3 Organic Fabrics you need to know

Forgotten Fabrics: Linen, Hemp & Jute – More Than Just Sustainable Materials, Comfortable & Breathable 

If you’re looking for healthy choices here are 3 fabrics you should really educate yourself about:

Linen – an Organic Fabric With Ancient Roots

ogl3Linen is a fabric made from flax fibres. It has been in continuous production since at least 4000 B.C.E, from whence there is evidence of a sustained linen industry. It may have been produced from wild flax even before this time. Linen is also mentioned in passages of the bible and other historical religious texts.

Linen’s best known attributes are its ability to absorb and release water quickly, and how the fabric continues to feel cool and dry to the touch even in hot humid weather. Linen is also lint free and becomes softer the more it is washed and/or manipulated. Organic linen can be found in shades of ivory, ecru, tan, or grey.

Linen is a very durable and strong fabric, with low elasticity, so it is often used for draped or looser fitting styles. Linen can usually be safely machine washed and dried, however, ironing should be avoided as it can break the fibres.

Hemp – Not Just For Hippies

hempHemp fibre has been used extensively throughout history for fabrics, rope, clothing, and famously. for the sails on tall ships.

In modern times the use of hemp has been reduced or even banned because of its association to marijuana. Hemp cultivars that are being grown for its fibres are taller and have very low concentrations of THC, and so are easily distinguished from cultivars grown for marijuana production.

Items ranging from rope, to fabrics, to industrial materials can be made from hemp fibre. Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen. Fabrics that are made from a mixture of hemp and other organic fabrics (such as silk) baost a huge variety of textures and properties. Hemp can be grown quickly, without chemicals, and with very little water, making it an ideal fibre to cultivate cheaply and organically even on marginal lands.

Jute – Paper-Bag-Princess’ Fashionable Upgrade

Jute is the name of the plant that is most commonly associated with burlap (North America), Hessian (Europe) or gunny cloth. However, Jute is actually extremely versatile and fabrics made of pure Jute can mimic silk, wool, cotton, and heavy duty twines used in ropes and industrial applications.

juteJute is one of the most affordable natural fibres and is second only to cotton in amount produced and variety of uses. Much like hemp, jute can be grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or irrigation and so is good for the land and a profitable crop for farmers working marginal lands. Because jute is so inexpensive to grow, it is also an ideal fibre for fair trade initiatives.

Jute is regularly used in the production of clothes, usually in blends or mixes with other organic fibres such as wool or cotton. It is considered to be an unusually soft and comfortable fabric and popularity for jute clothes has increased significantly over the last decade.

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6 thoughts on “3 Organic Fabrics you need to know

  1. Pingback: Eco Textiles Encyclopedia – Green, Sustainable, Eco-friendly WWW Database - Hosho

  2. You’re preaching to the choir 🙂 I love, love, love this post. I am researching materials for my own collection. Ethical fabrics from a trusted source is the only option I am seeking. Thanks for the post. I forgot all about Jute as a viable option.

    • after many years of studies and research we have develop a line of Hemp fabric in an attempted to set up a ecosystem that can sustain itself. Our fabrics and operation is unmatched by any fabric mill in the world. We are arguably the leading manufacturer of HEMP product and we have just been taped by the Chinese government to develop a standard of the benefits and quality of HEMP because of the many befits associated with Hemp. Unlike many producers of hemp product we have solely focus on the sustainability and health benefits of growing and processing hemp. We are also proud to announce that we have started to build solar power stations to further reduce our foot print. We will be fully capable of powering our plants with renewable energy.

      Our products range from knits and woven fabrics, underwear, home goods such as bed sheets, towels, carpets, etc. We have had great breakthrough in non-woven products which can be used as skin layers such as reusable diapers and other products, As of this moment there are no standardized tests for the benefits of Hemp and it’s antimicrobial/antibiotic properties of Hemp. We are literally setting the standard by which all other will be measure, at least in Asia, the fastest growing consumer population in the world. Currently we manufacture garments for large name retailers and over the years we’ve been guiding our efforts to educate people on the benefit and sustainability of hemp fabric. We have developed an organic, eco-friendly and sustainable eco-system with our China partner that would help our environment and minimize our foot print. We’ve focused on HEMP is because “Hemp grows well without the use of chemicals, the use of pesticides or fungicides to get a good yield. On the average it yields between 500 – 800 lbs. and when compare to flax (the most commonly used linen fiber), which averages just 300 – 470 lbs. on same parcel of land it is just a no brainer. Hemp is a great rotation crop – it was often grown the year prior to a flax crop because it left the land free of weeds and in good condition. It is good for the soil, aerating and building topsoil. Moreover, hemp does not exhaust the soil. Additionally, it can be grown for many seasons successively without impacting the soil negatively. In fact, this is done sometimes to improve soil tilth and clean the land of weeds.” if you want more information email me at rey@lotusadinc.com

  3. While I’d heard of hemp and linen, and owned some linien pieces, I’d never heard of jute before so thank you for sharing! 🙂

  4. Hi, I’m wondering if you might know which is better from a sustainable point of view between linen with OekoTex 100 certificate or a cotton which is GOTS certified?

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