What are green textiles and why are they important for your home?
Alongside the structural materials, the surface finishes and the furniture, fixtures and fittings there is another element to holistic interior design – green textiles / natural textiles / eco fabrics and eco furnishings. Soft furnishings like cushion covers, throws, table cloths, curtains, blinds, blankets, bed linen, towels and cloths shouldn’t be forgotten when greening your home.
Eco textiles are farmed, processed and manufactured with the natural environment and your healthy & wellbeing in mind; renewable resources, low carbon emissions, absence of chemical treatments etc.
Ecological fibres fall into two categories; natural and man-made. Natural fibres come from 100% natural content or certified organic sources e.g. wool, cotton, hemp and bamboo. Man-made fibres come from recycled content e.g. plastic or where the manufacturing process reduces the amount of chemicals used and considers methods like waste management and recyclability.
Organic techniques do not use chemical pesticides or herbicides which pollute the surrounding earth, air and water by constant exposure. Only natural processes are used, which do not pollute the earth or contaminate the fibres that form the fabrics you buy for your home. In animal agriculture the animals themselves are also looked after in an appropriate manner, with their wellbeing at heart.
Conventional fibre production uses a large amount of chemicals which are toxic to humans and damage the environment. Organic methods do not use chemicals during manufacture for bleaching, softening or treating textiles. Any dyes that are used will also be of natural content without chemicals or synthetic substances.
Textiles that carry this label can also reassure you the consumer that these materials have been manufactured by companies that uphold employee standards & rights and encourage local community trading. This makes these fabrics people friendly too.
The tactile qualities of natural and organic fabrics feel much more luxurious, soft and bouncy. They hold excellent thermal properties, allow your skin to breath which is extremely important for bed linen and fabrics which are close to your skin like blankets & cushions.
The following group of articles looks at different fibres both natural and man-made, giving you an all round eco textiles perspective. Being well informed will help you make the right decisions to truly green your home interiors with eco furnishings.
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