Fabric & Fiber Info
Where do your fabrics come from? Where are the raw materials sourced from? Where is everything manufactured?
Our fabrics are currently sourced from Europe, China, and India with all countries having their own factories. Some of the organic cotton in the blended fabrics originate from both Turkey and India. The hemp is grown on farms in Eastern Europe and in the middle or north of China in the Henan, Shanxi, Gansu, Heilongjiang provinces. Some fabric items, such as our tea towels are made here in Australia.
As part of our ongoing efforts to provide you with the highest quality sustainable and ethically produced fabrics, we’re always investigating new options.
Are your organic products certified?
Our fabrics listed to contain organic product are fully GOTS certified, and copies of certificates may be requested by customers upon purchasing our product.
Is Hemp organic?
Hemp is an environmentally friendly crop which requires no pesticides or herbicides when grown, therefore producing “organic” and environmentally friendly products. Most hemp producers do not go to the effort of certifying their hemp product – with the exception of those used for food.
100% hemp fabrics are considered “organic” however hemp blends may not, unless blended with, for example, organic cotton.
Are your fabrics sustainable?
Hemp is among the earth’s primary renewable resources!
Hemp is an excellent rotation crop: it crowds out weeds and its deep tap roots break up hard soils. It enriches soil and prevents erosion. One acre of hemp can produce as much usable fiber as 4 acres of trees or 2 acres of cotton.
Hemp fabric also requires fewer chemicals than cotton and is stronger and longer lasting. Cotton also has a drinking problem….it requires extensive water supplies! Hemp requires less water than cotton and grows in a wide variety of climates. Hemp also doesn’t require the huge amounts of herbicides and pesticides and fertilizers that cotton does.
How can I be sure the fabric is Fair Trade?
If you are wanting to know if our suppliers have Fair Trade certification – then the answer is currently no, they don’t. Like us, the huge extra cost to prove that what we are doing is ethical and that we care for our employees, that we don’t employ child labour, is prohibitive. It would mean our customers would bear the extra cost by paying more for our great products.
We really want these great products to be accessible – and so we have done the next best: We have visited to see for ourselves the conditions of the workers and have every confidence in our suppliers. Our main fabric factory is a big state-owned factory with no Child labour and no unfair work practices.
This is an ongoing battle though and we’ll be keeping the ethical focus paramount to our business dealings.
What Dyes do you use on your fabrics?
The dyes used on our fabrics are all Procion low impact, fibre reactive dyes. These dyes are nontoxic, safe, and eco-friendly. They require only low temperature water processing and only salt and soda ash as auxiliary agents. They yield excellent results, especially on natural fibers, in which the dyed fabrics have vibrant hues and superb colorfastness. We can now also supply current Oeko-Tex standard 100 certification for our dyed fabric from China.
Many of our white or off-white “natural” colour fabrics have been semi-bleached using oxygen instead of harsh chlorine. Our dyeing factories (been there, seen that) have certificates for safe water drainage and disposal of waste products.
Do you bleach your fabrics? What type of bleach is used?
Regular (Chlorine) bleach would damage the natural Hemp fibres. Many of our white or off-white “natural” color fabrics have been semi-bleached using oxygen instead of harsh chlorine. We do not use any optic brighteners in our products, either.
Do I need to wash or test your fabric before use? Do they shrink?
Our fabrics are pre-washed and ready for use for printing, dyeing or sewing.
Because natural fabrics are made from natural fibres – which are not as predictable as man-made fibres- we recommend testing our fabrics (for shrinkage, etc) for each type of thing you will use it for.
Most woven fabrics are fairly stable and have minimal shrinkage (often less than 3%) Knit fabric, however, due to its different structure, will likely experience more shrinkage, as will more open weave woven fabrics.
What care instructions are recommended for your fabrics?
All of our fabrics are machine washable except the silk blends, for which we recommend hand washing.
100% Hemp and Hemp/Cotton blend fabrics can be washed in warm to hot water, with Hemp/Silk blends in cool to warm water with like colours
No bleach should be used as it weakens the natural fibres. Drip dry or line dry is recommended or professional cleaning.
Iron temperature can be hot for 100% Hemp and Hemp/Cotton blends. Hemp/Silk blends require a warm iron only. For heavier fabrics, ironing while still damp makes ironing easier.
How accurate are the colours shown on screen?
Colours shown on the website are limited by technology. They can’t appear exactly as the real thing. We do recommend you see samples before purchasing quantities of fabric.
Please note: The “natural” and “unbleached” colours will vary in shade each season. This is due to the natural shade of the Hemp changing based on if it was a rainy or dry season.
How is the Hemp processed?
The hemp ‘bark’ is peeled by machine and will be made into fibre in the factory using a biological Enzyme method. The Enzyme is a kind of pectase which can remove lignin and pectin substances naturally. At the same time the raw fibre will be beaten consistently by machine to make the fibre softer. Later the raw fibre will be put into a cistern at high temperature to remove further pectin. At this time the fibre is soft enough to make to blended yarn and pure hemp yarn.
From the hemp plant to yarn there are no chemicals are involved in the process.
What is RFD/PFD?
RFD/PFD usually means Ready/Prepared For Dye. Our fabrics are all pre-washed and ready for dye or print.
For some Digital Dye printers where the colour and detail of the print is crucial we supply our BDP fabric (Best for Digital Print) which has no softener in the final rinse. To most people there would be no discernible difference, but particular printers feel that the colour and detail is improved using our BDP fabric.