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Author Topic: organic fabrics  (Read 3076 times)
runi
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Posts: 3

« on: July 29, 2008, 03:49:07 AM »

Recently I've read about fabric made from renewable resources such as nettle and hemp. I'm not familiar with the production requirements of these but I understand that organic cotton takes considerable resources. Is anybody out there knowledgeable regarding fabrics, not wool or silk derived from animals. How is bamboo fabric produced and how does it stack up regarding resources used in manufacture? I am looking for a source for fabrics of this nature for home sewing and possibly making simple clothing for resale.
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Ingrid Naiman
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2008, 02:39:03 PM »

I will ask Limin to answer the question you asked about bamboo.  The methods are proprietary, but I am satisfied that they are about as environmentally friendly as we get.

In researching these issues, I stumbled on several very fine web sites offering yardage for purposes such as you described.
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limin
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 06:46:33 PM »

"Recently I've read about fabric made from renewable resources such as nettle and hemp. I'm not familiar with the production requirements of these but I understand that organic cotton takes considerable resources. Is anybody out there knowledgeable regarding fabrics, not wool or silk derived from animals. How is bamboo fabric produced and how does it stack up regarding resources used in manufacture? I am looking for a source for fabrics of this nature for home sewing and possibly making simple clothing for resale."

I do not consider myself knowledgeable at all.  I am responding upon Ingrid's request.  The following is what I learned about how bamboo fabric is produced.

The process is quite simple. The bamboo culms can be pulped through a process of mechanical combing, and/or baths of sodium hydroxide. These processes are completely closed, which means that the release of byproducts into the environment is negligible.

The chemicals involved are “good” chemicals compared to the truly dangerous ones used to produce cotton and polyester. Sodium hydroxide is reactive but it is not toxic, i.e. it does not cause DNA damage, does not enter the food chain and is short lived because of its reactivity. It is easily neutralized into salt and water. Furthermore sodium hydroxide is used as a washing agent for almost all organic cotton textiles and is certified by the global organic textile standards.

The proof of the ecologically sound methods behind bamboo production is the fact that all bamboo fabric is certified under Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which has become the best known and most successful label for textiles tested for harmful substances.

Mechanical breakdown of the bamboo results in a fiber much more like linen and has properties like linen only silkier. No real chemical processing, however benign is necessary.

In regards to the "stack up", bamboo plants are probably the fastest growing plants among all.  Bamboo forest can quickly recover after  a harvesting process is done. 

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