Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about caring for organic cotton clothing and linens.
Do I have to be especially careful when I wash organic cotton?
Not particularly. Shrinkage should not be an issue with organic cotton clothing or linens, so you don’t have to “buy large” to get a good fit. With that said, avid overheating your clothing. Drying with high heat can cause more than 4% shrinkage of any cotton clothing so, take reasonable care when drying organic cotton apparel or bed linens.
Conventional cotton apparel is generally treated with chemicals to reduce the shrinkage effects of heat. Organic cotton is not treated, so in high heat it is possible for the cotton to shrink more than 10%. Shrinkage is worse for the lengths of the garments and is less noticeable for widths.
Suggestion: Hang to dry. If using dryer, use Air cycle, no heat.
Will the colors in organic fabrics fade?
Eco-friendly dyes are just as long lasting – but not nearly as harmful – as the dyes used on conventional cotton products. They will fade if powerful detergents or bleaching agents are used but, with normal care, they should stay colorfast and lovely for a very long time
For the first wash, add ¼ cup of vinegar to the final rinse, this will help to set the color and resist future fading or bleeding.
How durable is organic cotton?
Organic cotton is not exposed to the harsh, fiber-weakening chemicals that commercially grown cotton is; therefore, with reasonable care, organic cotton will last many years.
Can I use bleach for stains in organic cotton?
Do not use chlorine bleach on the natural color cotton products. Bleach will fade the cotton from its natural color and weaken the garment's fiber strength.
Can I use my favorite name-brand commercial detergent?
The powerful detergents on the market today are filled with abrasive chemicals that are hard on delicate inks and dyes. They are also harmful to the environment, you, and your family.
Even having residual detergent from a previous washing in your machine can adversely affect the condition of your item. If you regularly use a popular brand-name laundry detergent, please rinse your machine before washing your organic cotton products with Woolite or a similarly mild detergent.
NOTE: This information relates only to the growth, processing, and production of Certified 100% Organic Cotton and products made from it. These claims may not be accurate for products labelled simply “Organic” or “Made with” organic. Please read labels carefully.
Source: Much of the information shared in this FAQ can be found at a variety of locations on the internet.
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