There is no day that we spend without wearing clothes or being in contact with some kind of fabric. Indeed, textiles play a very important role in the history and future of humanity. Natural fabrics and its manufacturing process did not change since ancient times. The only difference today is that most fabrics are manufactured using chemicals and nanotechnologies, treated with toxic substances to achieve expected physical qualities in quick and sufficient ways. Today, natural is becoming unnatural while synthetics are invading our beautiful planet and taking away our own health. Synthetic fabrics are loved by fashion industry and competing manufacturers are able to provide a vast number of synthetic garments to consumers worldwide. Everybody needs affordable and fashionable clothes! Consumerism is immense. Demand is expanding. Supply must provide! More and faster, please!
Fast fashion has pushed us to the edge where we started getting ill of wearing clothes. We stopped asking how and where our garments were made. We are so concerned about being accepted as beautiful-looking beings that we forget about risks to our environment and even own health. We buy and buy, wear and wear clothes made of unnatural, synthetic fibers made out of or with toxic chemicals. We expose our biggest organ skin to toxins every day and constantly poisoning our body by covering it with artificial and usually toxic materials. For this reason we would like to introduce you to health benefits of five natural organic fabrics, namely organic linen, organic cotton, silk, organic wool and hemp fabric. In the series we will cover organic fabrics only, because they carry much more health benefits than the ones falsely labeled “natural” on tags. It is important to mention that organic fibers are natural, sustainable, eco-friendly and are regulated by few global networking companies to maintain its superior quality. The kind of fabric you wear may impact your physical health, your mental health and your wellbeing in general. Involving more natural organic textiles in your life and daily environment may surprise you with unexpected benefits in well-being, comfort and life.
Our list of five natural organic fabrics that carry beneficial attributes to human health include: organic cotton fabric, hemp fabric, silk fabric, organic linen fabric and organic wool. We have excluded bamboo fabric from the list after reading more on how bamboo is cultivated and turned in actual piece of cloth.
Why did we exclude natural bamboo fabric from the list? No doubt, bamboo fabric comes from natural source, bamboo tree grows incredibly fast, is naturally pest-resistant and is self-renewable and sustainable plant. Bamboo tree root network is so tense that there is no need to replant it, it grows straight up again in the same location. The secret of China’s fast-growing fiber reveals itself through farming practice and bamboo manufacturing methods. Some farmers are using chemical fertilizers to increase bamboo harvest and make more money. Also, farmers are clearing more and more natural lands of old bamboo forests into new farming lands for bamboo, again! Disappearing bamboo forests put pandas on the list of endangered species as they are rapidly loosing their only food source – bamboo leaves. Ironically, buying and using bamboo fabric may directly affect innocent animal species not in the most expected sustainable way.
Although bamboo can be eco-friendly and chemical-free natural fiber it has another shady secret to speak. Another sad truth behind bamboo fabric lies in the process of producing it. There are two methods of manufacturing bamboo into fabric: the mechanical and the chemical. The mechanical method involves crushing plant into mush, breaking it down with enzymes and combing out the fibers that are later whirled into a yarn. Mechanical production requires a lot of intensive physical work, is expensive and produces a similar fabric to linen, known as “bamboo linen” that is not soft enough to be used for underwear. The only way to make silky smooth bamboo fabric is by using chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, carbon disulfide. They are harmful to aquatic life if released into water supply.
What is natural fabric? Natural fabrics are made of natural fibers obtained from nature such as plants, animals and minerals. On opposite, synthetic fabrics are entirely man-made and its fibers are produced from chemicals created in laboratories. Natural fabric list is quite short and includes cotton, linen, wool, silk and hemp fabric. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester, rayon, acrylic, spandex and nylon are the most popular fabrics used in fast fashion industry. Due to modern technologies we are now able to invent and manufacture a vast variety and quantity of synthetic fibers to fulfill the demand of no-thinker humans.
Moreover, natural organic fibers are renewable resources, they decompose quickly and are environmentally friendly, durable and healthy to use. On contrary, synthetic fibers do not decompose, emit toxic chemicals to environment, do not renew and usually require a lot of energy sources to manufacture.
How to Obtain Truly Natural Organic Textile Products
Today most of fabrics labeled “natural” are in deed treated with various chemicals during bleaching, boiling, softening or dying. Understanding the growing process in detail and finding out how your beloved fabric became available to purchase at store may be an eye-opener. Always pay attention to the following factors: what pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers were used to grow, what was the process and what chemicals were involved in turning fiber into wearable fabric and finally what toxic cocktail or method was used for coloring or further manufacturing. If at any stage plant, fiber or thread were exposed to chemical substances then any fabric made of such fiber cannot be considered as natural organic product.
Do you really want your clothes to emit toxic particles into environment you breath in? What about your skin being constantly in contact with such material? How do would you feel about your favorite cotton panties that were made of cotton grown by a farmer who died of cancer due to exposure of chemicals and pesticides on his cotton fields? In fact, the production of cotton consumes 50% of the pesticides sprayed in the entire world. Wearing conventional fabrics puts you in risk of being perpetually unwell and even developing serious decease. If your body is constantly bombarded by toxins, don’t be surprised to discover sudden allergies or developing an innocent genetic illness in near future. Reducing usage of unhealthy, conventional fibers and textiles may help to improve your health and overall wellbeing. The easiest point to start is by searching for answers to three very simple questions – what, where and why – before shopping. Everything has a reason, and knowing the reason usually helps to eliminate or ease unpleasant consequences.
The most straightforward advice when looking for natural fiber clothes or fabrics would be to spare a minute on reading labels. All organic fabrics are certified by
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). GOTS is known as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. Its quality assurance system also puts high-level environmental criteria on organic textiles supply chain. Today, a word “natural” appears on many labels but it no longer guarantees the garment was manufactured using chemical-free and ecological methods.
Another important global movement networking companies, farmers, fishermen and workers is responsible for making the world a better place to live and to work is Fair Trade. Fair Trade mission is to ensure that farmers, workers and fishermen are treated with respect, work in harmless conditions, develop sustainable living and be rightfully compensated. h
Most importantly, Fair Trade helps manufacturers to obtain products and materials from ethical sources. Buying Fair Trade Certified goods help to improve visibility and credence, share trading and shopping values, maintain transparent supply chains.
This article is giving you an insight on how to choose natural textiles made of reliable organic sources. A deeper understanding of basic differences between natural and natural organic fabric may help to improve your wellbeing, slow down destructive activity on our planet and sustain a healthier environment for your loved ones. Millions of new thoughts and questions arise when you get a closer look to smaller detail of human activity and its greed for materialism. A farmer receives more money if he uses toxic pesticides on his so called “natural” cotton fields. Such cotton is no longer “organic” as its harvest is polluted with toxins from pesticides. How ironic, creating a health disruptive product provides you with better monetary compensation. Fortunately, there is a brighter side and it is inside you! The easiest way to stop this money-death circle is to question as much as you can and get a better perspective on how clothes you wear and textiles you use were sourced and what manufacturing methods were used to provide you with a piece of cloth made from bamboo tree fiber. You simply cannot weave wood-tough fiber into silky smooth fabric and then sewn it into naturally soft bamboo underwear. Understanding the whole process how the fiber was grown or created, what mechanical or chemical treatments it received to become silky smooth material or what its waste does to our environment may change your perception of your needs and your own existence. Imagine the flow of money going into eco-friendly textile industry if each one of us would purchase one piece of garment made of natural organic fibers. So, always read the label as you may be the one who now recognizes natural organic certification. Now, by realizing the consequences of conventional fabric manufacturing you may decide adding a small amount of money to sustain ecological fashion industry. Most importantly you would support and encourage eco-farmers by purchasing some clothes made of natural organic fibers. By the way, you would also enjoy health benefits without damaging the environment. Once again more money for a better product provided. If only we humans behaved and acted!
In this part of the article about health benefits of natural wearable textiles will cover organic linen fabric.
NATURAL ORGANIC LINEN FABRIC
In ancient Rome linen fabric had a very expressive name, textus ventilus, meaning “woven wind.” Linen is know to be the oldest textile fiber and can be traced back to 6000 BC. Linen is made from fibers of the flax plant and is three times stronger than cotton. This plant is environmentally friendly as it requires less water and chemicals to grow it. Linen is completely biodegradable and is perfect material for those who care of environment. Flax linen is considered the cleanest fabric and is used in medical settings, especially in surgery and wound treatments. It has quite a number of benefits to human health including dermatological, physiological and psychological properties.
Organic Linen Fabric Provides Protection Against UV & Chemicals
It was found that flax fiber grown on contaminated soils does not exhibit even traces of radiation. This suggests that linen fabric can act as a barrier between body and radiation because flax fibers appear to be totally resistant to radiation. Also, it is known that organic linen fabric is an excellent filter protecting against chemical contact, dust exposure and even protects against noise. It’s not a secret linen fiber has high resistance to normal cleaning solvents and cool chlorine and hypo-chlorine bleaching agent does not have any affect on linen fiber properties.
Likewise linen material has the ability to reduce solar gamma radiation by half. This fabric can protect human body against solar radiation. The fact is that linen does not reflect UV but absorbs it. Natural linen fibers contain natural pigment lignin which is a natural UV absorber and ensures a good sun protection. Some researches show that changes in level of lignin cause big change in UV protection properties of linen fabric. At the same time different type of dyes applied to flax linen play a very important role in ensuring good UV blocking. It is worth noting that less UV passes through compact woven or knitted fabrics. Linen fiber is not affected by the sun light as others fiber.
Furthermore some studies indicate that this natural textile is capable of protecting body against harmful electromagnetic frequencies such WiFi, cell-phone signal, computers, electronic appliances etc.
After installation of tightly sealing plastic windows homes usually are filled with radon gas. Radon is believed to form as result of disintegrating uranium contained in building materials. Leaving windows open or using linen curtains and linen sheets help reducing the harmful effects by filtering air thought its fibers.
Organic Linen Fabric Good for Problematic Skin: Antibacterial & Hypoallergenic
Linen is considered as one of the cleanest fabrics. It actually contains natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that prevent bacterial growth. In fact, no harmful bacteria can breed in it. Even after years of usage, linen fabric helps killing microbes and prevents fungal deceases, damaged skin infections and inflammation. Linen is anti-static – which explains why it remains cleaner for longer periods of time and doesn’t cling to the body.
For many years, bearing aseptic properties and air permeability linen is highly used as bandage dressings for wounds. For instance linen is exclusively used in operating rooms. It is the only natural material used for internal stitches in surgery. Flax cell is highly compatible with the human cell. The human cell has the ability to completely dissolve the flax cell. This is why linen fabric is used in medicine for internal sutures. Worth mentioning that burn and sunburn victims are often prescribed to sleep in or on white linen bedding to help relieve pain and discomfort. Japanese studies revealed that if bed-bound patients lay in linen bed sheets they do not develop bedsores.
Flax fibers contain silica that protects against rotting. The best preserved mummies of Egyptian Pharaohs were wrapped in the finest linen cloths. Also, its bacteriological properties arise from the fact that this fabric is drying much faster than cotton so that it creates less of a breeding space for germs. For these same reasons linen sheets, underwear and clothing aid those suffering from yeast infections. For sure, pure linen helps to destroy bad body odors. Also, linen is thought to naturally repel insects like moths.
Another health benefit of pure flax linen fabric that it is hypoallergenic and is used in various forms to address different dermatological problems: from sensitive skin, common rashes to chronic eczemas. It does not form any lint (short, thin fibers) and makes it perfect for people suffering from asthma, allergies and skin complications. Natural linen is not only known to reduce unpleasant effects but also to cure dermatitis. Dermatologists advise to wear natural linen clothes and sleep in linen sheets because flax linen fabric is known to accelerate the healing of skin deceases. Its anti-allergic properties may help to get rid of various skin disorders.
Organic Linen Fabric Promotes Sleep
Linen bedding is twice as durable as cotton bedding and can last few decades. It is an investment to your home and your healthy wellbeing. Indeed, linen sheets can provide a better night’s sleep without disturbances because of its ability to absorb and evaporate moisture (water, sweat and other body fluids), ventilate and regulate temperature. Recent studies confirmed that people fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake up rested and in better spirits after sleeping in linen sheets. Regular sleep cycles return back to routine. Science has confirmed that due to the natural properties of the flax fiber, people sleep better under linen and feel more relaxed. Linen is smoothly cool to the touch and also gets softer with use. Moreover, it is believed that pure line sheets can increase female fertility.
Dermatologists advise people who endure hypersensitive skin, have allergies or have asthma issues sleep on linen bedding. Worth mentioning that linen is likely to become whiter the more it is used. On opposite, cotton tends to yellow with time.
Organic Linen Fabric has Therapeutic Properties
According to psychotherapists natural linen fibers create a feeling of calm, promotes concentration and nurture depth of thought. Notably it has an ability to protect a person from nervous and psychotic breakdowns. That is why linen is often used in a variety of therapy sessions, meditation and even religious retreats. Therefore, ancient Egyptian priests wore linen as it symbolized divine light and purity. During the studies on the color and the reflection of light in linen it was discovered that this natural fabric can increase body’s frequency energy. Wearing and using linen usually adds more vital capacity and energy to one’s live and over-all wellbeing. Likewise linen is known for assisting to reduce fatigue and lift spirits.
If one wants to maintain health & heal body, it is recommended to wear wool or linen. Although the atomic frequency measurement of both linen and wool marks 5,000 it is not suggested to put or use both fabrics together as they tend to eliminate each other’s properties. Studies show that the energy of these two fabrics worn together collapsed the electrical field. Besides in some trials they caused measurable weakness and pain to sensitive individuals. Synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic, spandex, lycra, viscose and nylon measure zero in atomic frequency. Linen fabric has antistatic ability to reduce static in the body.
Natural linen is linked to a considerable reduction of post injury or surgical pain when person wears linen clothing and uses linen bandages. As earlier mentioned burn or sunburn victims and people with dermatological disorders are advised to rest on linen sheets as it helps to sooth away pain and physical discomfort. Natural organic linen fabric is helpful handling inflammatory conditions, reducing fever, and providing a healthy airflow. It is said that daily contact with flax fabric may support and even increase levels of immunoglobulin A in blood. So choosing organic flax linen bedding or clothing may protect respiratory tract and digestive tract from microbes and viruses.
Linen clothing is said to have a neurological ailment benefit. An uplifting effect is noticed when body is surrounded by linen fabric. Occasionally cancer patients are encouraged to do linen body-wrapping therapy. Taking into account that flax linen has the highest energy vibration it makes a perfect sense using it in therapeutic treatments.
Leading world spas offer a popular service – wrapping body with pure wet linen fabric. This procedure is believed to clean and revitalize the skin and induce restorative functions of the body. Rough linen fabric tends to have microscopic breaks that tenderly massage the skin, stimulate blood flow, influences cardio-vascular, nervous and muscular systems. This natural material gives a sensational feeling of gentle and natural relief.
Organic Linen Fabric Acts as Absorbent & Thermoregulator
In the first place linen fabric has two important but opposite qualities: it is highly absorbent and lose liquid rapidly. Interestingly, linen comes stronger when wet. This absorbent material has special molecular structure that lets to absorb up to 1/5 of its weight before it starts to feel moist or wet. Once again, saying thank you to pectin that participates in either retaining water or repelling it. On the other hand the absorbed moisture will be rapidly evaporated from the linen as its fiber weave allows for easy airflow. Linen towels dry quickly, are resistant to stain and dirt, do not retain odors and are lightweight.
According to some studies, a person wearing linen clothes perspires twice less than wearing viscose. Linen is a perfect fabric for workout garments and is very comfortable to wear for a longer time, it provides a guaranteed sensation of well-being. Summer clothes made of linen possess high air permeability, which allows air to flow through the fabric easily and allows the body to breathe.
The heat conductivity of linen is five times higher than wool and nineteen times than silk. Natural organic linen fabric acts as natural insulator. Linen can withstand high temperatures and functions in hot and hot humid conditions very well because of its weave. Moreover linen can significantly alleviate the effects of the heat and humidity on the wearer. It retains warmth when cold and cools when it is hot.
Read next: EcoWalk. Health Benefits of Natural Organic Fabrics (II): Organic Cotton Fabric
Published in July 2018: BUY NOW