MATERIALS

Organic Cotton

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Organic cotton farming is environmentally friendly. They use natural pesticides in stead of chemical ones, for instance garlic based mixtures or pheromone-traps. This keeps pests off the crops, but does not destroy their natural predators.


In stead of monoculture, secondary crops are grown between and around small plots of cotton, such as sunflowers and millet. This not only creates a natural barrier and confuses the pests; it also provides the farmers with another cash crop or food. Which can be a useful backup in case of a poor cotton harvest.
Thanks to the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides, groundwater and rivers stay clean and healthy. To increase soil fertility compost, mulch and organic manures are used.

 

This way of farming actually promotes biodiversity. In organic cotton fields a significantly higher number of insect species are found (especially those that are beneficial).


There are more benefits for the farmers. Because organic farmers use local products (compost, manure, natural pesticides), their costs are considerably lower. Crop rotation provides them with a range of different food crops, thus improving their food security and reducing their dependency on the cotton market. Organic cotton also provides extra income thanks to the organic premium.

For more information about organic cotton click "http://www.organiccotton.org/"

Bamboo

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Bamboo clothing is considered environmentally friendly organic product to the extent that it is not genetically modified. Bamboo is grown without the use of artificial pesticides and fertilizers. It grows without irrigation and requires minimal water consumption. It does not contribute to contamination of water and soil.

 

Basis of the National Biological Standards Board of the American Department (USDA) defines organic agriculture as an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and management practices such as restoring, maintaining and improving the ecological harmony.

 

It has been shown that in 1 hectare of bamboo wood will absorb a high level of carbon from the plain wood. Bamboo naturally absorbs 2/3 more carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, 35% more than any other plant. This is one of the causes the cultivation to be more attractive. Bamboo is botanically classified as grass and does not require agricultural support as it grows naturally. Certain bamboo type trees can grow up to 3m per day; bamboo holds the world record as the fastest growing plant. "Phyllostachys Heterocycla" commonly called "Moso bamboo", which is most commonly used as material for the production of fabrics and garments and is extremely popular in China. The clothes from the bamboo plant are considered as an "eco-fabric", which is fully disposable in the soil by microorganisms (100% biodegradable).

 

Reached its useful life, clothes and fabrics made ​​from bamboo can be composted and disposed as organic products using environmentally friendly technologies. The main reasons for the production of textiles and fabrics for bamboo clothing are:

 ✓ Soft (bamboo fibre is extremely soft, smooth and shiny silk gloss yarn);

 ✓ Higrokospichnost moisture (wicking) - The speed ​​of transfer of the moisture of the bamboo fibre is 2 times higher than that of cotton, and this is an ideal fabric for the manufacture of clothing;

 ✓ UV protection - the bamboo clothing is shown to have a dual UV protection than cotton and protects the body from harmful UV rays;

 ✓ Breathable and insulating properties - because of its natural origin, the bamboo clothes are extremely breathable, more than traditional garments of cotton and synthetics. The bamboo fabric works as "natural thermostat" and helps the body to breath and  feel comfortable (it is cool in hot weather and warm in the cold)

 ✓ Antibacterial (scientifically proven in a study that has been done by Textile Inspection Association (JTIA) in Japan. The quantitative test (JISL 1902) has been performed with 100% bamboo fabric. The fabric samples were washed 50 times. Then the same samples were attacked with bacterial strain type - STAPHYLOCOCCUS (IID1677). After a 24-hour period, the test samples showed  above 70% antibacterial efficacy.

Flax

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The flax is a textile fabric made ​​from fibres extracted from the stems of the flax plant. It has the following properties:

  • very smooth surface with a matte gloss

  • hard contaminates (applies to natural colour flax)

  • doesn't produce "fabric with bristly bead"

  • absorbs and dries easily, thus helps regulate natural body heat - very suitable for summer.

 

Flax is very resistant to tension, especially when wet. It is harder than cotton and wrinkles more. Flax is resistant to boiling, but it is advisable to wash at a low temperature because it shrinks. Flax clothes should be washed up to 30 degrees and it is advisable to use a fine powder laundry detergent without bleach granules. It should not be tumble-dried to avoid shrinking. Must be ironed using the cotton /linen sign and for best results should be slightly wet. Dry away from direct sunlight, because of the risk of staining.

Kapok

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Kapok (Ceiba pentandra), also called Java cotton, ceiba, or Java kapok,  seed-hair fibre obtained from the fruit of the kapok tree or the kapok tree itself. The kapok is a gigantic tree of the tropical forest canopy and emergent layer. Common throughout the tropics, the kapok is native to the New World and to Africa and was transported to Asia, where it is cultivated for its fibre, or floss. The kapok’s huge buttressed trunk tapers upward to an almost horizontal, spreading crown where large, compound leaves are made up of five to eight long, narrow leaflets. In full sun, the kapok can grow up to 4 metres (13 feet) per year, eventually reaching a height of 50 metres (164 feet).

The kapok is deciduous, dropping its foliage after seasonal rainy periods. Flowering occurs when the tree is leafless, thereby improving access for the bats that feed on the sugar-laden nectar of kapok blossoms. In doing so, the bats unwittingly pollinate the tree’s flowers. The flowers open at night and have five petals that are white or pink on the outside. Only a few flowers on a given branch will open on any particular night during the two or three weeks that the tree blooms.

Kapoks do not bloom every year, and some may go 5–10 years without flowering. When the tree does bloom, however, it is prolific, producing up to 4,000 fruits measuring up to 15 cm (6 inches) long. Eventually these pods open on the tree, exposing the pale kapok fibres to the wind for dispersal. The fibres, in which over 200 seeds are loosely embedded, is sometimes referred to as silk cotton and is yellowish brown, lightweight, and lustrous.

In harvesting kapok fibre, the pods are either cut down or gathered when they fall, then broken open with mallets. The seed and fibre, removed from the pods by hand, are stirred in a basket; the seeds fall to the bottom, leaving the fibres free. The seeds may be processed to obtain oil for making soap, and the residue is used as fertilizer and cattle feed.

 

Individual fibres are 0.8 to 3.2 cm (0.3 to 1.25 inches) long, averaging 1.8 cm (0.7 inch), with diameters of 30 to 36 micrometres (a micrometre is about 0.00004 inch). Kapok is a moisture-resistant, quick-drying, resilient, and buoyant fibre. The fibres contain both lignin, a woody plant substance, and cellulose, a carbohydrate. The inelastic fibre, or floss, is too brittle for spinning, but it weighs only one-eighth as much as cotton. The floss has been used in life preservers and other water-safety equipment, supporting as much as 30 times its own weight in water. Buoyancy is lost slowly, with one test showing only 10 percent loss after 30 days of water immersion. Kapok is also used as stuffing for pillows, mattresses, and upholstery, as insulation material, and as a substitute for absorbent cotton in surgery. Kapok is chiefly cultivated in Asia and Indonesia; the floss is an important product of Java. It is highly flammable, however, and the fibre’s importance has decreased with the development of foam rubber, plastics, and synthetic fibres.

Indian kapok, floss from the small cotton tree (Bombax malabarica), native to India, has many of the qualities of the Java type but is more brownish yellow in colour and less resilient. Immersed in water, it supports only 10 to 15 times its own weight.

 

All these trees are members of the hibiscus, or mallow, family (Malvaceae), some members of which produce tree cotton (bombax cotton) in Brazil and the West Indies, and to which cotton itself also belongs. The genus name of the Java kapok, Ceiba, is thought to be derived from a Carib word for a dugout boat.

 

The kapok fiber is light, very soft, very elastic, resistant to water, but it is very flammable. The process of collecting and separating the fiber is labor-intensive and complicated. Use as an alternative to fill mattresses, pillows, upholstery and plush toys as well as insulation. Before it was used a lot in life jackets and the like, while synthetic materials largely replaced this fiber. From the seeds yield an oil used locally in soap and is also used as a fertilizer. A mature tree can produce from 5 kg. up to 8kg. fibers. The Kapok fiber is short and soft, hollow up to 86%, far more than artificial fibers (from 25% to 40%), light and naturaly antibacterial. It has many uses, one of which is with textile clothing. Kapok is used for creation of the yarn in combination with other fibers of natural origin. Combined with cotton, viscose or cellulose fibers, it can produce knitted fabric for underwear, sweaters, woven casual garments, bedding and more. Articles of this yarn are very nice body, strong and wear-resistant. Thanks to the superb thermoregulatory properties, garments made from such yarn can be worn throughout the year at any temperature. In the winter it keeps warm, summer provides the necessary coolness.

Others

Mercerized Cotton

 

 

Mercerization is a treatment for cotton fabric and thread that gives fabric or yarns a lustrous appearance and strengthens them. The process is applied to cellulosic materials like cotton or hemp.

 

The process was devised in 1844 by John Mercer of Great Harwood, Lancashire, England, who treated cotton fibres with sodium hydroxide. The treatment caused the fibers to swell, which in Mercer's version of the process shrank the overall fabric size and made it stronger and easier to dye. The process did not become popular, however, until H. A. Lowe improved it into its modern form in 1890. By holding the cotton during treatment to prevent it from shrinking, Lowe found that the fibre gained a lustrous appearance.

 

Mercerisation alters the chemical structure of the cotton fibre. The structure of the fibre inter-converts from alpha-cellulose to a thermodynamically more favourable beta-cellulose polymorph. Mercerising results in the swelling of the cell wall of the cotton fibre. This causes increase in the surface area and reflectance, and gives the fibre a softer feel. An optional last step in the process is passing the thread over an open flame; this incinerates stray fibers, improving the fabric's appearance. This is known as "gassing the thread" due to the gas burner that is typically used.

 

The modern production method for mercerised cotton, also known as "pearl" or "pearle" cotton, gives cotton thread (or cotton-covered thread with a polyester core) a sodium hydroxide bath that is then neutralized with an acid bath. This treatment increases lustre, strength, affinity to dye, resistance to mildew, but, on the other hand, increases its affinity to lint.