Be knowledgeable about what is organic fabric material to understand why it's becoming popular worldwide. The organic fabric meets specific standards and is available in several types, which you need to be aware of if you want to opt for it. Let’s get into the details and gain the knowledge you need when shopping for your fabric or fabric-made items.
What Is Organic Fabric Material - An Overview
If you’ve noticed, more and more people have become more concerned about the environment in the past few years. That’s why manufacturers started using eco-friendly and sustainable materials. Thanks to organic fabric materials, there’s already a thing called ReFashion, eco-fashion, or sustainable fashion.
However, keep in mind that not all items labeled “Made using organic fiber” are actually organic. Fiber is only the building block of fabric, so there are other things to consider when answering the question "What is organic fabric material?"
What Is Organic Fabric Certification?
Like any other product that needs to meet certain standards, you need to check the GOTS or Global Organic Textile Standard label or seal to identify what is organic fabric material. It ensures the fabric has at least 70% certified organic fiber. If it also comes with the label “Organic Grade”, it has a minimum of 90% certified organic fiber.
Apart from the fabric’s fiber content, a manufactured cloth will only gain the seal or label when it also meets the following:
- Non-toxic fiber production, processes, and handling
- Fair labor or wage guidelines
- Use of natural dye
- Minimal to zero water usage
- Fiber source grew without using synthetic herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, and GMOs
Of course, there are also other certifications such as USDA, Organic Standard Content (OCS), and Blue Sign.
What Is Organic Fabric’s Benefit?
Besides eco-friendliness, organic fabric materials have other benefits that made them even more popular. Some of the most notable ones are as follows:
- Color Retention: Organic fabric retains its color longer than non-organic ones because it isn’t color-fast.
- Hypoallergenic: Organic fabric doesn’t retain chemicals, so those with sensitive skin will benefit greatly. That is, of course, unless you’re allergic to the type of fiber itself.
- All-Weather: You can wear clothes made of organic fabric all season, thanks to its breathable and light absorbancy and reflectivity properties.
- Easy Maintenance: Most organic fabrics are machine-washable using cold or lukewarm water.
What Is Organic Fabric’s Drawback?
The organic fabric isn’t perfect; it also comes with disadvantages, such as:
- More Expensive: With all the special procedures, from start to finish, you expect that organic fabric or those made of the material are costlier than the non-organic ones.
- Limited Supply: Although many manufacturers are also going organic or eco-friendly, you still won’t expect the market to have as many organic fabrics as non-organic ones.
- Limited Color Choices: Usually, you’ll find organic fabric in earthy colors due to the non-application of artificial dyes. However, some manufacturers have found a way to dye the fiber using natural dyes.
What Is Organic Fabric - The Different Types
May types of organic textiles exist, allowing manufacturers to find the best one that fits their product lines. Some of the most common ones are:
1. Organic Cotton
Cotton is among the most popular natural fabrics mainly because it’s versatile and widely grown. However, its production contributes largely to soil and water pollution.
With the use of organically grown cotton seeds, manufacturers were able to produce hypoallergenic, soft, and highly absorbent cotton fabric. Another outstanding feature of the organic cotton fabric is its fresh smell.
2. Cocona or Coconut Fabric
What is organic fabric cocona? It’s a fabric produced out of coconut fiber using less energy and water and without edible coconut.
Generally, the manufacturers combine volcanic sands and coconut shells, which are waste products of water filtration and food industries. The top features of the cocona include durability, wrinkle resistance, odor control, quick-drying, and sun protection. As such, it’s mostly used to produce activewear or as an alternative to polyester, nylon, and spandex.
The hemp plant doesn’t require fertilizers and pesticides to grow, so it’s one of the easiest to grow organically. It’s also capable of warding off pests and releasing nutrients to the soil. Plus, it doesn’t need as much water as cotton does.
The biodegradable fabric produced has sun-protective, anti-microbial, UV-resistant, moisture-absorbing, and water-retention properties. Other standout features of hemp fabric are durability and softness. What’s more, it continues to soften as you wash it.
All of those make hemp fabric suitable for producing summer clothes for all ages. You’ll also find ropes, rugs, carpets, curtains, towels, and upholstery made of hemp.
Do keep in mind, though, that organic hemp fabric wrinkles easily. Plus, it’s usually combined with other organic fabrics, which can affect its color-fastness.
When you ask most experts “What is organic fabric type?”, jute is a common answer you’ll get since it’s one of the most affordable natural fabrics. It’s also among the most eco-friendly because of how the plant where it’s produced grows. Similar to hemp, it doesn’t need fertilizers and pesticides and can survive with rainwater.
The jute fiber, also known as golden fiber, manufactured from the bast plant’s stalk, is durable, soft, comfortable, biodegradable, and recyclable. It’s usually combined with other organic fibers just like the hemp fabric.
Organic jute blended with organic cotton is common in summer wear production. Other items manufactured from jute are home textiles.
5. Organic Linen
Renewable, vegan, and biodegradable, organic linen is obtained from the flax plant. The produced fabric is strong, soft, lightweight, and breathable. It’s a famous fabric for sheets and clothing.
Soft and drapey, lyocell is among the best substitutes for silk fabric. Some manufacturers even produce a woven variety, leading to cloth with qualities similar to moleskin, leather, suede, or wool.
So what is organic fabric lyocell? Well, it’s a wrinkle-free, hypoallergenic, recyclable, biodegradable fabric. Its building block is wood pulp cellulose, and its production requires a minimal amount of water, making it as highly organic and eco-friendly as possible.
If you’re familiar with the brand Tencel, then you already know how lyocell fabric looks. Specifically, this fabric brand is produced from the Eucalyptus tree’s wood pulp cellulose.
7. Modal or Organic Rayon
Modal is a rayon fabric variety produced from beech tree fiber or reconstituted cellulose. The tree is capable of growing without any irrigation, pesticides, and fertilizers. It also enhances the soil’s nutritional content.
Known as the “artificial silk”, this renewable and biodegradable fabric drapes well and sheens moderately or highly. It doesn’t require ironing and can retain its original strength, size, and shape even after a few washes.
The seaweed fabric is an uncommon answer to the question “What is organic fabric type?” because it isn’t as well known as the other organic fabrics.
It contains SeaCell fiber, produced by combining crushed washed and dried seaweed and wood cellulose. It’s porous enough for better humidity release and intake, so it can keep you cool during the summertime and warm in the winter season.
Made from algae, your skin will also greatly benefit from the fabric. It prevents inflammation, re-mineralizes skin, activates skin cell regeneration, and soothes itchiness.
9. Organic Silk
Nowadays, there is a cruelty-free method of manufacturing the fabric, leading to peace or ahimsa silk. Apart from ensuring the silkworms get to live after silk production, the silkworms used aren’t exposed to any chemicals.
Artificial silk crafted with sugar, water, or yeast is another type of organic silk fabric.
10. Soy or Soybean
Cashmere is among the most frowned upon fabrics by animal rights advocates because of the raw material used in its production: sheep or goat hair. Although responsible breeders and cashmere manufacturers don’t harm the animals, some would still prefer not to purchase items made out of them.
Fortunately, we now have vegetable cashmere or soy fabric. Crafted using soybean husks, the fabric is as soft and lustrous as silk, as durable and drapey as cotton, and as warm and comfortable as cashmere.
11. Organic Wool
A what is organic fabric type list won’t be complete without wool. Like standard wool, manufacturers also use animal hair to produce organic wool.
The only difference is that they ensure the animals have been nurtured without introducing hormones and fed with organically grown food. Likewise, the pasture is pesticide-free.
What Is Organic Fabric - The Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Option
Most manufacturers innovate to ensure they meet the changing needs and concerns of consumers and follow organizations and certifying body rules and guidelines and government laws. They usually don't do this just because they need to attract more customers, expand their market, and increase their sales. They also want to have a positive contribution to the world.
So, what is organic fabric material? Basically, it’s a type of fabric that meets environmental and sustainability standards, from the raw material used to the production method employed, to ensure minimal or zero chemical exposure and pollution. It’s most likely the future of textile and fashion industries, especially since there are already a lot of organic fabrics available.