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


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.

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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.

You can discover more innovative textile solutions for vegans using Frumat apple leather, Desserto vegan leather made from cactus and even vegan silk fabric from orange fiber in this post.

Cloth made from banana fiber

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Why choose Bamboo Fiber products?

Bamboo is an eco-friendly, hypoallergenic natural fiber that has strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is a flowering evergreen perennial plant and there are around a thousand different varieties. This diversity makes it more adaptable to different climates than most other softwoods.

The bamboo plant consumes more carbon dioxide (CO2) and generates up to 35% more Oxygen (O2) than an equivalent stand of trees. So it provides an abundance of usable oxygen, making it a crucial element in the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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What are Natural Fibers?

Here we are looking at natural fibers for textiles. There are 2 types of fibers that can be used in the manufacturing of textiles, natural fibers and man-made or synthetic fibers. To understand what are natural fibers, we need to look at the different sources.

Natural fibers are produced by animals, plants or geological (mineral) processes. Natural fibers are classified according to their origin and there are 3 categories:

  • Cellulose based fibers which are derived from plants (vegetable) like cotton, flax or linen, sisal, hemp and jute.
  • Protein based fibers which come from animals like wool, mohair and silk.
  • Mineral fibers come from geological processes like asbestos, ceramic (glass fiber) and metal (aluminium) fibers. These fibers are mainly used in the building and construction industry. They are not commonly used in textile manufacturing so we will not look at them in more detail here.

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What is Organic Cotton Clothing?

Organic cotton clothing is made from fabric that was produced using organic cotton. Organic cotton is a natural fiber that is 100% plant derived. It is non-allergenic, non-irritant, soothing and comforting on the skin. It has high absorbency properties which makes it suitable for a wide range of uses. The main cotton producing countries are India, USA, Turkey, China, Egypt, Syria, Uganda, Peru, Tanzania and West Africa.

Cotton Field

Organic cotton is used widely in clothing and fabrics, footwear, home furnishings (like sheets, towels and bedding), kids and baby products (like nappies, clothes and toys), personal care and hygiene (like sanitary products, make-up removal pads and cotton wool) and even stationary.

The difference between organic cotton and non-organic cotton lies in the way the cotton is grown and treated.

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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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About Liné

Welcome to Eco World online. I started this website to research environmentally friendly and sustainable products. I feel quite strongly that every individual can make a difference to making our World a better place. That starts with looking after our planet and preserving what mother nature has given us. As an avid hand crafter, I … Read more