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Textiles | Fabrics

District Leathers

Vegetable-tanned hides for creating your own leather projects. In addition to the vegetable tans link here, also see the “cow hides” and lamb hides” menus and choose “vegetable tans.” See their very informative Leather Buying Guide . Free swatches. “Vegetable tanned leathers are tanned using strictly organic materials such as tree bark. They possess warm deep colors. As veg-tan leather ages, it absorbs the light, oils, and air that it is exposed to which cause their colors to become more rich.”

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Cloth Foundry

Textiles and apparel (for women) in collaboration with nature. Natural Fibers. Natural Finishes. Natural Dyes. Our extraordinary textiles are obtained from prized and certified sustainable natural fibers. We manufacture in California with clean ingredients utilizing strict biological and ethical principles…We make textiles to be worn by people. Our fabric is designed to be in direct contact with our bodies. Produced with clean green ingredients such as cotton, a carbohydrate, real botanicals like indigo dye and minerals, for example calcium carbonate, the main component of pearls and eggshells; it is our belief that textiles and apparel should be made with the same consideration as food — naturally, and with nothing we can’t consume. What’s on our bodies should be just as good as what we put in them….Every product is designed to be cared for, repaired, and passed on–not landfilled. It is our hope that after a long life of use, it can be composted worry free.” Just go to their website and read everything. Especially their blog. A whole different viewpoint on textiles.

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Nature’s Fabrics

A great selection of natural fiber and fabrics, including cotton, hemp, wool, and bamboo, many organic. They also carry some synthetics, so choose appropriately. Many weaves and colors and some hard-to-find natural fiber blends, such as heavy cotton/hemp fleece. “We are a small family business living on a farm in NW PA. We strive to bring you the finest fabrics at reasonable prices.” The ordering process is a little awkward. To find description and price, find the fabric you want and click on “add to cart” to get to the description page. Then choose a “cut” and a quantity. So, for example, if you chose 1 yard and quantity 3, they will send you 3 continuous yards.

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Dharma Trading Company

This is one of my local California stores that has been around a long time—1969! They are basically a fiber art supply store, so there are a lot of things you may not be interested in, but I’m listing them here because fiber arts are about putting art on fabric and clothing, and they carry a good selection of natural fiber fabrics, clothing and other dyeables that can be used “undyed.” They have many types of cotton fabrics, including some organic and even 100% cotton for making sweat clothes, hemp and hemp blends, linen and linen blends, and many silk fabrics. Also extra wide natural fiber fabrics undyed for curtains or bedlinens. Clothing for babies, kids, women and men include such things as undyed cotton tank dress for only $16 and cotton sweat pants and sweat shirts for under $20. Clothing is not organic, but no dye and all sewn with cotton thread. Plus bags, wallets, totes. Yarns, lace, ribbons. Almost anything and everything. And they sell all kinds of dyes and markers (not all nontoxic) to make your own creations.

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A full range of fabrics made from hemp, plus fabrics made from hemp blended with other natural and organic fibers, including fabrics for clothing and upholstery. Many have no dye. Also hemp yarn, twine, and rope. Basic hemp clothing: t-shirt, hoodie, socks. Towels and tote bags. Samples of fabrics available.

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Natural Upholstery

“Healthy Upholstery—Without Chemicals.” Buy nontoxic upholstery foundation materials for your project here: premium wool batting, organic cotton batting, Oeko-Tex and GOLS certified organic latex foam, organic cotton ticking. In addition, they have lots of resources to help you with your project including a list of upholstery professionals and designers, makers and DIYers, instructions for your professional upholester, and a list of websites where you can buy organic uphostery fabrics. “My work at this moment is focused on creating positive change. For me this means building a resource for Makers to learn upholstery restoration using natural and organic materials. It means sharing stories, skills and imagination in an open source platform – where each of us builds upon the contributions of others to create something new and better. I can’t wait to see what you create! Large or small, impacting a single person or many. Hearing your stories and helping you transform your upholstery project into something that imparts a meaningful presence to your space is the best part of my work!”

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Foam Order

This website is not 100% natural and toxic-free, but if you choose carefully you will find some acceptable products and materials that are difficult to locate elsewhere. First, they will make custom cushions for you for indoor and outdoor furniture, boats, RVs. or anything else. They have fire-retardant-free natural latex cut in blocks and all kinds of custom shapes. Also down filling for cushions.Certified organic natural 100% cotton down-proof ticking lining. Organic wool batting and felt (look under “industrial”). Organic cotton mattress covers. And more. Take a look at this site if you want to make something custom.

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Fabric Worm

The largest selection of “purely organic fabric for quilting and craft projects” I’ve ever seen. Solid colors and many many patterns. Sold by the 1/2 yard and/or fat quarters for quilting. “We carry one of the largest selections of organic cotton fabric and imported fabrics on the world wide web. Whether you’re sewing for boys, girls, or yourself, you’ll find a beautiful curated selection of whimsical prints, as limitless as a child’s imagination.”

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This is basically a pillow website, but they also sell fabric by the yard, throws and bedcovers, pillow inserts, and floor cushions. “…made only from natural, non-toxic fabrics. Globally inspired throw pillows include ikats, suzanis, wax prints, organic cotton, vintage, batiks, indigo cloth and tie-dyes. The fabrics are woven only from natural, non-toxic fibers, using mostly ancient techniques and low impact dyes. A story, a person and a culture are behind every fiber. Most decorative pillow cover fabrics are woven on handlooms and the artisans are paid fair wages for their skills. Decorative pillow inserts are made with kapok fiber filling and organic cotton shells. Kapok fiber is natural, organic, pesticide free, non-allergenic, mold and mildew resistant, lightweight, odorless, silky, sustainable, washable and non-toxic. All inserts are made in the U.S.A.” And I have to mention colorful vintage sari parasols that are a must if you live in a sunny climate. This site is ALL about natural fiber fabrics and doing creative things with them.

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A colorful selection of knit fabrics that are hard to find in 100% organic cotton. “We produce all of our fabric within 150 miles of our Asheville, NC headquarters from cotton grown in Texas by the Texas Organic Growers Co-Op. The dyes used are low impact fiber reactive and are maintained in a closed loop system. Textiles are typically bleached and dyed. We avoid bleached fibers by using a citrus scour for our naturals and a peroxide wash derived from apples for our whites. On the subject of color, we use non-radioactive, heavy metal free, fiber-reactive dyes in a closed-loop system, preventing any toxic substances from being released into the external environment and allowing unfixed dye and water to be recycled.”

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Two Sisters Ecotextiles

The two sisters who created this website know more about toxics in textiles and how to choose safe fabrics than any two people I’ve ever met. After years of selling organic upholstery fabrics to the trade, they now have a retail site where you can get the best fabrics for all your fabric needs. “Surround yourself with fabric free of chemical residues that can trigger or aggravate health problems, who production has been safe for the earth, from a company that defines transparency….Safe enough for your newborn. Sophisticated enough for your mother-in-law. Tough enough for the after school gang.” These fabrics are gorgeous. Search by use or color. Fabric for apparel, drapery, tabletop, upholstery, and bedding. $1 samples available. Also readymade napkins, tea towels, and pillow covers. Website has lots of information about fabrics, how they are made, and toxics.

Listen to my interviews with Patty Grossman and Leigh Anne Van Dusen, co-Founders (and sisters) of O Ecotextiles

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Organic Cotton Plus

Organic cotton fabrics, without dyes, natural color, or dyed with low-impact dyes. Knits, terry, twills, wide sheeting, plaid flannels, embroidered, and more. Prints from Harmony Art  and others. Also organic cotton batting, yarns, lace, ribbons, thread and other notions. PLUS hemp fabrics, cord, yarn, thread and other hemp basics. Special page shows items Made in USA. They are a “fully GOTS certified business from our mill in India all the way through packing and shipping at our website, the only such certified company in the USA…The 100% organic cotton fabrics that we carry which are GOTS certified as finished goods are the Undyed Wovens, Undyed Knits, the dyed interlock in the following colors: Black, White, Pink, Light Blue, Lavender, Lime Green, Grey Stripe, Grey Melange, Pink Stripe, Baby Blue, Banana, Butterscotch, Dark Blue, Orchid Purple, and Plum, the dyed Jersey and Fleece in the following colors: Black, White, Pink, LIght Blue, Lavender, and Navy. The dyed Twill and Duck fabrics, all of the Daisy Janie fabrics, and some of the printed Muslin fabrics are also GOTS certified. All other 100% organic cotton fabrics that we carry have been made with GOTS certified organic cotton fiber but are not certified as finished goods. These are still 100% organic cotton fabrics regardless though.” Many of the fabrics are labeled GOTS-certified and come up when you search on GOTS with their search box. If you have any questions about which fabrics are GOTS finished goods, call them up and they will be happy to clarify.

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Renaissance Fabrics

While looking for ideas to make a Dickens costume for singing Christmas Carols with a local choir, I stumbled across this website, which specializes in wool, silk, linen, and cotton fabrics for the historical costumer. They also have historical trims, lace, buttons, and patterns. They have so many lovely natural fiber fabrics in patterns and colors and weights—things you don’t see in fabric stores. They have, for example, plain woven cottons, plus cotton damask, brocade, sateen, sheers, twill, velvet and velveteen and more. I asked about finishes and they said: “Most of our fabrics have some sort of finish on them but no permanent-press kinds that I know of.” They can tell because the fabrics need to be ironed. Even some of the trims are natural fiber—like silk ribbons. Fabric content noted on all items, so you can avoid the few that have synthetic fibers.

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HoneyBeGood Quilting and Supply

Quilting supplies—organic, fairtrade, and sustainable fabrics and thread, recycled batting and felt, and other supplies. Lots of colorful organic fabrics with interesting designs, batting and pillow inserts, long staple cotton thread in colors, patterns to make crafts…a great selection! “Karen is a long-time quilter with a passion for returning the art of quilting to a simpler, purer form, away from the harmful effects of conventional cotton to human and environment alike; away from the frenzy for mass-produced fabric that simply isn’t sustainable.”

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The Bamboo Fabric Store

Almost thirty types of bamboo fabric by the yard, 100% bamboo and 50/50 bamboo/organic cotton batting, and bamboo yarn for knitting. You could make bamboo clothing, bamboo mittens, a bamboo pillow…even a bamboo bed.  They also have links to goods made from bamboo fiber, and a link to another site in Australia with even more bamboo fabrics.


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100% certified organic European hemp fiber, fabrics, and yarn in a variety of fabric weights. Also hemp ropes, twines, and cords. ”Our hemp products are, of course, sustainably made with no sweatshop, child, or underwaged labor involved at any step of the cultivation or manufacturing process — this is something which we have taken pride in from the very beginning.”

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PM Organics

Certified organic cotton fabrics, knits and woven, in a variety of weights and patterns. Some made with naturally-colored cotton, others with low-impact dyes. Also yarns and notions. Website originated when some women got together to collectively purchase organic cotton fabrics for their own sewing. These are the fabrics these women find “indispensable.”

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Harmony Art

In these fabrics, art meets nature in the purest organic cotton fibers and dyes. Patterns have descriptions like these…”Whispering Grass was inspired by the foliage in my backyard. All of the plants in this print are native to the California redwood coast. None of them were planted, they just grow of their own accord…Let it Grow was sparked from a picture of the ends of boards of wood stacked on top of each other. The balance of circles within squares and life within death make this more than a print to me…While having lunch outside one day, I noticed the sun shining through the leaf of a bulb. It created the most beautiful stripe. As soon as I got home, I scanned it in and recreated the rhythm. As with all my work, the credit belongs to nature.”

Listen to my interview with Harmony Susalla, Founder of Harmony Art Organic Design.

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