Benefits of Organic Cotton over Conventional Cotton

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Organic Cotton Benefits

People use clothes made of organic cotton including pajamas, jeans, t-shirts, towels, and even napkins. Being a natural fiber, organic cotton has hypoallergenic properties that avoid allergies and even conditions like asthma. Manufacturers advertise organic cotton clothes as ideal for people with skin irritations and for babies with tender skin. Even if you are not prone to allergies, organic cotton clothes feels better on skin.

Clothing made of this natural fiber is softer than those made of conventional or regular cotton are. Cotton is one of the most fertilized crops. Conventional cotton is grown with monoculture farming system, which refers to the cultivation of cotton in an area year after year. Farmers say that this reduces the fertility of the soil and hampers biodiversity, since pesticides and insecticides has to be used to avoid pests that target cotton. Conventional cotton is subject to be plagued by bacterial blight, white fly, tropical rust, charcoal rot, lint contamination, and so forth, hence toxic chemicals are used for cultivation.

The usage of chemical to produce conventional cotton has proved to be a hazard to the environment. It accounts for ten percent pesticides and twenty-five percent insecticides used across the world, although only three percent of farmland grows cotton globally. Using pesticides against main pests only paves way for secondary pests.

On the other hand, organic cotton is grown without using toxic chemicals but organic pest control measurements. In addition to that, farmers follow crop rotation system to cultivate organic cotton in a fertile land that is used to grow fresh produce. Henceforth, organic cotton improves the fertility of the soil and conserves agricultural biodiversity. Besides, since organic cotton clothing manufacturers stick to rigid standards, it also ensures value to the customers.

During a conventional cotton garment manufacturing process, several synthetic chemicals are used. Varieties such as BT cotton are genetically modified to make them resistant to bollworm pests in particular.

Benefits of Organic Cotton

  • Less harmful to the environment
  • Cheaper to BT cotton variety
  • Organic cotton fabric smells pleasant
  • Non-allergenic clothing so that also reduces risk of respiratory conditions
  • Cotton seeds are not treated like in conventional systems

A major proportion of the conventional cotton cultivation is hybrid, but organic cotton cultivation is widely considered as better for the safety and health of growing communities.

How to Care your Velvet Fabric

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Velvet Fabric Care

Velvet fabrics are always luxurious and stylish and put forth an undeniable quality and feel. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the best options for women’s clothing. This soft material is also a good option for your home décor fabrics and helps to raise the ambiance and styling.

Velvet fabrics come in various rich tones along with vibrant textures and patterns. They are made mainly of silk, synthetics, and cotton, woven on a professional loom in order to get the distinctive feel and exclusive look.

One of the main attractions of this fabric is that it will change the color and texture according to the direction it is brushed. However, regular care is recommended for this fabric in order to maintain its exclusive style. Below are some maintenance tips for your velvet fabric.

Weekly Care

There will be many crush marks and scratches on the velvet when you start using it. This is because of the delicate weave of the fabric. Additionally, wrinkles and marks will occur if you fold this cloth; you can remove it with good care and patience.

If you do not take proper care and keep on crushing the garment, it will drop the natural sheen of the fabric. So, weekly care is highly recommended for velvet materials. You can do this easily by vacuuming or brushing it gently to maintain the texture.

Spills and Stains

Water and other liquid agents can stain this soft fabric easily. So, it is best to dry clean the velvet fabric to address any spills and stains. Yet while choosing the dry cleaners, do a research on the best cleaners to ensure the proper handling of your fabric.

If you want to do it yourself, use a soft cloth and blot the stained area. Take care not to apply any pressure on the surface and avoid rubbing on the cloth. Once you finished blotting process, lightly dry it using a hair dryer from a safe distance to prevent further wrinkles or marks. Finally, brush it carefully.

Revitalization

Taking regular care of your fabric will maintain its unique look and texture. If you want to enhance the sheen of your velvet, use a steamer on the reverse in order to whip the fibers in the fabric and make it fluffy.

Furthermore, brush your velvet regularly in the same direction for a uniform color and texture. Most people find this disconcerting, but this proper care is inevitable to maintain your velvet fabrics in proper condition.

Which Types of Cotton Fabric are Best Suitable for Sewing

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Cotton Fabric Types

A suggestive list of cotton fabric types for home sewing is given below alongside what they are best for. Cotton fabric is the go-to material used in sewing garments. Sewers recommend prewashing all cotton fabric twice at the lease in home sewing. Unless the fabric features a blend of cotton and other materials, or it is very delicate, it is advisable to put cotton in the dryer once in order to shrink the fiber.

It is better to do that purposefully prior to sewing instead of shrinking the sewn garment in the dryer. Cotton is sturdy enough to withstand washing and drying in a dryer. However, it is recommended to hang the garments to dry. This will extend the durability of the garment irrespective of the fabric content.

Batiste and Voile

Both batiste and voile fabric are primarily used to sew lightweight apparels. When used to make loose garments, these semi-sheer cotton fabrics should be lined or layered since they are extremely thin. They are ideal for clothing that flows hence it is advisable to use them for breathable fabrics that does not have extreme structure such as skirts. Sewers employ stay stitching since these semi-sheer fabrics’ weave is loose.

Quilting

Quilting refers to interweaving layers of fabric with lines of stitching for forming decorative patterns on the garment. Quilting is used in reference to cotton fabrics. Home sewers can use such medium weight cottons as a fabric for making apparels. Since sewers use different making styles, quilting cotton comes in an array of distinct weights too. Keep in mind that quilting cotton has a stiff drape and is not very soft to cotton apparels. So it is best used to sew structured garments. Moreover, you will find sewing with quilting fabric extremely easy since it does not slide and slip.

Cotton Denim Fabric

Most home sewers will be familiar with denim fabric especially those who use twill weave on denim. Made with a pattern of parallel diagonal ribs that is legible to view from both the sides, denim is extremely sturdy. Due to its heavy weight, this type of fabric is ideal to sew pants, jackets, and lightweight skirts. Lightweight denim tends to hang in loose folds, but they can be made into lightweight shirts and simple outfits.

When it comes to shirting cotton, they come in four weaves including twill, plain, satin, and oxford weave. Shirting cotton is a breathable, lightweight fabric in general.

Why Choose Alpaca Yarn for Certain Fabric Knitting Projects

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Fabric Knitting Projects

Alpaca refers to textile raw material sourced from alpaca’s hair, Icelandic sheep wool or similar types of wool. Alpaca yarn is perfect for knitting textiles and garments. Fabric made from alpaca’s wool is soft to touch and offers durability.

Alpaca is devoid of lanolin and gives an alternative to those who may not be able to wear woolen fabric in everyday lives. The natural fiber’s softness also appeals to wearers who may find wool somewhat scratchy causing itching or other bodily discomforts.

Origins of Alpaca fabrics trace back to South America prior to Spanish conquest. The Incas, for instance, prized the fabric made of Alpaca loftily. Thus, it was worn only by noblemen in the society due to the heavy cost. Alpaca fabrics stayed unknown beyond Andes’s borders only until textile tycoon Sir. Titus Salt brought the raw material to Europe in the 19th Century.

Alpaca is still relevant as knitting mills make fabric with Alpaca even today. It is often blended with other natural fibers like wool in order to enhance its elastic stretch by retaining its warmth and softness. However, alpaca can be blended with silk too. When you indulge in a knitting project anytime soon, consider the below tips to make the most of alpaca’s features.

  • Consider choosing alpaca yarns for knitting shawls, scarves, and blankets, since they all benefits from its warmth, softness, and longevity. Alpaca fabrics also drape and resist pilling. Baby alpaca wool is perfect to knit specific types of clothing worn next to the skin.
  • Consider using open stitch patterns like drop-stitch, eyelet or lace for knitting lightweight garments. In fact, highly textured pattern stitches will not highlight on fabrics as they often do when wool is used to stitch.
  • Alpaca is devoid of wool’s elasticity, so it is better to tighten and twist the switches in order to interlock threads or go for non-ribbed fringes.
  • Use zigzag style stitch in order to conceal yarn’s ends to the naked eye and weave threads into the knitted fabric’s back for a perfect texture.

It is slippery to knit fabrics with alpaca yarn unlike with wool but if the back and forth stitch style is used when straight stitch won’t suffice, it will be easier to stitch buttons or even fringes of clothing.

3 Benefits of Using Cashmere Clothing

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Cashmere Clothing Benefits

Cashmere has come to symbolize luxury among woolen clothing due to the richness of the material. It is the best among natural fibers and is obtained from a specific breed of goats found in Kashmir (India), hence the name.

Cashmere is derived from the fleecy layer of coat surrounding a goat for protecting it from the harsh winter climate. The goats eventually shed their coat when it gets warmer, which is then collected for producing a range of fabrics.

Note that Cashmere is quite expensive because of the number of processes involved such as sourcing, collecting, and processing the wool to make it fit for use in clothing. However, Cashmere has now become the preferred choice of clothing for many due to its plush features.

Women mostly tend to go for wraps or scarf made of cashmere for protection against the cold or simply as a fashion statement. There is even complete Cashmere clothing produced by knitting mills for wearing during any occasion. Some of the benefits of using Cashmere clothing are described below.

Lightweight and Comfortable

Cashmere is a lightweight material and the clothes made out of it are easy and comfortable to wear. The soft and flexible nature of Cashmere makes it incredibly comfortable to wear and is non-irritant to the skin. The breathable feature of Cashmere helps in creating sufficient air circulation, which will help the skin to dissipate sweats faster, thus allowing the wearer to stay comfortable at any time of the day.

Added Insulation

Using Cashmere clothing has the important benefits of offering sufficient warmth when worn in colder climates. Compared to normal wool, Cashmere offers added insulation against the cold that will help keep the body warmer even in chilling cold weather. Cashmere is also known for its temperature adaptability because of its high moisture content. It is also suitable for wearing during the summer as its breathable feature allows the body to remain cool.

Long Lasting

The other key benefits of Cashmere are that it is long lasting. With the proper care, Cashmere clothing can last a lifetime compared to normal wool. The material is also adaptable meaning that it can be easily woven into a different variety of styles. Buying a Cashmere shawl, vests, wraps, or sweaters is a long lasting investment, since its style and luxury can surpass any new trends and survive for long.

Tips for Sewing your Silk Fabric

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Silk Fabric Sewing Tips

Fabrics are always the deciding factor in your style. In fact, when you wear the best fabric, you get in the best vogue. One of the best and luxurious fabrics is silk. This is the ultimate fabric for any fashion designer to work with. Still, sewing this amazing fabric is full of challenges, which is mainly because of its delicate structure. To help you out, below are some tips to sew your silk fabrics efficiently.

Avoid Watermarks

Avoid the watermarks that are produced because of washing. However, this is not applicable to all silk fabrics. So, first check whether your silk fabrics show watermarks once washed and then proceed.

This property becomes the main challenge when it comes to pressing the fabric, especially in steam ironing. So, in order to tackle this, pre-wash your fabric before sewing. This will prevent the watermarks to evaporate quickly, rather than lingering on the cloth.

Note that the texture will change slightly in some silk fabrics once they are washed. So, it is better to hand over such clothes to professionals. However, most of the silk fabrics are washable nowadays.

Avoid the Marks from Needles and Pens

While sewing, it is common that you use your pens and needles. Be careful when it comes to silk fabrics because in some silk fabrics like shantung, the marks of pens and the holes created by the needles will sustain forever. So, it is always better to do all your fittings prior to cutting out the pattern piece, and also avoid ripping from the seam, as this will leave permanent marks.

Additionally, always use the right pens and needles while sewing. The best options for you while working with delicate silk fabrics are the ultrafine or extra fine glass head pins and the silk pins. These pins will alleviate the chances of showing any pinholes.

Sew the Seams Perfectly

A seam is a line where two pieces of fabrics are joined. Extra care must be taken while sewing the seams of the fabrics because of their delicacy and their excessive fraying nature.

The seam allowances for any unlined silk garment should be finished and it is important to choose the perfect seam for sewing. For instance, for your unlined top or shirt made of silk fabric, choose Hong Kong or French seams, flats, or faux fell seams. Finally, finish the seams with a well-overcast stitch.

It is always better to plan and prepare well before sewing silks, as there is no go-back option once you have started. As said, you need to use the right tools, seams, and fabric to get the perfect stitch and look.

Top 4 Beneficial Properties of Linen and Cotton

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Linen And Cotton Properties

Linen fabric made from the flax plant and cotton fabric made from the cotton plant are both natural fibers. In colloquial usage, ‘linen’ may refer to household goods, but you need not confuse the term with linen fabrics. Below is a rundown of the properties of cotton and linen in a range of categories.

Durability and Strength

Linen is so durable that the material is even used to increase the weight of paper currency in the US alongside proportionately higher percentage of cotton. Linen still outweighs cotton, and linen fiber comes in various lengths. The length of linen contributes to the strength of the fabric, which goes to further its longevity. On the other hand, cotton fabric is made by spinning fiber into yarns and by weaving it into the fabric.

Moisture Absorption Rate

All natural fibers absorb moisture. Linen cloth can gain weight by absorbing around 20 percent of moisture, prior to giving the wearers a feeling of being wet, while still remaining dry when touched. That explains why linen clothes remain cool once worn. Cotton would absorb over 25 percent of the fabric’s weight in moisture alone. This affinity of both natural fibers is the reason why cloths give comfort alongside fabrics used in bedrooms. Further, linen is renowned for its properties that prevent microbes, something that comes in handy on towels.

How Linen and Cotton Feels in Hand

Linen turns lithe through handling, gaining elegance, and softening up. Although linen beats cotton in terms of natural texture, it still feels silky smooth in hand with a natural luster. However, both linen and cotton are subject to form wrinkles through usage. Cotton plants yield a fluffy fiber in clusters known as ‘bolls’. That is why cotton fabrics feel soft when touched. No other plant fibers offer the same level of comfort that cotton does especially at first touch.

Warmth

Hollow linen fabrics move both air and moisture quite naturally. When it is cold, wearing blankets made of linen will trap heat, giving warmth to those having a nap. When it is hot, linen cloth will provide coolness. Linen reacts to the body as per the seasons to provide warmth or cool achieved via the properties contained in the fiber. Cotton blankets and clothes also let users overcome variable climate. Its warmth is best felt being a natural fiber.

The Most Common Types of Fabric Used for Embroidery

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Common Embroidery Fabrics

It is a given that you will need to buy the right fabric for embroidery. Experts say that tightly weaved natural fabrics such as silk, wool, linen, and cotton are ideal for both hand and machine embroidery. Their weaving often makes sure that you have a coarse surface, which will support the decorative stitching. Applications such as damask stitching, however, necessitate a strong fabric that serves as the foundation to help embroiders embellish the pattern on a section of the fabric.

A background fabric is necessary to ensure that a pattern is embroidered. Natural fibers can be woven in a way that it helps embroiders stitch patterns on fabrics. Moreover, individual fibers run warp-wise and weft-wise, enabling needles to pass through each fiber threads. Yet when synthetic fabrics are used for embroidery, the needles that pierce the threads may fray gradually.

It is important to select a fabric supporting the style and thread count of stitches in embroidery. Thread count refers to number of warp and weft threads per square inch. Below is a look at the different types of fabrics used for embroidery.

Quilting Cotton

This fabric is most obvious choice as far as embroiders are concerned. Hundred percent quilting cotton fabrics are heavier than sheer fabrics used for heirloom sewing. Sheer fabrics are used to sew lingerie, blouses, or relatively lightweight clothing to quilting cotton. To quilt patterns on heavy bed sheets and the like, medium weight cotton is the best choice.

Fine Linen

Linen thread is stronger than cotton and is more textured. The thread count of linen fabrics tends to be between 80 and 150. Being a natural fiber made of flax plant, linen fares quite well in terms of durability.

Silk

Silk is often thought of as a flimsy fabric by most people, but that is not true for all types of silk fabric. Silk dupioni, for instance, blends the sheen of silk with a strong foundation that is considered as ideal for needlework. While fine silk threads run in a vertical direction along the selvage, raw silk run in a horizontal direction, creating a textured decoration on the fabric’s edge.

Besides these three, even wool and synthetic blends, apart from pure and felted wool, are ideal for embroidery. A benefit of stitching patterns on woolen felt is that it will not create a raw edge requiring hemming or finishing. So the choice of fabric depends on personal preference.

The Best Fabrics for Winter

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Best Fabrics For Winter

The first line of defense of our body against hypothermia in the winter season is the clothing we wear. However, there are plenty of different types of fabrics available in the market and each one of them has radically different properties. This means that choosing a wrong fabric or mixing clothes of different materials might get a little bit disastrous for you during the winter season.

If you are planning to spend a quality amount of your time outdoors in the winter, then you will need to do a little bit of research to find the right type of fabric. Some types of fabrics that will enable you to maintain a comfortable body temperature and help you to enjoy the outdoor activities during the cold winter are as follows.

Wool

Wool is one of the warmest fabrics available in the market and it is also available in a wide variety of textures and weights. It is crucial to note that fine wool fabric is less itchy than coarse wool, which means that it is best to settle for the former one. In addition to that, you should also realize the fact that wools blended with other types of fabrics will not be that warm when compared to clothes that are entirely made of wool.

Silk

The elegant fabric, silk has a dripping soft texture, which is one of the reasons for their immense popularity. This natural fiber made from the cocoon of the silkworm will keep you toasty during the winter season. Some of the silk fabrics available in the market are capable of absorbing moisture, which will in turn help you to maintain an even body temperature when you move from the warm indoor temperature to the cold outdoor temperature. Moreover, silk fabrics are also lightweight and they adapt extremely well to layering.

Flannel

Flannel is actually a knitted fabric, which is usually made of cotton or a blend of different fabrics. Wool and synthetic blends or loose wool and cotton blends offer light to medium weights of flannel fabrics. Most of the flannel fabrics are thin and they maintain an even temperature during the winter. They are also less expensive than silk, cashmere, and wool. Besides, most of the flannel fabrics are incredibly soft against the skin, which makes them a lot more comfortable to wear.

How to Pamper your Fabrics

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Types Of Fabrics

Most of the people trust professionals for cleaning their costly fabrics, but in many cases, it is just a waste of money. You can also tackle this job if you give it some time and care. The basic guidelines that you must follow to clean your fabrics efficiently are given below.

  • Remove the loose dirt by vacuuming or brushing. Do not let it stay for longer, as it will go deep into your fabric.
  • You can use adequate stain repellant methods if you fail to remove it by simple bloating and brushing method.

Different fabrics are made of different fibers and hence none of them can be cleaned by using the same methods. Below are some methods for cleaning different fabrics.

Cotton

Cotton fabrics tend to shrink after washing unless they are pre-processed or preshrunk. So read the instructions on the label well before washing the fabric. Usually, cotton fabrics that are preshrunk can be cleaned using hot water, warm water, or cold water according to the color of the fabric. You can also tumble dry them.

Chlorine Bleach can be added while washing white cotton to remove stains and also washing in cold water will preserve the color of your fabric. Additionally, dry your cotton clothes over medium heat and do not forget to take them from the dryer while they are fairly cool.

Linen

Linen is comparatively a costly fabric, so check the instructions on the label before washing them, as most of them must be dry-cleaned. If the cloth is machine washable, clean them according to the labeled instructions and also make sure to use the appropriate water according to the garment color.

Linen absorbs more water than other fabrics during washing time. So always try to prevent overcrowding in the washer and dryer. Additionally, take care to keep the steam in a hot iron setting while ironing fabric and also iron them inside out only.

Silk

Silk is one of the most expensive fabric and people try to clean it themselves only in rare cases. Read the instruction carefully before washing this becuase some of the silk fabrics will pucker or tighten if washed. If they are washable, then use a mild shampoo or delicate detergents to wash them, as it will revitalize the fiber.

It is best to hand wash them rather than machine washing. You should also try to use washing agents without any conditioning additives of oil and wax. Take care not to tumble your silk fabric in a dryer, instead roll them in a towel, and hang them to dry after pressing the moisture out. Furthermore, use a warm iron to press them.