Natural Fibers

Uimi: Organic Cotton Blankets

Posted by Penny on March 22, 2013
Australian Design, Kids, Natural Fibers, Organic Cotton / No Comments

Uimi Organic Cotton Blanket – Indiana in Navy

It’s getting cold in Melbourne! Time for hugs, hot chocolate, and blankets. Lucky Uimi have (literally) got us covered for gorgeous blankets and scarves!

Uimi Merino Wool scarves – L. Polly in Raspberry, R. Harvey in Black/Snow.

Uimi products are all made in Melbourne using Merino wool for their winter range and organic cotton for their summer range. They’re an amazing company, I love the way that their continued growth has resulted in some beautiful new patterns and colour combinations. You’re going to love them!

Uimi kids blanket in Merino Wool – Polly in Jade.

You can purchase Uimi blankets online and in retail stores from one of their stockists.

PS. Uimi are running a bit of a competition, closing March 31st. Check it out! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Ink & Spindle

Posted by Penny on July 07, 2011
Australian Design, Fabric, Natural Fibers, Organic Cotton / 2 Comments


Birch forest fabric drying by Ink & Spindle

I love Ink & Spindle. Lara & Teegs from I&S design & print the most beautiful fabrics, they are so lovely, and their commitment to environmental & social sustainability is inspiring. Hooray!

If you’ve been to their wonderful studio in Kensington you’ll know how nice it is in there, especially when fabric is drying hanging from the ceiling like sails on a boat. It’s like being in an indoor tent! If you haven’t been, they’re having an open studio on August 13th – schedule it in!


New fabric by Ink & Spindle

All Ink & Spindle fabrics are printed on a combination of organic, sustainable and fairtrade basecloths. Awesome.

Production of organic & fairtrade fibers for textiles is growing so much worldwide every year, which is fantastic. Often now demand for these textiles can outstrip the supply of them. I have often faced small delays when having my Pocket Carnival fabrics (also organic) printed, and whilst I’m not glad that they’ve had a delay, I’m so glad that Ink & Spindle have blogged about their experience with this. It can be really really difficult at times to commit to running a creative business 100%  sustainably & ethically when it’s so easy to nip down to the dreaded Spotlight and pick up some bargains, but when we commit to supporting fairtrade & organic farming we need to remember that it’s also a commitment to dealing with the occasional supply issue. I totally think it’s worth it when products as wonderful as Ink & Spindle fabrics are created!

Saffron, Robin’s Egg & Charcoal Allsorts Quilt Kit!

I’m totally fearful of quilting, but I hear that the Ink & Spindle Allsorts Quilt Kits are pretty foolproof… the quilts are also amazingly beautiful, so if you’ve ever fancied you might become a quilter, take a look at their kits here!

 

Visit the Ink & Spindle online shop!

 

 

If you love Ink & Spindle, take a look at our new textiles directory for more awesome environmentally & ethically friendly fabric printers & shops!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eco-friendly toy stuffing

Posted by Penny on June 29, 2011
Craft Supplies, Information, Natural Fibers / 16 Comments

When I first started making my Pocket Carnival softies I knew I didn’t want to use polyfill, but was pretty bamboozled by all the alternatives. Polyfill is so easily available, pretty much every craft & fabric store sells it, but it’s not a great product. Polyfill (polyester stuffing) is a petrochemical based polymer plastic product. Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, and polyfill is not biodegradable.

There are so many alternatives to polyfill, it’s just finding them that can be tricky. I’ve put together a list of some plant based stuffing I’ve come across, feel free to leave comments with more!

 

Corn fiber - this is what I currently use to stuff my softies. It’s 100% corn derived, has very low flammability and is non-allergenic. Corn is increasingly being used as a biodegradable alternative to petroleum based plastic in everything from tableware & pens to cellophane packaging. It does however have similar flaws to bamboo fiber – turning raw corn into corn fiber requires chemical processing – it also uses a lot of energy as there’s no ‘natural’ way to do it. Corn fiber stays fluffy & light when it’s used as stuffing, similar to polyfill.

Buy it: Innergreen.com.au

 

Kapok pod – image via gliving.com

Kapok - I admit, until I started researching toy stuffings to write this post, I’d never heard of kapok. Kapok (also called ceiba tree) is native to parts of Central & South America, and parts of Africa. It’s now also grown commercially in parts of South-East Asia. The kapok fiber comes from the plants seed pods (the actual seeds are used to produce oil!) Kapok is light and tends not to compact.

More info: Wikipedia. Buy it: Kapok.com.au (AU, fairly traded).

 

Cotton fiber - cotton grows into a cute & fluffy little puffball, and cotton fiber used for stuffing is cotton picked from the plant, which has been cleaned and combed. Organic cotton fiber has been grown organically, and is especially popular as a natural toy stuffing. Cotton fiber does compact significantly over time, so it may not be appropriate for certain toys, pillows or things that may easily compact.

Buy it: NearSeaNaturals.com (US, organic), Hollyburton Park (AU), Mohair Bear Making Supplies (UK), Ecoyarns (AU).

 

Hemp stem – image via wikipedia.com

Hemp fiber – hemp is a fast growing plant which, even when grown conventionally, requires very few herbicides and pesticides. The fiber from the hemp plant grows along the stem of the plant, and when it’s harvested it’s rolled, cleaned and carded. Then a steaming process is used to remove the natural gum from the fiber.

More info: MadeHow.com. Buy it: HempWA.com (AU)

 

 

Other stuffing options include agave fiber (also known as sisal), corn husk stuffing (unprocessed and shredded corn husk), animal wool (including sheep & alpaca), jute & flax.

 

Do you produce something using eco-friendly toy stuffing? Do you sell stuffing? Leave a comment and let me know!