Upcycled clothing projects: turning a shirt into a girl’s dress

When my husband tore a brand new shirt, I decided to turn it into an upcycled clothing project. It was only the second time that he wore his new shirt, so there was nothing wrong with the fabric. Normally he would have worn the damaged shirt when working in the garden or doing dirty jobs around the property, before I would finally send it off to textile recycling.

But I thought: Why do you want to waste a lovely cotton shirt if you can upcycle it?Upcycling a damaged shirt

So the shirt was going to become a dress for our granddaughter.

But before we get into my project, I can hear you say “but what is upcycling?”

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Fish skin leather – is that really possible?

Leather can be made from almost any skin and that includes making fish skin leather. It might be difficult to imagine fish skin as leather because the skin is very thin, but it is very strong and has good water resistant qualities.

Fish skin leather is made from skins of non-endangered fish species including salmon, shark, carp, bass, sturgeon and catfish. The art of making leather out of fish skin, is an ancestral craft, which has almost been lost due to industrial techniques that have taken over in leather production. Continue reading “Fish skin leather – is that really possible?”

Fabric Dye: How eco friendly is it?

Fabric dye and fabric dyeing techniques have a very high environmental impact. The use of harmful chemicals in fabric dye and the high amount of energy that is used and waste water that is produced, it leaves a big negative footprint.

With an increasing number of consumers looking for more sustainable and eco friendly fashion items, manufacturers and retailers are exploring alternative processes. We will first look at the traditional ways of dyeing fabric and then at the latest developments in new fabric dye. Continue reading “Fabric Dye: How eco friendly is it?”

Hand Crafts – is it a dying art?

Is hand craft or handicrafts a dying art or craft? I sincerely hope not and with the selection of yarn for crafts that are available nowadays, it is more exciting than ever to have a handicraft as a hobby.

What are Hand Crafts?

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Viscose fabric – the textile made from cellulose

Viscose fabric is made from cellulosic fibers which might make you wonder, what is a cellulose fiber?

To get a better understanding of what is a cellulose fiber, we will look at what cellulosic fibers are used for and how is viscose made. We will also explore the types of natural cellulosic fibers and man-made cellulose fibers like viscose and rayon, as well as the difference between rayon and viscose.

So what is a Cellulose Fiber?

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What is Fabric Dye?

Fabric dye is the colored substance that enable fibers and materials to be colored. It bonds chemically to the material that it is applied to. This makes fabric dyes different from pigments as pigments don’t chemically bond to the material that they color. Fabric dyes are easily soluble in water whereas pigments are insoluble.

To get a better understanding of what is fabric dye, we need to look at the different kinds of dyes, which are either natural or synthetic (artificial).

Natural Fabric Dye

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Organic diapers – The alternative disposable diaper

Organic diapers – The alternative disposable diaper for when you don’t have a choice

Pile of disposable diapersThere would be days and occasions that you will not have a choice and you will have to use disposable diapers or nappies. House guests or endless days of rain might make it difficult to wash and dry reusable diapers.

Traveling with a baby or toddler that are in nappies, invariably means that you can’t wash and dry reusable diapers. Going on a car journey it might still be possible, but taking a long haul flight and you don’t have the space or weight allowance to be traveling with enough diapers for the journey. Storing the used diapers might also be a problem, so one needs to look at what is available as the best alternative to reusable diapers. Continue reading “Organic diapers – The alternative disposable diaper”

Ethical Sustainable Clothing – is that possible?

Ethical sustainable clothing refers to garments that have been made from fabric that has been produced and sourced, using eco-friendly and sustainable farming practices. These would include crops and livestock that have been sustainably produced or fibers made from recycled materials. To get a better understanding of what ethical sustainable clothing is, we need to look at the farming and production methods used in producing fabrics and garments.

Rural farm

What is sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture is farming in a way based on an understanding of ecosystems and the relationships between organisms and their environment. Continue reading “Ethical Sustainable Clothing – is that possible?”

Reusable Baby Diapers – which one is right for me?

Like adults, babies come in different shapes and sizes, which means that a certain design of reusable cloth diaper that works very well for your sister or friend, might not be the best for your baby. The design or type that is best for you will also depend on your lifestyle and budget. All diapering systems need an absorbent cloth inner and a moisture resistant or waterproof outer.

These are some of the options that are available:

Diaper inserts

Flat fold cloth diapers or terry cloth – these are the old-fashioned cloth diapers that have been used for many centuries around the world. It is a single layer of cotton cloth that is folded. Flat cloth diapers are folded according to the size of the baby so one size fits all. It is the cheapest option of cloth diapering and is still used in many parts of the world where there is limited access to washing machine and modern facilities. They can be hand washed and dry very quickly. They have many other uses like burping cloths or used for cleaning. Continue reading “Reusable Baby Diapers – which one is right for me?”

What are Reusable Baby Nappies?

Reusable baby nappies are washable and can be used over and over again. Sometimes they are also referred to as real nappies or cloth nappies. The options that are available have increased dramatically over the past few years with some very stylish and practical designs. Reusable baby nappy pink

Using reusable baby nappies is not difficult, it is just different from using disposables. A cloth nappy will usually comprise of a number of parts; the nappy itself which provides the absorbency and the outer wrap or pant which provides the waterproof layer. This may be a single combined “all in one” nappy or a “all in two”. To this you can then add liners if required.

Traditionally reusable baby nappies were made from terry cloth and had to be folded in a triangular shape before being pinned to your baby. A waterproof cover was then put over. Modern designs have poppers or velcro fasteners so you don’t have to fear that you will either prick yourself or your baby with a nappy pin. Organic cotton and bamboo are also now available, which makes it very soft on your baby’s skin.

Environmental impact of Nappies

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