The importance of G.O.T.S. certified fabrics

I discovered a new brand of upholstered furniture this week that touted its eco and non-toxic attributes. These include Certi-Pur non-FR foam (about 90% petrochemical)and fabrics treated with Scotchgard (See the Environmental Working Group’s easy guide to toxicity at http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/5571-ScotchGardby3MFabricUpholsteryProtectorSpray) . I was flabbergasted that this company promoted these as non-toxic. The founder of the company doesn’t have a background in textiles or chemistry, so I immediately understood that she was only sharing what she was told. But, do we believe everything that we are told? I used to. The Gold standard for less toxic textiles is the Global Organic Textiles Standard GOTS). Conventionally processed textiles are loaded with heavy metals. Even if the fabrics are made from natural fibers, the entire process from growing the fibers, spinning the yarns, weaving the fabric, dyeing and finishing is nasty. I’d like to share this information that my diligent friends at Oecotextiles shared with us. Please do check out their beautiful collection of far less toxic home decorating fabrics. https://www.twosistersecotextiles.com/

You will not have to live with fabrics containing chemicals which have been proven to cause harm – chemicals which are often outlawed in other products – because the fabric is produced to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

A fabric made from organic fibers is not necessarily an organic fabric. Why is this a big deal? It’s like taking organic apples, and cooking them with Red Dye #2, preservatives, emulsifiers, and stabilizers – you can’t call the finished product organic applesauce; and you should not feed it to your kids. Same is true with fabrics.

GOTS defines a standard for organic fabrics that covers every step of the complicated textile production process from field to finished fabric to store shelf; not just the fiber. GOTS is so comprehensive that it governs details such as packaging materials; warehouse cleaning chemicals; warehouse pest conrol practices and labels. GOTS covers workers rights; and, although it does not directly address carbon footprint, its other organic requirments mean that a GOTS fabric is by far the best choice you can make, regardless of country of production. GOTS certified fabric is therefore much more than just a textile which is made from organic fibers. It is an organic fabric.

The GOTS standard only applies to natural fibers, and requres the use of third party certifed organic fiber. (For synthetic fibers, use only Global Recycling Standard Gold level recylced polyester if you must; and some rare nylon. Read our blog – see link in the footer below, for updates or for more.)

In addition to requiring that all inputs have to meet basic requirements on toxicity and biodegradability, one of the important things that GOTS does is close a very common loophole with greenwashers. GOTS prohibits entire classes of chemicals, rather than calling out specific prohibited chemical in a class. What that means is that instead of prohibiting, for example lead and cadmium and therefore allowing other heavy metals by not prohibiting the entire class, GOTS prohibits ALL heavy metals. Here’s the GOTS Version 3.0 list:

SUBSTANCE GROUP CRITERIA
Aromatic solvents Prohibited
Chlorophenols (such as TeCP, PCP) Prohibited
Complexing agents and surfactantss Prohibited are: All APEOS, EDTA,
DTPA, NTA, LAS, a‐MES
Fluorocarbons Prohibited (i.e., PFOS, PFOA)
Halogenated solvents Prohibited
Heavy Metals Prohibited
Inputs containing functional nanoparticles Prohibited
Inputs with halogen containing compounds Prohibited
Organotin compounds Prohibited
Plasticizers (i.e., Phthalates, Bisphenol A
and all others with endocrine disrupting
potential)
Prohibited
Quaternary ammonium compounds Prohibited

Other GOTS strengths include:

Strict and extensive water treatment internally before water is discharged to the local ecosystem. Water treatment applies to pH and temperature as well as to biological and chemical residues in the water. Even if only salt is used in the fabric processing, returning salty water to the local lake will kill amphibians and wreck havoc with the local ecosystem.

Environmentally sound packaging requirements are in place: PVC in packaging is prohibited, paper must be post-consumer recycled or certified according to FSC or PEFC.

Labor practices are audited in accordance with the International Labor Organization (ILO) standards – no forced, bonded, or slave labor; workers have the right to join or form trade unions and to bargain collectively; working conditions are safe and hygienic; there must be no new recruitment of child labor; and for those companies where children are found to be working, provisions must be made to enable him/her to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child; wages paid must meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmarks, whichever is higher; working hours are not excessive and inhumane treatment is prohibited.

Was Lilly Pulitzer the original boho decorator? Her Palm Beach home.

Ankara or wax print pillow party

I never tire of the bold colors and designs of  ankara or wax print fabrics. Mix and match these fun and decorative pillows. wax-print-beauty-shot-1024x768

 

Non-toxic Floor Cushions

 

Between the Chicago Tribune’s three part expose on flame retardants in upholstered furniture and the documentary from which the expose was inspired name Toxic Hot Seat, there are few moms out there who have not heard or read about toxic flame retardants in upholstered furniture, mattresses , car seat, pajamas and many everyday objects to which they and their children are exposed.  The research and results of researching truly non-toxic sofas can prove frustrating and disappointing when the results are exposed that truly non-toxic sofas come with a high price tag. Ones that switch out FR foam for non-FR foam are much better than ones with flame retardants. But, in the research process you learn just how nasty other components of conventional sofas are: the particleboard, glues, stains, still getting a foam that is a petrochemical. If you check out textiles, you will learn that conventional upholstery fabrics prove to processed with heavy metals.

So, do you ditch the sofa and revert to floor cushions or no sofa until you can save to buy a truly least toxic one such as EKLA HOME’s or Ecobalanza’s? Quite possibly. With floor cushions becoming so popular with teens and younger adults due to their versatility , I decided to commission the making of French mattress tufted floor cushions that have carry handles and are filled with Oeko-tex 10o certified wool and covered in untreated, undyed linen.

They are pretty darn comfortable! I sat my older body on them every day for four months while I worked until I had a simple solid hardwood desk in a no-VOC stain made for me. I line three of them up as mattress cushions when Hannah comes home from college with a guest. I can stack them up under the bed as needed.

 

Follow up to repost of Wax print umbrellas

Over four years ago, I posted about these beautiful and ethical wax print umbrellas.http://joyauxmarisol.com/our-story/  I have since found another company in South Africa  that is making umbrellas using Ghanan wax printed fabrics that are treated for water repellency.   The handles and principles aren’t as amazing as Joyaux Marisol’s, but the umbrellas are quite happy and colorful. The makers are on their Summer holiday right now, but I plan to have these on order as soon as they reopen. Do you like them?wax-print-umbrellas

Boho parasols and umbrellas

vintage-parasols

Fabricadabra vintage sari parasols

 

Parasols and umbrellas can look very festive if hung upside down rom the handles or displayed in clusters. They are great for nurseries, parties and events.

 

indian parasols

Fabricadabra sari parasols

Portobello Rd charm bracelet is awesome

charm bracelet

I write about textiles. That is what I do. That is what I know. I am passionate about textiles.  But, I just have to share this charm bracelet from John Wind Maximal Art.

This bracelet features charms uncovered while flea marketing at Portobello Road Market in London. Some are vintage and some are reproductions. I covet it. Okay, bye bye.

Brightly colored patchwork kantha pillows and bedcovers

I love these patchwork block printed cotton fabrics that are kantha stitched and made into pillows and bedcovers. Do you? Should I bring some in from India to sell on my website, Fabricadabra? I really don’t care for the ones with dark, muddy colors. I like the bright, happy colors.

patchworked, kantha stitched bedcovers and pillows

patchworked, kantha stitched bedcovers and pillows

patchwork kantha pillow cover patchwork kantha bedspread patchwork kantha bedcover patchwork kantha cushion covers

Fabric covered vehicles make me happy!

ImageImageImageImage

There is so much creativity in this world. I am happy that no two people are exactly alike.

 

A Visual Trick or Treat: The American Textile Industry Today

Christopher Payne has spent much of the past few years photographing more than 20 of the mills that make up what’s left of America’s textile industry. Read the article and embrace the photographs from the NY Times.  I just read this article and am old enough to feel as though I am in mourning over the losses. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/magazine/fruits-of-the-loom.html    I find his photographs hauntingly beautiful juxtapositions. I am reminded that  textile production is toxic , but the results can be gorgeous.

So much has changed since my entry into the textile industry in the mid 1980’s. MY first big girl job with Carter’s (baby clothing) and Baby Dior. We were headquartered just outside of Boston. The company was vertically integrated. Carter’s had its own spinning mills, weaving and knitting mills, printing and dye mills, apparel manufacturing facilities and even its own stores. My primary job was to buy greige goods, convert them to dyed and printed fabrics and to oversee the approval of colors and prints (strike-offs) at the mills. I trudged through rural towns after renting cars at the airport to get to mills in the Carolinas, Mississippi and Georgia.  Burlington and Milliken were HUGE . It was no big deal for me to approving a 100,000 yard roller screen print run and wait 12 hours in the Customer Room for the next strike-off. So much has changed.

wool carders

wool carders

New products: Indigo textiles LOVE

My fondness for indigo fabrics is no secret. I admire that just about every culture produces hand crafted indigo textiles. I have added some Japanese indigo shibori and kasuri pillow covers to my collection as well as Indian block printed pillow covers, pouches and tea towels. I have more shibori pillow covers that will be added over the next week. Enjoy! http://www.fabricadabra.us/batiks.html

100% cotton sheeting block printed and kantha stitched pillow covers. Set of two. No two exactly alike, but very similar. 20" x 20". Bottom zipper closure. Made in India. $40

100% cotton sheeting block printed and kantha stitched pillow covers. Set of two. No two exactly alike, but very similar. 20″ x 20″. Bottom zipper closure. Made in India. $40

Indigo cotton Japanese kasuri (ikat) pillow covers

Indigo cotton Japanese kasuri (ikat) pillow covers

Set of three assorted indigo block printed towels with corner loops. 100% cotton sheeting. Each is 20" x 30". Made in India. Great holiday or hostess gift. $25

Set of three assorted indigo block printed towels with corner loops. 100% cotton sheeting. Each is 20″ x 30″. Made in India. Great holiday or hostess gift. $25

Indigo block printed cotton pouches with zippers. Set of three. 8" x 4". Made in India. A great hostess or holiday gift. $22

Indigo block printed cotton pouches with zippers. Set of three. 8″ x 4″. Made in India. A great hostess or holiday gift. $22

Indigo cotton Japanese kasuri (ikat) pillow covers

Indigo cotton Japanese kasuri (ikat) pillow covers

Vintage Japanese kasuri (ikat)pillow cover. 100% untreated cotton face. Solid white organic cotton back fabric

Vintage Japanese kasuri (ikat)pillow cover. 100% untreated cotton face. Solid white organic cotton back fabric

Vintage Japanese kasuri (ikat)pillow cover. 100% untreated cotton face. Solid white organic cotton back fabric

Vintage Japanese kasuri (ikat)pillow cover. 100% untreated cotton face. Solid white organic cotton back fabric

Jane Hall Design – Crazy Good Boho Aesthetic

Jane Hall Design custom pieces

Jane Hall Design custom pieces

Jane Hall Design custom chair and bedding

Jane Hall Design custom chair and bedding

jane hall design

jane hall design

Jane Hall Design custom sofa

Jane Hall Design custom sofa

Jane Hall Design custom headboard

Carved Wood Headboard- Upholstered in Designers Guild cut velvet fabric

Jane Hall Design custom chair

Jane Hall Design custom chair

Jane Hall Design custom pillows

Jane Hall Design custom pillows

I know I stumbled upon her work in the past and it resonated with me. I love her use of color, texture, rich textiles and her bohemian spirit. Her company and showroom are in Toronto.

Dutch and African wax print pillow covers on sale!!!

wax print pillows- 50% OFF

wax print pillows- 50% OFF

I’ve just marked down all Dutch and African wax print pillow covers to 50% off the regular retail.  Stock on each style is limited. Mix and match for a color riot!!!!

Coolest boho American flag ever!

boho American flag

boho American flag

boho american flags

boho american flags

Are these great or just amazing? A scrap fabric bohemian American flag.  As expected, I saw one on Pinterest and fell for it. But, who made it? There was no mention of the artist. With very little Googling, I found out they are the product of fine artist Maggie O’Neil of Maggie O’Neil Fine Arts in Washington D.C.  She showed them on her blog with very little fanfare. Maggie’s website has a link to shopping, but she is not selling these.  She sells her paintings on-line and they are very impressive. I’m assuming you can commission her to make one of these unique flags.  But, this is a great DYI project if you are sitting upon piles of fabric, as I am. I have never hung an American flag outside or inside of my house. But, this works just great as a wall hanging.

Great job, Maggie!! ‘So happy to have found you and your website!!!

“Indigo:The Colour that Changed the World”

Indigo: The Colour That Change the World

Indigo: The Colour That Change the World

I cannot say it any better than Yatzer or show you as many beautiful visuals of this new book by Catherine Legrand,  who spent twenty years exploring various cultures  worldwide to produce this fascinating documentation of the practices, people, art, garments and communities this dye has been so fundamental to.  It is a labor of love for the author and the people who create it.

Indigo cloth just melts me, so my copy is on order!

Please read Yatzer’s coverage of the book and enjoy the gorgeous pictures. http://www.yatzer.com/indigo-the-colour-that-changed-the-world

Fabric scrap curtains

diy project fabric strip curtain

diy project fabric strip curtain

fabric strip curtain via etsy

fabric scrap curtain

fabric scrap curtain

fabric scrap curtain

fabric scrap curtain

scrap fabric curtain

scrap fabric curtain

My gosh, there is just so much creativity out there. I love this look and for those of you who are fabric collectors, sewers or work in the industry, this is a great way to use all those scraps that accumulate. You don’t even need to sew some of these. Check out these images that I found on Pinterest.

Fabricadabra’s indigo shibori pillow covers

Japanese shibori pillow in indigo

Japanese shibori pillow in indigo

Japanese shibori pillow in indigo

Japanese shibori pillow in indigo

Japanese shibori fabrics

Japanese shibori fabrics

Japanese shibori pillow in indigo

Japanese shibori pillow in indigo

I am a huge fan of tie-dye and indigo. Through the years, I have carried Ghanan indigo cloth pillow covers and indigo batik pillow covers. I have been collecting Japanese indigo shibori and kasuri fabrics for a few years. I finally had my vintage Japanese indigo shibori fabrics made into decorative pillow covers. Shibori is a Japanese term for several methods of dyeing cloth with a pattern by binding, stitching, folding, twisting, compressing it, or capping. We, in the West, commonly refer to it as tie-dye. There is an infinite number of ways one can bind, stitch, fold, twist, or compress cloth for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed. Here are the indigo shibori pillows. I am hoping to get my act together to get the kasuri transformed into pillows soon.

Patchworked vintage scarves as home textiles

from bandanamom.blogspot

from bandanamom.blogspot

gypsy shower curtain by Babylon Sisters- etsy

gypsy shower curtain by Babylon Sisters- etsy

patchwork scarf bedspread by ouno Design

patchwork scarf bedspread by ouno Design

vintage scarf curtain

vintage scarf curtain

Vintage scarf maxi dress by Juicy Couture

Vintage scarf maxi dress by Juicy Couture

So, what do you think?  I’m not sure I have the energy to gather and sew all these. But, I like to boho look. I’m seeing similar creations with vintage hankerchiefs. (Is that hanky panky?)

25% off at Fabricadabra through June 30! Coupon code SUMMER

Hmong patchwork bed coversHMP beauty lilac (282x424)

decorative fabric parasols

decorative fabric parasols

beautyshot_tub_with_suzanis_ExtraLarge (475x291)

25% off all decorative pillows, fabric by the yard, placemats, parasols and throws with coupon code SUMMER. Ikats, suzanis, wax prints, organic cotton, batik, kantha and many more bohemian, globally inspired home textiles. Sale ends June 30.

Lace doilies are cool again!

doily5doily7doily3doilydoily2‘Talk about taking something from the grave to the groove. I grew up with lace doilies at the bottom of my cedar chest because they belonged to a deceased relative, smelled like moth balls, were beautiful and nostalgic, but I didn’t want them on display in my home. Thanks to Pinterest and pins from DYI enthusiasts, I have seen the light. Doilies are being sewn together or appliqued onto fabric to create lovely window treatments, mobiles, shower curtains and more. Check these out.

%d bloggers like this: