How Bamboo Flooring is Made

Eco friendly floors make an attractive addition to a “green” home and bamboo flooring is one of the options. Bamboo is a sustainable renewable flooring alternative that is eco friendly, durable and affordable. It is one of the toughest natural materials, but still flexible. Here we will be looking at how bamboo flooring is made and the options available. We will also look at bamboo flooring: the pros and cons. This is where you can read about other bamboo fiber products. Continue reading “How Bamboo Flooring is Made”

Vegan Leather or Real Leather – which one will you choose?

The new buzz word in the fashion industry seems to be vegan leather. So what is vegan leather and is it ethical, eco friendly and sustainable? In this post we will look at what vegan leather is and the options that are available and also look at vegan or bonded leather vs. genuine leather.

What is vegan leather?

Vegan leather is an alternative to animal leather and comes in a range of different materials from synthetic to natural. It is basically any kind of substitute for leather that is not made from the skin of dead animals. Continue reading “Vegan Leather or Real Leather – which one will you choose?”

What is Leather? The Rawhide from Animals

What is leather?

Leather comes from the skin of animals and reptiles and the basic component is rawhide. Genuine Leather signIf leather is not treated, it will become stiff and fall apart as it is biodegradable. It will also be attacked by insects and other creatures that find leather a tasty snack.

This means that leather has to be “cured” before it can be used for garment and footwear production.Many years ago the tanning process of leather often involved the use of smoke, as well as vegetable tannins, salt, urine and animal faeces or even animal brains. So this was a very smelly and messy affair, so most tanneries were situated outside towns. Continue reading “What is Leather? The Rawhide from Animals”

Coir – the Natural Fiber from Coconut Husk

Coir coconut fiber is a natural cellulose fiber which is obtained from coconut husk. It is the fibrous material that is found between the outer coat of a coconut and the hard internal shell. Copra is the dried coconut kernels from which coconut oil is obtained. Coir coconut fiber comes from a natural and renewable source and is one of the latest eco-friendly alternatives for textiles. Continue reading “Coir – the Natural Fiber from Coconut Husk”

Linen Fabric and Flax Cultivation

Linen fabric is a textile that is made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is a natural cellulose fiber and comes from the inside of the stalks of the flax plant. Flax is an annual herb and is grown as a food and also a fiber crop. It is grown in warm moist climates around the world and has been cultivated for more than 6,000 years.

So where does Linen Fabric come from?Linen Striped Dress

Flax that is used for textile production is known as linen in Western countries. The stalks are used making linen fabric, while the seeds are used as a food source and the oil is known as linseed oil.

Flax fiber is extracted from the bast beneath the surface of the stem of the plant. Linen fibers are lustrous, strong and flexible and absorbent. They are stronger and driers quicker than cotton, but are less elastic. To make linen fabric is a laborious process but it produces a textile that is cool and fresh to wear in hot and humid climates. Continue reading “Linen Fabric and Flax Cultivation”

Silk Fabric – made from natural fiber spun by worms

Sericulture: the cultivation of silk for production of silk fabrics and textiles

Silk is a natural protein fiber and the best-known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of mulberry silkworms. Silk for production of silk fabric comes from pupae that are bred to produce a white coloured silk thread. There are several commercial species but the Bombyx mori is the most widely used.

Silkworms

As a child we used to keep silk worms in a shoe box and the lid had holes poked into it to give the worms fresh air. Every day after school we used to pick fresh mulberry leaves from the tree in the garden to feed them. We were always amazed by how quickly the worms grew. Sometime we cut cardboard shapes like hearts or circles for the worms to spin on. Commercial cultivation for production of silk fabric is very controlled today.

Producing silk is a lengthy process and needs to be monitored closely. To produce high quality silk there are 2 conditions that must be met: Continue reading “Silk Fabric – made from natural fiber spun by worms”

What is wool? The natural fiber to keep us warm

What is wool? Wool is a natural textile fiber that is obtained from sheep and other animals that have woolly coats. It includes cashmere and mohair from goats, angora from rabbits and also qiviut from muskoxen.

The chemical structure of wool consists of protein and lipids so it is classified as a protein fiber, as opposed to many other natural fibers (like cotton and linen) that are cellulose fibers. Continue reading “What is wool? The natural fiber to keep us warm”

Innovative Textile Solutions – part 2

The search for alternative cellulose fibers are leading to more innovative textile solutions. In this article we are looking at Nettles, Lotus and Mushroom Leather

Nettle

Stinging NettlesFibers from the common stinging nettle plant have been used since ancient times to produce cloth. Nettle fiber production goes back to the roots of civilization and for more than 2000 years people have worn clothes made from stinging nettle fiber. When cotton arrived during the 16th century, nettle clothing lost their popularity because cotton is easier to harvest and spin. The German army briefly used nettle cloth for their uniforms during the second World War when there was a shortage of cotton. Continue reading “Innovative Textile Solutions – part 2”

Innovative Textile Solutions

With the call for a greener planet, some innovative textile solutions are being explored and alternative natural fibers are being sought and brought back to life. In this article we are looking at banana and pineapple fibers.

Cloth made from banana fiber

Banana plantBananas are grown and cultivated as a natural resource in many tropical and sub-tropical countries. The banana fruit is one of the most popular and is harvested throughout the year. Banana leaves are frequently used in food processing and food packaging. What might be lesser known is that shiny yarn is made from the leaves and stalks of banana plants. Continue reading “Innovative Textile Solutions”

Wearing Hemp Clothes – can it give you a high?

The only high you will get from wearing hemp clothes is knowing you are contributing to a greener planet.

Why did Hemp have a negative connotation?

Cannabis is the Latin name for the plant species Hemp. For a very long time hemp or industrial hemp were confused with the cannabis plant that serves as a source for the drug marijuana and the drug preparation hashish. This confusion stemmed from the fact that some species of cannabis have different characteristics than others. This led hemp to be banned in many states and countries for several decades. Continue reading “Wearing Hemp Clothes – can it give you a high?”