Plant-Based Textiles and the Green Movement
Plant-based textiles have been an integral part of clothing manufacturing for thousands of years, of course, but certain plants are finding new life as part of ecologically-conscious green clothing. Here is a little bit about plant-based textiles and what is being done now.
Cotton has long been the go-to textile thanks to its versatility and comfort. But what many people may not know is that Philippinos have been blending it for years with the fiber from the pineapple, called “pina.” Pina is obtained from the plant’s leaves and fiber and it is not known for its strength. However, its delicate nature makes it a natural to combine with silks, and many couture gowns are being made with pina now.
Hemp in a multitude of forms has been used in the manufacture of textiles for centuries, but it is presently enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Manila hemp, which is gleaned from the underside of banana tree bark is recognized and prized for being one of the strongest fibers in existence.
Hemp textiles are extremely versatile and are used for everything from easy-care casual slacks to runway-ready fashions.
Soybean and corn are not plants that are usually associated with textiles, but they have become extremely popular members of the green clothing. Soybean fiber blended with cotton and other materials is notoriously soft and is a rising star in the production of infant and baby clothing; but soy and corn are strong enough to make adult shirts and outwear as well.
Those who are concerned about the environment can seek out green clothing that relies heavily on natural plant fibers. Many manufacturers take environmental responsibility a step further by recycling fabrics such as polyester into new and fashionable products.
The bottom line is: there are plenty of clothing choices we can make that will make a big difference to our planet’s health.
ArcMate Manufacturing http://www.arcmate.com/ offers eco green clothing such as shirts, jackets, vests, as well as shopping bags, tote bags, purses and other products made from recycled materials. Billings Farnsworth is a freelance writer.