvethe quality of life for the workers and animals involved.Following is an overview of the growing variety of organic materials being used in theclothing & fashion industries to assist us in making healthier choices for ourselves, our families, and the earth. Additionally, we have included a summary of the dye processesmost widely used by eco-friendly manufacturers.
Natural color clothing
is the healthiest and most eco-friendly. These include color-grown cottons (brown, blue, purple, green) and natural color wools and alpaca. No dyesare used and the fabric maintains a consistent color.
uses an age old technique of grinding minerals and irons found withinearthen clay, blending with water then soaking natural color cotton to the desired hue.After several washings, a slight color change may be expected.
Low-impact fiber-reactive dyes
remain the most widely used in the organicmanufacturing industry because of their color diversity. The colors are bright, rich, andcolorfast. Low-impact fiber-reactive dyes are considered an eco-friendly pigment becausethey contain no formaldehyde or heavy metals (ie. bright turquoise and bright yellowtypically require heavy metals to achieve their brightness) and create less waste water runoff than modern dyeing methods. Seventy percent or more of the dye actually adheresto the fiber during the dye process. Waste water is filtered multiple times and is returnedto the water system cleaner than it was originally. But, the actual dyes are almost alwaysfound to be made from synthetic petrochemicals. As the industry grows, however, onemay anticipate development of a true non-toxic pigment to rival the low-impact dyescurrently available.
Organic cotton
, inherently soft to the touch, is grown without chemical fertilizers or  pesticides; requires minimal processing and possesses no chemical finishes. This growingmethod improves soil quality; supports biodiversity and our fragile ecosystems.Organically grown cotton yields are high and the chemical-free working environment promotes health and wellbeing.
Bamboo fabric
is extremely durable which belies its luxurious delicate sheen and softrayon-like drape. It retains its antibacterial qualities, killing odor-causing bacteria thatlive on human skin. It has excellent insulating properties and is highly absorbent and
 breathable, wicking moisture away from the skin while keeping the wearer cooler insummer and warmer in winter. Bamboo, a highly renewable resource, is a fast growinggrass, ready for harvest within 5 years. It is naturally resistant to pests making itrelatively easy to grow without the use of chemicals.
is a polyester fiber made entirely from recycled plastic bottles! EcoSpun fleeceis warm, durable, lightweight, weather resistant and soft to the touch. It is often blendedwith other fibers such as cotton, wool and Tencel for manufacture of clothing, blankets,carpeting, fiberfill and other home furnishings.
Woven hemp
can be traced back 10,000 years making it one of the oldest textiles knownto man. The fabric for the first flag of the United States of America was hemp, as werethe covers for the wagons that dared to venture west, attesting to its strength anddurability. It resists UV light and is mold resistant. Its texture is compared most closely tolinen. For the record, industrial hemp has no drug value. Hemp is grown organically,needs no irrigation, is insect resistant and is harvested and processed without machinery.It produces up to 3 times more fiber per acre than cotton. Woven hemp is breathable andmay be produced on its own as a fabric or combined with other fibers as a blend.
Ingeo fibers
offer a viable sustainable solution to synthetics. As a fabric, Ingeo'sluxurious feel contradicts its durability and easy maintenance. A derivative of fermentedcorn, an annually renewable resource, Ingeo fibers require about half of the energyneeded in the production of synthetic polyester and release fifty percent fewer greenhousegasses during the production process. From raw material through to the end product, themanufacture of Ingeo fibers integrates environmental responsibility with excellent product performance and comfort. This extraordinary product delivers comparable performance characteristics to the easy care synthetic polyester fibers we have come tolove in a variety of clothing and home accessories.
is derived from the flax plant, and like hemp, its use dates back thousands of years.Linen is absorbent and breathable which gives it excellent wicking qualities. Organicallygrown linen drapes beautifully and compliments many fabrics as a blend, giving eco-friendly designers yet another fabric to further verify that the new "green" is style,quality, and performance.
Soy fabric
is made using a by-product of the process used to make tofu. Because of itshigh protein count, it is receptive to natural dyes, has an amazingly soft cashmere quality,is lightweight, breathable and super comfortable to wear. What more can we say?
is made from wood pulp cellulose. It offers a soft, silky hand, has super absorbency qualities, is as strong as any synthetic, enjoys the coolness of linen and is aswarm as wool! The most naturally hygienic fiber, Tencel prevents the growth of bacteria.Through manipulation of the fibers during processing, a variety of looks from denim tosuede can be accomplished.

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