Natural Fibers for Bedding

The fibers that are made from nature like animals, plants, and mineral resources are called natural fibers. There are two classifications of natural fibers. One is the vegetable fibers or the so-called “cellulose fibers” such as bamboo, coconut, cotton, flax, hemp, jute, linen, ramie, and sisal. Asbestos is categorized as mineral fiber. They are fibers from the fruit, leaves, seeds, stalks, stem, and trunk. Another classification of fiber is the animal fibers or “protein fibers” like alpaca, angora, cashmere, catgut, mohair, silk, sinew, and wool. Animal fibers are taken from hairy mammals, feathers of birds, and dried saliva of insects.

There are many natural fibers but we will just focus on the fibers commonly used for bedding. Aside from the good appearance being offered by embroidery digitizing service, we would like to have a high-quality fiber for our bed sheets.

Cotton is the most frequent used natural fabric because of its wide varieties. Egyptian Cotton is the most expensive and exclusive. This brand has tough and lengthy cotton fibers. Flannel is also a cotton sheet fabric, which is thicker and heavier compared to other cotton fibers. It is very relaxing to lie on sheets made of cotton because of its absorbency and breathability. The best quality of this fabric is its softness and durability. It has the ability to retain its former composition even after many wash.

Sheep is the most common source of wool fabrics. It has an extra-soft and spongy feel that serves as good insulation. Though wool sheet is not so attractive, it has a promising durability and resistance. It should be washed properly to avoid it from shrinking. Through embroidery digitizing service, you can add embroidery to this fabric to make it attractive.

The softness of cashmere fabric is also applicable to bed sheets. This ultra-fine fiber is made from Kashmir goats. This is considered as the highest natural fiber. However, it is rare and more expensive than cotton.

For those who are quite sensitive to textiles, silk is the right fabric for them. Like cashmere, silk is also a luxurious fabric. It is made from silk worm and has a hypoallergenic quality where you can enjoy sleep all night long. This fabric is so comfortable due to its silky and touchy texture. It will perfectly create sweet dreams for you while sleeping.

Among the oldest fabrics is linen, which is very ideal for bed sheets. It is quite stronger than cotton. Aside from its undoubted softness, researchers from the University of Milan in Italy said, linen-made sheets can help cure insomnia. So if you have difficulty in sleeping, use linen sheets. Have it with designs by using embroidery digitizing service so that it is not just soft but attractive too.

There are many manufacturers that use sateen for bed sheets. It offers a softer texture to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed. It may be dyed, bleached, printed and embroidered through embroidery digitizing service.


Two Eco-friendly Fabrics

While doing an article for work about organic fabrics I realized I could also feature some information I got since I haven’t finished yet with the different popular fabrics. I think I was just able to feature cotton, polyester and poly cotton blend. And there is so much more to feature.

Anyway, what we have here are some of the eco-friendly fabrics which are now becoming so popular. Sustainable fashion or eco-fashion is the term used for the type of fashion which aims to create a system where products are created and produced while consideration is given to the environmental and social impact it may have in the long-run. Where being environmentally- aware then was to donate to eco orgs, fashion designers now are more conscious. They now seek to find environmentally friendly materials to use as well as ecologically correct methods and process for production.

According to experts, sustainable fashion does not simply mean products made from eco-friendly materials. There are other things to consider such as the renewability of the product, the ecological foot print of the resources and how many chemicals are used to make it ready for the market. It’s hard to know these things though so it is important to read and research more on this if you are really interested to make a change in your fashion sense.

Here are 2 fabrics that you might want to consider getting and using for your own clothing. Or check out the clothing you’re buying to see what it is made of. You can see the comparison of the conventional and organic version of the fabric.

Linen is a textile or fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. Linen is a bast fiber meaning it is derived from the inner bark of the plant stalk.

The process of loosening the long flax fibers from the stalks is called retting (rotting) which can be done with chemicals in water or with dew. Conventional linen uses the faster retting process which is commonly done in rivers, lakes or man-made ponds where leftover water which now contains the chemicals can contaminate water and endanger wildlife. Organic linen is dew-retted which takes longer because it only uses moisture and sunlight.

Conventional linen is less labor intensive and time consuming compared to organic linen but very damaging to the environment. The retting process of conventional linen is not only environmentally damaging but also uses herbicides to control weeds.  Thus, environmentally aware consumers would rather have organic linen though it is more expensive than conventional linen.

Flax (Linum) plant

Flax (Linum) plant

Fiber characteristics
•    Linen is highly absorbent and a good conductor of heat, thus linen fabric feels cool to the touch. It also quickly removes perspiration from the skin.
•    Linen is less likely to cling to the skin and when it billows away it can be dry out and become cool again.
•    Linen is among the strongest of the vegetable fabrics, with 2 or 3 times the strength of cotton. It is very durable and is stronger wet than dry.
•    Linen is very smooth and good quality linen finish fabric is lint free and it also becomes softer with washing.
•    Linen have high natural luster and natural color ranges between shades of ecru, ivory but bleaching can create pure white linen.
•    Linen wrinkles easily because it has poor elasticity, it is better to iron it when damp. It actually requires ironing to maintain perfect smoothness.
•    Linen is easy to care for because it resists stains and dirt. It can be dry-cleaned, machine-washed or steamed but it should not be dried too much by tumble drying.
•    Linen is resistant to moths and carpet beetles but mildew, perspiration and bleach can easily damage the fabric.

Some products made with linen: apron, bags, towels (swimmers, bath, beach, body and wash towel), napkins, bed linen, linen tablecloth, runners, chair cover, man and woman wear.

Bamboo is botanically categorized as a grass and not a tree is probably the most sustainable resource in the world today. It grows very fast and can even shoot up a yard or more a day. It matures really quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 years. It is self-regenerating, meaning that every year it can be cut a few feet above ground and they grow back ready for the next year’s harvest. It does not need irrigation system, poisonous pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. It does not require replanting because its immense root network constantly sprouts new shoots into new growth. It also does not even require heavy industrial equipment to harvest and transport.

While bamboo the grass is sustainable, bamboo the fabric is not that easy to categorize. There are even controversies about how eco-friendly it really is. There are actually 2 ways to process bamboo into a fabric: mechanically or chemically. The mechanical process is almost like producing linen fabric from flax wherein the woody parts of the bamboo is crushed and using natural enzymes to break the bamboo walls into a soft mass so that the natural fibers can be mechanically combed out and spun into yarn. The bamboo fabric made from this mechanical process is sometimes called bamboo linen although only very little is produced through this process as it is more labor intensive and costly.

On the other hand, chemically produced bamboo fiber which is a regenerated cellulose fiber is similar to rayon and thus called bamboo rayon because of the manufacturing similarities as well as similarities in its feel. Conventional and eco-aware designer and consumers love the fiber characteristics such as these about the chemically-manufactured bamboo fiber.



Fiber characteristics
•    Bamboo yarns are soft and luxurious and can be an alternative to knitting with cashmere or other super-soft animal fibers.
•    Bamboo fabric is soft and non-irritating or hypo-allergenic even to sensitive skins making it ideal for baby clothes. Although there are also cases of some people, especially those with chemical sensitivities, who cannot tolerate bamboo clothing.
•    Bamboo fabric has a natural sheen and softness and drapes beautifully similar to silk but less expensive and more durable.
•    Bamboo clothing is easy to care for, easy to launder in washer and dryer.
•    Bamboo is highly absorbent and has wicking properties 3 or 4 times faster than cotton. It keeps wearer drier, cooler and more comfortable because it does not stick to the skin.
•    Bamboo fabrics are breathable and thermal regulating than cotton, hemp, wool or synthetic fabrics. Meaning it’s good for all seasons, breathable in warm weather while keeping wearer warm during cool weather.
•    Bamboo clothing is more wrinkle-resistant than cotton and though it still needs ironing after washing it can be ironed at lower temperature than cotton.
•    Bamboo fabric does not need to be mercerized to improve luster or its ability to absorb dye faster as compared to cotton.
•    Bamboo clothing is 100% biodegradable.

Some products made with bamboo: shirts, skirts, socks, underwear, furniture, floors, paper, plates, sheets, towels, plates, bowls, spoons, kitchen utensils, keyboards, cleaning wipes…practically enough items to outfit an entire house made with bamboo everything.

This are just 2 of the now increasing number of eco-friendly fabrics. We will talk about soy, organic cotton, nettle, hemp, silk and others in the next blogs or so.

Popular fabrics

What is the difference between a fabric and textile?

Not that much. In fact, a fabric is a textile material, and is actually textile fabrication but has been shortened to just fabric. Although two terms are often used synonymously in textile assembly trades there are subtle differences. According to Wikipedia:

Textile refers to any material made of interlacing fibres. Fabric refers to any material made through weaving, knitting, spreading, crocheting, or bonding. Cloth refers to a finished piece of fabric that can be used for a purpose such as covering a bed.

There are so many types of fabrics, large number of national and regional varieties, that it will take more than several blogs for that. Let me just write about the most popular ones and often used in our apparel.

Cotton – is the world’s most popular fabric. It is an all-natural fiber made from the pod of a cotton plant. It is the principal fiber used in making the world’s clothing. Cotton is known for being light, cool, comfortable and absorbent and so it is used for almost every type of clothing such as socks, shirts, sweaters, dresses, jackets, sleepwear, towels, sportswear and more. In fact, cotton makes up 50 percent of the world’s fiber needs. Many people describe cotton as a fabric that “breathes.” It is also easy to dye and to clean, though dyes do not hold as fast to natural fibers as to the synthetic fibers of polyester. Cotton can withstand high temperatures, but wrinkles easily and shrinks with washing.

PC-PT42 100 % Cotton Beach Towel

PC-PT42 100 % Cotton Beach Towel

Polyester – is a manmade polymer material. It is made from coal, air, water and petroleum products. Polyester is a strong fiber that keeps its shape and resists wrinkling but does not withstand medium to high temperatures. It is flammable, high temperature causes it melts and burns at the same time. It is recommended that ironing polyester must be done at a cool temperature, if at all. Threads of polyester last for a long time and wear well making them suitable for garments and sewing projects. Polyester does not shrink like its natural counterpart and holds dye extremely well, a good thing for textile artists, but bad for stain-removal from polyester items. Although it was extremely popular in the 1950s it is now used more as a blend than the main fiber used for garments or fabric.

NI-267020 made from 100% polyester

Poly-cotton blend – A polyester cotton blend can be versatile, as it most likely retains the coolness and lightness of the cotton fiber, but also adds the strength, durability and wrinkle-resistance of polyester. A polyester cotton blend should only shrink slightly in comparison to a garment or fabric that is 100 percent cotton. This blend is often preferred by at-home sewers and quilters as it is extremely easy to sew.

GI-8800 Gildan® Ultra Blend® - 5.6-Ounce Jersey Knit Sport Shirt

The images given below every fabric is an example of an apparel that uses that type of fabric.

Here’s hoping you learned something today…let me know..drop me a line or two. If you are interested to know more or looking for a particular fabric, leave me a message and we’ll look for it.