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Fabric Guide

Fabric Guide


Natural Fiber Fabrics

Textiles made of animal or vegetable fibers. For thousands of years, humans have made clothing from natural fibers. From an environmental perspective natural fibers are non-toxic, renewable, biodegradable, use less energy and create less pollution during manufacturing. Thinking in terms of your health, natural fiber fabrics are the only choice for those sensitive to chemicals, for those who value health and for those who desire breathability, durability and high quality. Wearing natural fibers integrates and grounds you with the natural environment. Examples include, cotton, hemp, flax, silk, ramie, wool, alpaca, angora and jute.


Synthetic Fiber Fabrics

Synthetic fabrics are textiles made entirely from man-made chemicals. The industry also uses the term Manufactured Fabrics (MF) for all of these fabric types.  Examples include nylon, spandex, polyester, acrylic, acetate, rayon and lycra. Synthetic fibers are generally made from synthesized polymers, plastics. The compounds that are used to make these fibers come from raw materials, such as petroleum based chemicals which are toxic to make and toxic to wear. Numerous medical studies have pointed out the negative impacts on the human body of those who wear synthetic fabrics. Environmentally speaking, synthetics are non-renewable, non-biodegradable and contribute greatly to pollution.


Organic Vegetable Fiber

Organic fiber includes cotton, wool, hemp, flax and other natural fibers grown according to national organic standards without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetic engineering. Organic fibers are grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. Third-party certification organizations verify that organic producers use only methods and materials allowed in organic production. Federal regulations prohibit the use of genetically engineered seed for organic farming.


Organic Animal Fiber

In order for animal based fibers to be organic they must be produced in accordance with federal standards for organic livestock production.  Federal requirements for organic livestock production include: Livestock feed and forage must be certified organic, use of synthetic hormones, antibiotics and genetic engineering is prohibited and the use of synthetic pesticides (internal, external and on pastures) is prohibited. Certified organic animal welfare standards address areas including feed rations, appropriate housing, pasture conditions and sanitation practices for animals; conditions which allow for freedom of movement and reduction of stress, prevention of disease, and administration of approved medications.


Merino Wool

Merino wool comes from the merino sheep, one of the world’s most ancient breeds of sheep and one of the toughest. The merino’s fleece is built for extremes – breathable in summer, insulating in winter, yet exceptionally soft and lightweight. Merinos are regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep. Merino fibers are extremely fine and soft next to your skin. Merino wool is naturally flame retardant, wrinkle free, anti-static, odor resistant and regulates body temperature and heart rate. It is ideal for a range of products from performance wear to fine wool suiting. Merino wool is long lasting, elegant and renewable. 



Hemp is an extremely durable, fast growing, sustainable fiber that is drought tolerant. It is naturally eco friendly and organic, requiring no pesticides and fertilizers to grow. Hemp has a deep root system that helps to prevent soil erosion, removes toxins, provides a disease break, and aerates the soil to the benefit of future crops. The fiber is extracted from the stem of the cannabis plant to make textiles.The fibers can be spun and woven into a fine, linen-like fabric or blended with other fabrics for various effects.Despite hemp's enormous benefits as a fiber, the US government has been slow to legalize its cultivation in the US.  



Silk is a filament fiber formed from proteins secreted by Bombyx mori, or silkworms. Silkworms are not actually worms, but caterpillars. Silkworms spin a cocoon using just a single thread. The cocoon is collected to make silken thread and fabric. The silkworm is entirely dependent on humans for its reproduction and no longer occurs in the wild. It is native to northern China. It’s diet consists solely of mulberry leaves. Silk is a highly luxurious, exclusive fabric that has a miniscule percentage of the global textile fiber market – less than 0.2%. The shimmering appearance for which silk is prized comes from the fiber’s triangular prism-like structure which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles. Silk is the strongest natural fiber and it easily competes with steel yarn in tensile strength. Silk is breathable, durable and wrinkle free.



Cotton plants are a leafy, green shrub and a member of the hibiscus and cocoa family. They have cream and pink flowers for a short time only and once pollinated, the flowers are replaced by cotton bolls. Once the bolls are harvested, the fiber can be processed into yarn and fabric. Cotton’s fiber is incredibly versatile and can be woven or knitted into fabrics like batiste, canvas, denim, duck, lace, lawn, muslin, satin, velvet, taffeta, poplin, pique, corduroy, chambray, velour, sateen, jersey, terry, fleece and flannel. The world uses cotton more than any other natural fiber and it is primarily grown and used to make cloth. Since non-organic cotton is the most toxic crop on the planet and uses about 25 percent of the world’s insecticide use, Lana's Llama only uses Organic Cotton. 


Colorgrown Cotton

Colorgrown cotton comes from native cotton plants with a naturally occurring white, tan, green, yellow, red, and brown fiber color, which requires no chlorine or dyes. Naturally pigmented cotton was produced for nearly five millennia in Peru but with the advent of inexpensive dyes and due to the short staple length of colorgrown cotton, it eventually disappeared, replaced by creamy white strains bred with longer staple length centuries ago. Thanks to an American entomologist, organic colorgrown cotton is making a comeback in the organic fashion scene. Colorgrown fiber, mostly grown in Peru, requires very little water and is naturally pest resistant.


Organic  Cotton Thread

Like organic cotton fabric, organic cotton thread is spun from organic cotton that has been grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or genetic engineering. White thread is lightened with hydrogen peroxide whereas color is achieved with fiber reactive, low impact dyes. Our organic cotton thread is spun in Europe and is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. The fiber comes from organic cotton gathered from several sources, ensuring that the thread is a blend of the longest fibers available making it smooth and strong. In the old days, all thread was made of organic cotton but today almost all garments are sewn with spun polyester thread, which means garments made of organic cotton thread are a specialty, hard to come by. While it’s more exclusive and costs higher, it is well worth it for the quality and purity. 


Shell Buttons

Buttons made from all natural mollusks found in both fresh water and salt water such as abalone, awabi, akoya, mother of pearl, mussel, paua, and trocas. Natural shell buttons are lightweight and reflect a beautiful, natural iridescent and luminous color. Shell Buttons are captivating additions that elevate the value of any garment or project. Unfortunately after WWII, plastic became popularized and the button industry converted almost entirely to plastic. Today buttons made from natural materials, such as seashells are only found on higher end and specialty garments.


Corozo Nut Buttons

Corozo nut refers to the seed of the Tagua palm tree native to South America. The nuts are husked by machine and are sliced thinly so that they can be used as raw materials for button. The Corozo button has been produced in Italy since the 19th century, and used as decorations for the finest garments of the world. It is maintaining its reputation as a top-of-the-line natural material. Corozo is 100% natural, does not scratch easily, has a unique smooth feel, retains its vibrant color, resists fading, and has a stunning natural grain with a slight elegant sheen.


Herbal Dye

The herbal dye process was used by our ancestors for thousands of years. It is a natural dye process that uses plants, herbs, vegetables and minerals to derive colors to dye textiles, such as roots, berries, bark, leaves and wood. The process begins by washing organic greige fabric to remove debris, after weaving, with natural mineral-rich water and sea salts. To make the colors bright and fast, natural mordants such as myrobalan, rhubarb leaves, oils, minerals, alum, iron vat etc are used. In herb dyeing, finishing is done by sprinkling pure water on the cloth and then stretching under pressure, and applying oils such as aloe vera and castor oil. Then, solid and liquid waste is separated through the process of filtration and used for farming purposes. The Herbal Dye process has zero impact on the environment.


Low Impact Dye

A low-impact or azo-free dye is a dye that has been classified by the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, an international certification process, as eco-friendly. Low impact dyes do not contain carcinogenic chemicals, heavy metals or toxic mordants, which fix the dye to the fabric and no silicone or formaldehyde is used in the finishing. Bleaching is done with eco-friendly hydrogen peroxide. Benefits: Fixation or absorption rate of low-impact dyes is at least 70%, creating less waste water runoff than conventional dyeing processes, are applied at relatively low temperatures saving energy, the dye cycle is shorter than it is for other dye processes which means less water, salt and chemicals are needed. The entire process normally occurs at a pH of around 7.0, meaning no acids or alkalis need to be added to the water. Low Impact does not mean No Impact but it is certainly better than the standard dye process that uses over 8000 different chemicals in its various stages.


Non Toxic Laundry Detergent

Plant based detergent without toxic chemicals or synthetic scents. Most laundry detergents are derived from petrochemicals and over 80% of these chemicals have not been tested. Researchers have found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including seven VOCs classified as hazardous air pollutants. The chemicals in your clothes as well as the chemicals in your laundry care products do not completely rinse out and as you wear them, the chemicals soak in your skin. As you wash them, these chemicals find their way into our water systems. Chemical contamination of water from laundry detergent is significant, even manifesting gender bending effects in wildlife. Do your research to find a truly non-toxic laundry detergent or make your own with organic ingredients. What’s the point in buying organic fabrics if you’re going to wash them in toxic chemicals?


Non Toxic Dry Cleaning

Perchloroethylene or "perc" is the dry cleaning chemical used in 80% of dry cleaning operations in the United States. Despite what the name suggests, dry cleaning is not a dry process. Perc is a liquid chemical used for industrial degreasing and deodorizing. It’s used because of its ability to clean fabric without shrinking or fading. Clothes brought to the dry cleaner are submerged in the liquid solvent and then ironed. People who are exposed to high levels of Perc for many years are at risk for damage to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys, certain cancers and reproductive effects. Other known side effects of perc exposure include: dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness and death. Find a dry cleaner that uses ones of the following methods: CO2 Cleaning, Silicone Cleaning or Wet Cleaning. Germany recently invented the K4 System that should be available soon in America, which is said to change the landscape of the American dry cleaning market. We do not recommend dry cleaning our organic fabrics using a perc dry cleaner. 



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