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This is a post from Hosho on the status and trends in organic home textiles.
While many of us read a lot on organic cotton garments, apparel and even apparel accessories, organic textiles go beyond clothing and into a whole lot of home textiles too.
While there is a bit in this post on organic clothing, we have tried to provide a lot more insights on the use of organic natural fibers for a range of home textiles – sheets, towels, pillows, curtains and drapes.
Sections in the post:
- Organic Cotton Clothing
- Organic Sheets & Towels
- Organic Pillows
- Organic Curtains & Drapes
Organic Cotton Clothing
We start with organic cotton clothing.
Benefits of Organic Cotton Clothing
Key benefits of organic cotton clothing include better health for consumers and farmers, environmental conservation, and cost savings for farmers.
Both young and old consumers, and men as well as women, are switching to various products made from organic cotton such as jeans, pajamas, shirts, t-shirts, towels, bedding, mattresses, pillows, blankets, sheets, duvet covers, socks, bath robes, underwear, bras, bags, and other clothes made of organic cotton fabric and yarn.
Parents are increasingly purchasing organic cotton baby clothes, diapers, and baby blankets.
The benefits of organic cotton clothing include the following:
Benefits to the Consumer
Organic clothing is better to wear, especially for babies. Many consumers and parents also agree with this. Organic cotton is excellent for the tender, developing skin of a baby. It is believed that organic cotton clothing is softer than conventional cotton clothing.
Furthermore, since the production of organic cotton does not involve the use of chemicals, it causes fewer allergies. Organic cotton apparel also reduces respiratory problems and smells pleasant. Please note that these benefits of organic cotton are perceived beliefs, and do not have strong scientific proof to back them up. Organic Facts is a strong proponent of organic food and organic living; however, it is necessary to provide the right kind of information to the readers. Please read about the benefits of organic food for more details.
Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton
You might be surprised to know that conventional cotton accounts for nearly 25% of the insecticides and 10% of the pesticides used throughout the world, although is it grown on only 3% of the total cultivated area. Cotton crops have been plagued by numerous diseases and pests over the years, including bacterial blight, ascochvta blight, southern blight, lef spot, bollworm, white fly, crown gall, lint degradation, anthracnose, areolate mildew, and more. Cotton also ranks fourth in the list of most heavily fertilized crops.
The excessive use of chemicals in conventional cotton production has led to a great deal of environmental pollution. Organic cotton is grown using organic means without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides, therefore helping to improve the quality of the land, prevent water contamination, and conserve biodiversity.
Improved Health for Farmers
Like conventional coffee production, conventional cotton production also leads to poisoning, causing various health problems for cotton farmers. The problem of poisoning due to chemical insecticides and pesticides is so acute that thousands of poor farmers in developing countries end up losing their lives. Organic cotton production, on the other hand, ensures a healthy life for the farmers and their families.
Cost Savings for Organic Cotton Farmers
Studies carried out in India have shown that growing organic cotton is cheaper than growing Bt Cotton, since Bt Cotton is more prone to pest attacks.
Prevention of Farmer Suicides
Many times, failed crops in chemical cotton production results in farmers falling into extreme debts, since the input costs are so high. In the past few years, numerous farmers in India, especially in the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, have resorted to suicide when the problem became too serious. The input costs for organic cotton production reduce over time, enabling farmers to remain debt-free even after a crop failure, thereby preventing anyone from resorting to drastic measures.
Organic Sheets & Towels
About organic Sheets and Towels
Have you noticed that more and more retailers are adding organic sheets and towels to their bed and bath collections? It’s not just a way for them to jump on the “everything organic” bandwagon — there are great and valid reasons why you should be purchasing sheets and towels that are made from organic fibers, and we’re excited to tell you why!
Why organic linens?
You spend quality time with the sheets on your bed, at least 30 hours a week, right? And, considering you have already made the commitment to eat organic, why would you even consider spending so much time sleeping on sheets that were manufactured using chemicals that can be harmful to your body?
The upside to using sheets and towels that have been made using these materials is that, just like organic food, the fibers they use have been grown without using chemicals. In addition, bedding often contains additional chemicals, added later in the production process, that helps keep it wrinkle-free, meaning that those chemicals are directly reaching your skin while you sleep. Organic linen do not have these disadvantages.
But best of all, organic sheets and towels are actually much softer to the touch and people who have replaced their bedding, especially, with organic bedding, say that they actually sleep better now! “I know it sounds ridiculous, and I feel silly even saying this, but since we switched to organic sheets and pillowcases on our bed, I sleep so much better!” says Jill, a bedding-obsessed SheKnows reader from Chicago. “It’s probably all in my mind, but I feel more rested. Plus, the sheets are so soft and cozy… my husband didn’t even complain about the price tag. He loves them as much as I do!”
Switching to organic bedding and towels throughout your home should be on your to-do list and if you or family members suffer from allergies — including skin allergies, such as eczema — making the move to organic linens should be a priority. Kids can also benefit from organic linens and many retailers are even selling crib sheets made from organic cotton.
But, don’t get overwhelmed with this — it’s not like you need to double-bag all your current bedding and towels and burn them in the backyard! Commit to transitioning your household to organic linens. Start with new sheets on one bed at a time. Slowly add in new pillowcases, duvet covers and down-comforters, all of which come in organic alternatives as well.
The one thing about organic linens, as with all organic products, is that they aren’t cheap. However, organic cotton is also durable and wears well, meaning you won’t have to replace these every year. Look at them as an investment — for your home and for your health!
Are Good For You & Good For The Planet
So why would you decide to change to using organic cotton bath towels? Using organic products is a safer alternative if you are allergic or chemically sensitive, but have you thought of why this is so?
When you have just finished having a warm shower your pores are open and your skin will absorb chemicals very quickly.
You are the most vulnerable at this point from chemicals in the towels you use to dry yourself.
Many people are becoming aware of the fact that normal cotton is grown using chemicals which remain in the finished cotton products, including your towels.
There is now a larger range of organic towels available than before, and this is advantageous if you are looking for a more natural health approach to every aspect of your life.
This is because so many of you are recognizing that you want to use high quality products that are safer for you and your family to use, as well as being kinder on your skin and the environment.
This may be why in the last few years the tally of organic cotton farms worldwide has increased due to the higher demand for safe organic cotton products, such as organic toweling.
Fortunately it is now getting much easier to buy organic cotton bath towels, as more countries now grow organic cotton worldwide. This includes the USA, Egypt, India and a number of other countries.
Organic Cotton Bath Towels
Egyptian cotton towels have long been known as high quality bathroom products, and it is good to know that the organic alternative is now available. Organic cotton bath towels are better than towels made from traditionally grown cotton.
This is because you can be sure that they will not leave a residue on your skin from the chemicals they contain, and when your pores are open just after your shower you will not be absorbing chemicals when drying your skin.
As the plants embody the chemicals that are used on them as they grow, non-organically grown cotton will always have the chemicals used on the plants impregnated within it.
This is a good reason why you might choose organic cotton, as organic cotton products are better than the alternative, which is grown using pesticides.
How Are Organic Cotton Farms Different?
Many traditional farmers believed in the past that they could not grow cotton without the use of pesticides.
Yet more and more cotton farmers, in a large number of countries, are now choosing to grow their cotton crops organically.
Each year the number of organic cotton farms in the world is increasing in line with consumer demand for safe organic cotton products.
Cotton plants were believed to be difficult to grow without pesticides because of the large number of pests that attack it, but organic farmers have found alternative ways to deal with these problems.
They have found that it is possible to grow cotton without the use of dangerous chemicals, that harm both humans and the environment.
By feeding the plants quality organic fertilizers, and using other safe organic and biodynamic farming methods, instead of synthetic chemicals, the plants are stronger and better able to withstand insect attack.
Both the people who work on these farms and the environment surrounding them are healthier. These farm workers are no longer at risk from touching and breathing the chemicals used on the crops, and there is no run off, into the waterways nearby, of dangerous chemicals.
Caring For Your Organic Cotton Towels
Using organic cotton bath towels is a healthier alternative, and will help to improve your overall health and well-being.
It is necessary to regularly wash your towels, and if you have dust mite allergy, use the hottest water possible to wash them.
It is necessary to take care of your bath towels and ensure that you dry them properly after every use to prevent problems.
A wet towel or bath mat left in the bathroom that has not dried properly after use, may grow mold or mildew on it.
One of the important bathroom tips to ensure that your towels remain healthy and safe to use, is to make sure that they are placed in an airy place to dry after use, or dried in the dryer.
Organic Cotton Is A Safer Alternative
Take care to wash all of your organic cotton bath towels, bath rugs or mats, hand towels and wash cloths in quality organic fragrance free detergent if possible.
The use of safe chemical free detergent is essential to avoid reactions that can be avoided.
If you are chemically sensitive, you may wish to taken action to ensure that you and your loved ones remain healthy.
It will be beneficial for you to take extra care, and to use hypoallergenic unscented laundry detergent to launder them.
This avoids a build up of fragrance in the towels that may cause you to have an allergic reaction after using them.
It does seem pointless to wash quality organic products using detergent that will pollute the organic fabric, so ensure that you launder your towels with chemical free products, regardless of whether you are sensitive to chemicals.
This is a natural health approach that is particularly important, especially if you have allergies to perfume.
It is common to find that you may end up with the smell of fragrance on your skin after using a towel that has been washed with a scented laundry powder, but its not just the residue on your skin that should concern you.
It takes a matter of seconds for chemicals to be absorbed into your skin after bathing, as it is open and porous. So do be aware that you need to combine the purchase of lovely organic bathroom products with using hypoallergenic and safe laundry products.
Now that there is a much larger range of organic towels available to buy, it is important that you support the producers of these products, so we can ensure that they remain available.
Organic cotton bath towels are a safer alternative if you are allergic or chemically sensitive. It may take a while to replace all of your linen with organic, but over time you will notice the difference in your health from the removal of the chemicals.
And you’ll love snuggling up in a thick organic towel knowing its totally safe for you and your family.
If you recognize that organic products are better, support the retailers that make both organic towels and organic bed linen and other bedding needs, this way you will have them there when you need them.
- Benefits of Organic – a good list – Link
- Why Organic Cotton is Better – Link
- Benefits of Organic Cotton vs Bamboo Fabric – Link
- Types of Organic Towels and Why People Use Them – Link
- Should I Buy Organic Cotton or Organic Bamboo? – Link
- Benefits of Organic Cotton Clothing – Link
- Why Buy an Organic Mattress – Link
- The 10 Best Natural Pillow Alternatives – Link
- Organic Bedding Benefits – Link
Organic pillows made from all natural materials were basically the standard until the middle of the 20th century. At that point, many new synthetic fibers, chemicals and components began to be introduced. They were cheaper to produce and easier to make at large scales, and soon they dominated the scene. Today, as we discover more about the negative impact of synthetic compounds and pesticides on our health and the planet’s well being, organic pillows are enjoying a resurgence.
Organic pillows are a good choice for when you are thinking of replacing your pillows, and want the safest alternative that is available.
Although some pillows that are made from polyester may be labeled allergy safe, they may not fully be so. Polyester is a chemical product made in a factory, and the finished product is full of chemicals, because this is what these pillows are made from.
Many of these pillows take a long time to be free from the strong chemical odor that the manufacturing process puts into them. For those with chemical sensitivities or allergies, you may find these chemical smells hard to manage.
You also need to be careful if you are buying a latex pillow, as some latex is a man-made synthetic material, that is made from petrochemicals. Some may also be partly synthetic latex mixed with natural latex.
If you are having trouble sleeping, a new pillow that is made from a safe allergy free and organic textile may be the answer to how to sleep better.
What Are The Benefits of Organic Pillows?
A safer and more earth friendly approach is to replace your current pillow with something that is made from natural organic fabrics, such as cotton, wool or latex.
If you are wondering why you would choose organic over other fabrics, there are a number of benefits that you may like to consider.
These benefits include:
- The effect of producing organic textiles is kinder to our environment. Organic products are a good natural health choice as they do not impact the environment in a detrimental way, so you know you are doing your bit for the health of the planet.
- Lastly your comfort. Organic bedding is pleasant to have against your skin. Lovely organic wool pillows are lovely to have close to you, and as you have your face up against your pillow for many hours a night, you need to be sure that you make both a healthy and comfortable choice. Many materials naturally wick away moisture, and help you to stay nice and cool all night long. Others naturally conform to the shape of your head to help provide the kind of high quality support and comfort that you’re looking for in a good night’s rest.
- You’re using something natural. One of the great things about using an organic pillow is that you know you’re using something natural near your face, instead of synthetic substances with unknown (or downright harmful) side effects. Organic pillows that use naturally grown fibers will not be tainted with dangerous chemicals and pesticides. This means you won’t be at risk while you are lying on them each night, and the environment will not have been harmed as the materials were grown and harvested. While you are sleeping you body is in contact with your bedding for around eight to ten hours each night. So you need to be sure that what you are using is safe for your health.
- You have a large choice of materials. A few of the most popular types of organic pillows include organic cotton, organic wool and natural latex. Down pillows, hypo-down pillows and silk pillows are among many other potential alternatives. Each one will have its own unique feel and different characteristics, and you’re bound to find one that works great for you.
- Many are hypoallergenic. Another benefit to using an organic pillow is that many of them are relatively allergen free, something particularly important to allergy sufferers. Different pillows will offer different levels of allergy-free relief, of course. Whether they prevent and deter dust mites or are simply free of allergy inducing chemical components, you’ll be healthier and feel better each and every day. Organic bedding is hypoallergenic, so it is a good choice if you are allergic or sensitive. It is important to choose a product that will not cause you any type of reaction that will effect your health.
By choosing one of the organic pillows, you can ensure that you choose a pillow that is better in a number of different ways.
Types of Organic Pillows
Organic wool pillows or an organic latex pillows are the two most common types of pillows in the organic range. It is also possible to get organic cotton pillows as well as buckwheat pillows amongst the other choices you can look at.
Latex and rubber are the same thing, so depending on the way the manufacturer wants to describe them, it may be possible to buy it sold as a rubber or as a latex pillow.
They may be a solid latex pillow or made from shredded rubber, but both are a natural health option that you may consider.
If you’re looking to live a greener lifestyle and maintain a healthier, more eco-friendly existence, then why not make the switch to an organic pillow? You’ll be comfortable and cool, and you can find a pillow with the exact feel and comfort you’re looking for, whether firm or soft. Organic pillows are free of dangerous and harmful chemicals that nobody should really want around their faces and bodies for the one third of our lives we spend in bed.
Four Benefits of Using an Organic Pillow – Link
Organic Pillows – Link
Organic Curtains & Drapes
Organic curtains and drapes are gaining popularity.
Organic drapes and curtains are made from 100% natural fibers like cotton, wool, jute, bamboo, hemp, etc. These fibers are grown naturally and are easily recyclable making them an environment friendly option. Installing such window treatments goes a long way in preserving the environment and encourages sustainability.
Let us take a deeper look into what the benefits of organic curtains & drapes are:
What are organic curtains & drapes?
The term organic refers to everything that is completely and 100% natural. These curtains and drapes are made from plants (cotton, jute, bamboo, hemp, etc.) that are grown naturally without any use of pesticides, fertilizers or any other harmful substance for several years. Also, these fabrics do not face any chemical treatment as in dyeing or processing during manufacture.
Where can organic drapes or curtains be installed?
Organic window coverings, especially drapes or curtains can be installed in family rooms like bedrooms or children’s rooms. As a matter of fact they can be installed all over the house, but are ideal for spaces where a family spends more time. Since they are made of natural fibers they are hypoallergenic and help avoid allergies, asthma, rashes and other health issues.
An average human sleeps for seven to eight hours and is exposed to chemicals used in inorganic bedding, drapes, curtains, etc. and may develop certain health conditions. However, installing organic window coverings eliminates such conditions by keeping the air within the room clean and pure.
What are the advantages of organic window coverings?
Organic curtains and drapes have several benefits over its other counterparts that are made from synthetic fibers and materials.
- They are eco-friendly and are recyclable and help us preserve a greener planet
- They are healthier options without any kind of health hazard especially with homes with children and infants. They are hypoallergenic, helping avoid allergies and other respiratory conditions, rashes, chemical sensitivities for both users as well as farmers.
- They help the cause of sustainable agriculture.
- Help avoid air, soil and water pollution by non-emission of harmful chemicals and gases.
- A Guide to Pretty, Eco-friendly Curtains – Link