Caring for Organic Cotton, Linen, Hemp Products
Caring For Your Organic Cotton Linen Hemp Products
Untreated natural fibers make beautiful products. But they do behave differently than synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester as well natural fibers that have been treated with chemicals to stabilize them.
The Rawganique Difference?
The answer is a big YES. Our focus has always been, and will always be, purity: how to make beautiful useful products from strictly natural organic fibers. As such, we do not avail ourselves of pesticides, GMO strains, dioxin, formaldehyde, acids, and fabric stabilizing chemicals that are in common use in textile manufacturing, conventional and organic alike.
Avoiding chemicals was the reason why we set up our own small-scale manufacturing workshop, which has allowed us to grow, weave, knit, and sew our products so that we can control what goes into our products (raw organic natural fibers like organic cotton, flax linen, and hemp) and what doesn't go into our products (all the nasty chemicals).
At Rawganique, we are in service of natural fibers. We try to create products that showcase the unique properties of organic cotton, flax linen, and hemp fibers.
It all starts with the growing... We do not use any pesticides, chemical fertilizers, defoliants, or GMO seeds to grow our organic natural fibers.
And continues with harvesting and processing... We use natural methods to harvest and process our organic natural fibers. For hemp and linen, we use dew retting in the fields, which is the process of allowing natural moisture rot away the outer husks of the baste fiber stalks to yield beautiful long strands for our textiles. This is in contradistinction to the chemical and acid washing often done to speed up the processing of hemp and flax linen fibers, which boils the stalks to a pulp, which is then spun like cotton, thereby foregoing the beautiful inherent qualities of hemp and linen. For us, we choose the time-tested traditional methods that are more time consuming but safer and yield higher-quality long-staple fiber for our organic clothing, bath, bedding, and footwear products.
Then on to weaving and knitting... To obtain the purest fibers possible, we weave and knit our own organic fabrics whenever possible. The Rawganique Atelier in Europe is capable of producing a variety of organic fabrics, from the finest organic cotton, linen, and hemp weaves suitable for bedsheets and shirts, to stronger canvas fabrics for jeans and rugs, to our world's first and only 100% organic hemp knits and 100% organic linen knits that rival the handmade linens from the Old World, to rougher fabrics like burlap and shoe and bag fabrics. It goes without saying, of course, that we weave and knit our fabrics the organic way: without chemicals or acids or heavy metals of any kind. Our fabrics are raw and unprocessed and as pure as can be.
And cutting and sewing... Since everything is done in-house, we have complete control over the whole production process.
And, before our organic products reaches you, finishing... The final step is the most important step. This is where most textile factories apply dioxin, formaldehyde and a bunch of other toxins and chemicals to stabilize the fabric, delint the product, etc... Well, at Rawganique, we don't do any of that. We wash our products with unscented European eco-certified detergent, and steam iron our products to the crispness of traditional fine fabrics from Europe.
Most of our products are created in-house at the Rawganique Atelier in Europe for true purity. On a small human scale, so that we have a straight connection between growers to processors to knitters and sewers to finishers to you, the reason for our making organic products for the last 18 years. Our team of 50 artisans who help us create the purest products on earth are our family. We put their health and well-being above monetary profits. Much of the prices you pay for Rawganique products go towards raw organic materials and living wages for our artisans. We turn a small profit so that we can keep on manufacturing pure natural products for people who need them.
So how durable are natural fiber products?
From what we have observed, experienced, and learned, this questions begs another question: How do natural fiber products respond to care, use, and treatment?
In essence, we can say without a doubt that we do not do anything to degrade (no acid wash, no chemical stabilizers) the raw organic materials that we obtain from Mother Nature.
For our part, we have learned to live and enjoy the “living” variations of natural fibres. There’s a give and take to our organic cotton, linen, and hemp products, making each piece a unique work of natural art.
Raw unprocessed natural fiber products behave very differently, and more whimsically, than conventional textiles which have been through various chemical treatments, stabilizing, softening, which often contain synthetic components.
So, Rawganique's organic products are as natural as Nature herself makes them. Durability depends on the weather during growing and cultivation and it depends on how products are used, washed, and dried.
So how do you care for natural fiber products?
In general, natural fibers don't like top loading machines, abrasive detergent and fabric softeners, and high dry heat. Top loading machines twist and spin at high speed, often degrading the more delicate natural knits and woven products. High dry heat from electric dryers may make natural fiber products brittle over time, plus they "spin out" the lint in natural fiber products, making them thinner over time.
Conventional products have had many treatments to withstand washing and drying, but our organic products have not been treated in anyway, so in a sense our natural products are more susceptible to degradation by high dry heat.
We always recommend washing our natural fiber products on gentle cycle with like colors, using cold or warm water. Use laundry mesh bags in the laundry to collect lint. Avoid bleach and fabric softeners. Oxygen whiteners are OK. We also recommend hang or flat drying your garments. If you must (for products that can be machine dried), tumble dry on low and remove promptly just before. Steam iron organic cotton products at cotton setting and linen and hemp products at linen settings.
Hemp and linen products usually shrink up to 5% in length in the first few washes. Some of this comes back with ambient moisture. You can also often stretch the products back out when wet. Most of our organic cotton products are pre-shrunk unless stated on specific product pages.
We are passionate about natural fibers and find the naps and periodic unevenness in texture charming and characteristic of the finest handmade knits and weaves of yore. In our production, we never look to homogenize our products to a uniform sameness.
Ultimately, we at Rawganique are in service of natural fiber products. For us, purity matters more than homogeneity of a garment, and the give and take of natural variations is part of the charm of owning a truly natural, chemical-free product. We have learned to appreciate and enjoy the living variations of natural fibers, and to see each product as a unique piece of natural art. This is why, for example, our organic terry towels may lint and pill in the first few washes and full absorbency may not kick in until the natural organic cotton, linen, or hemp oils have been naturally stripped off in the wash — most conventional towels have been processed to stabilize the lint and chemically stripped of their natural oils for absorbency before they get put on the shelves. The same goes with our organic cotton flannel products — they may pill and lint as we don't stabilize the fabrics with chemicals.
We do everything we can to keep our natural fiber products raw, organic, and chemical-free. (And sweatshop-free, of course). Making all-natural products by hand creates individual one-of-a-kind items, each slightly different from the next - unlike machine-made, high-volume, synthetic and chemically treated products typically made in a controlled-environment assembly-line sweatshop. If you are particular and exact about length and width, natural untreated fiber products may not be suitable for you. We really cannot do more for purity. By applying chemicals to affect the look and behavior of our natural fabrics, we would be taking away from purity which our customers have come to expect from us and which we aspire to, so WE REFUSE TO USE CHEMICALS to homogenize our products. We thank you for your patience and understanding in our ongoing passion to create an eco-conscious, truly natural products for the body and home.
WE THANK YOU for choosing organic & sweatshop-free. — The Rawganique Team