Study Clothing Fabrics - A Primer on Eco-Friendly and Performance Fabrics more

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Do you get confused by all the different fabrics out there? Want to know what "eco-friendly" or "soybu" means? In the hopes of eliminating some of the confusion, I have created a list of definitions for you, along with some advantages of each type of fabric.

Eco-Friendly Clothing or Environmentally Friendly Clothing: These fabrics are made from materials that are friendly to the earth. The materials are often produced using organic methods, or from materials that can be easily replenished, or from recycling. The production processes to create these products often use less energy, reducing the carbon footprint required to make them. Organic cotton, organic bamboo, soy, and hemp are examples of eco-friendly fibers. Not only are these clothing products good for the earth, but they are also often much healthier for you because few chemicals are used in the growing and production processes.

Advantages of Eco-Friendly Clothing:

No or fewer harsh chemicals used in production and processing of fibers
Decreased carbon footprint and energy usage
Made from materials that can be easily replenished or from recycled materials
Give an economic boost to farmers and other producers who use environmentally friendly growing techniques

Soybu: Soybu fabric is made from a combination of soy, bamboo, cotton, and polyester or spandex fibers. Soy fibers are made using processed organic soybeans from a waste product in the production of tofu. The resulting fibers are extremely soft and smooth.

Advantages of soybu clothing:

Moisture wicking pulls moisture away from the body, keeping you cool and fresh
Fabric is cashmere-soft
Quick drying
Excellent stretch, allowing the fabric to move with you

Organic Cotton Clothing: Organic cotton is grown without the pesticides and other chemicals which make traditional cotton so harmful to the environment. It is breathable, durable, and biodegradable. Clothing manufacturers often use natural dyes or pigments with organic cotton to further increase the earth-friendliness of their products.

Advantages of Organic Cotton:

No chemicals used in growing process
Look for labels with "Certified Organic Cotton"

Recycled Fabric Clothing: Recycled fabrics can be made from a variety of materials. One of the most common recycled fabrics is made from plastic bottles such as soda bottles and milk jugs, saving tons of these bottles from cluttering up the landfill. The bottles are crushed into tiny chips which are heated and then spun into yarn, just like regular polyester. Pretty cool, huh?

Other options for recycling fabric include taking fabric scraps, cotton gin waste, mill ends, commercial fabric trimmings, unusable factory seconds, and worn-out clothing that would normally be discarded, and spinning these items into new yarns.

Bamboo: Because bamboo can grow as much as 2 feet per day, it is a highly sustainable resource for fabric. Bamboo thrives without the use of chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides.

Advantages of Bamboo Clothing:

Natural antibacterial properties
Fabric is extremely soft and comfortable

Slub: Slub yarn is produced when the fibers of the yarn have areas which are thicker than other areas of the yarn, creating a "lumpy" appearance. When woven into a fabric, the slubs form a continuous pattern, providing a subtle pleasing texture and appearance.

Coconaยฎ: These fabrics are made by embedding activated charcoal particles in man-made fibers like polyester and nylon. The activated charcoal particles are obtained from recycled coconut shells. For maximum performance, garments made with Cocona technology should be washed using scent-free detergents, and should be dried in a dryer, without a scented dryer sheet.

Advantages of Cocona fabrics:

No harsh chemicals in the fabric
Evaporative cooling qualities
UV protection
Odor management
Benefits of Cocona technology are embedded in the fabric and won't wear out or wash out

Performance Clothing: Performance fabrics are created using natural and man-made fibers and are especially made to give garments particular characteristics in durability and wearability. Most performance fabrics are intended to wick moisture away from the body, dry faster, provide odor control and antibacterial properties, provide UV protection, improve fit and shape retention, resist spills and release stains, repel water, or improve freedom of movement through better stretch. Performance fabrics are especially useful in sports clothing and athletic wear. Different performance fabrics provide different benefits, so be sure to carefully read product descriptions for the benefits of a particular garment.

Examples of Performance Fabrics:

Fabrics using nanotechnology
MicroTek Supremeย™
Micropolyester Fleece

Fair Trade Clothing: Clothing that is produced in factories committed to the ethical treatment of workers, including fair and meaningful wages, fair working conditions, local production, and non-exploitation. Often, fabrics and garments are produced in worker-owned co-ops using environmentally friendly fibers and production techniques.

Gena Cornett invites you to visit to shop our collection of eco-friendly clothing. We also offer a great selection of trendy, comfortable casual clothing, athletic wear and performance clothing.

Clothing Fabrics - A Primer on Eco-Friendly and Performance Fabrics

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