Green Fabrics: Hemp, Cotton, Bamboo and Silk
These days, there is more and more focus on protecting the environment and consuming organic products for health and other reasons. Green fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, bamboo and silk are eco-friendly textiles.
Hemp is an incredibly strong natural fiber that resists stretching to hold its shape. Similar to linen, it gets softer as it is used, dries quickly and last for many years. As a resource, it couldn't be more environmentally friendly. It produces the most fiber per acre of all fiber-producing plants and doesn't damage the soil as it grows.
Organic cotton is stronger and softer than non-organic cotton and far more eco-friendly. Cultivation of non-organic cotton uses a vast quantity of pesticides. These pesticides not only seep into the water supply, they can get into our bodies. Some pesticides don't wash out of non-organic cotton even with multiple washes.
Bamboo may actually be the perfect green fabric. It grows like a weed naturally and can be harvested every 4 years without having to be replanted. Bamboo fabric has a number of added benefits including being naturally antimicrobial. It's also very warm and provides thermal regulation. The softness of bamboo fabric also makes it comfortable to wear and use in blankets and quilts. At SeaWatch Fabrics, we carry several fabrics that are Bamboo/Cotton, as well as fine bamboo, Alpaca and now corn battings that are a dream to quilt and use.
Silk is usually considered a green fabric because it is renewable and biodegradable. Silk worms produce it as they make their cocoons. There is some controversy over whether harsh treatment of the silk worms used in silk production disqualifies this fabric from being eco-friendly, but there are some non-violent silk producers and some who only use "wild silk," in which the moth is allowed to emerge from the cocoon unharmed. We carry silk battings that are also very warm and light, as well as easy to quilt, both by hand and machine.