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F A Q

Prices.
Fabric prices are per running metre, fabric is supplied in one continuous length (very occasionally with larger cuts you may be given it in two pieces with extra given, let us know if that's a problem). Samples and items like teatowels are per unit.



Payment.
Cheque is fine, bank transfer is fine, credit card over the phone- let us know and we can call you. Secure card online is fine. (We don't keep your details) Paypal is fine.


 

Washing.
All our fabrics are washable. but they are made in different batches by different weavers and we have hundreds of cloths so I've got to be vague - sorry. Unfinished cloths will shrink a lot as they are not washed. Natural colour fabrics will shrink in general more than dyed fabrics.. Dyed fabrics are generally colour fast but they are sometimes hand dyed and batches can vary.
As a general guide -TEST. You can cut a strip and measure then wash and measure again- that's called a strip test and will give you an idea if there is bleed or shrinkage. Do ask, we will always do our best to advise.


 

Can we use your fabric to manufacture our clothing?
Yes , no problem, there is no restriction on how you use our designs.
We have mill made fabric and handmade fabric. Quality of both is very good but handmade fabric differs from machine made fabric, it may have irregularities, small repairs, it may shrink, one batch may be different from the next. Please take an extra moment with inspection before make up if you are using our handmade fabrics.



Are your fabrics certified?
All our cotton is certified by GOTS as being organic. Some of our cotton yarn comes from Agrocel and is fair trade cotton.
Muslin fabric is also 
Soil Association certified. Bamboo is from yarn that is Oekotex certified.

Please ask if you would like to see current certificates - we really don't mind and believe that we should all be aware of the possibility that people may jump on the 'organic' bandwagon without being true to its ideals.

We ourselves are not certified by GOTS or FTF (Fairtrade foundation). We are quite small and the way we work makes it impossible to work with large organisations who naturally have large overheads and fees to cover the great work they do. So for example if we wanted GOTS certification for our work in Kerala, they would have to send someone to inspect each of the powerloom workers that Genesh works with. They would need a paper trail for the yarn from source to weaver to dying to weaving to shipping and they would also need to audit our work in the UK. This is exactley what they need to do, but not feasable when you are working with two hundred different fabrics made by many different weavers. We do insist on GOTS certificates to cover all the yarn we use in Kerala
Mill fabric is different. The cotton mills we work with are all inspected and certified by GOTS.



Are your fabrics Fairtrade?
Fairtrade certification gives small-scale cotton farmers in developing countries the power to improve their livelihoods by ensuring they receive a fair and stable price for their cotton and the additional Fairtrade premium that is used by the farmers for community development projects.                                                                                          
Fairtrade... it's complicated. We don't hold a licence, we are too small, so we don't use the logo unless we are selling fabric imported by a third party who do hold a licence. Fairtrade logo covers the cotton used. It does not cover the actual fabric, but .... all our fabric is 'fairtrade' or fair trade - not 'Fairtrade'.... that is why we exist  -- to trade fairly.
We have so far  reinvested all profits into the company or to help the weavers. We distribute 10% of Net profits to staff and fund local community initiatives. We only use GOTS certified cotton, which assures that the cotton is grown organically. We only use GOTS certified mills which ensures that the process is inspected and certified as being okay.

 


Can we buy wholesale?
We import from India and Turkey, carry very big stocks and are able to supply wholesale to UK or EU or Australasia or USA

  • Just starting?? We would love to help. If you can order around 5o metres let us know and we will look at how we can help you..
  • Starting a shop? We can offer lower prices to shops. If you don't want to buy full rolls we can offer you 10 metre cuts. Happy to help you startup with wholesale prices. Buy samples first and then we can talk and advise.
  • Larger orders.We can offer lower prices for rolls. Rolls are usually 20 to 40m. The price of full rolls is negotiable. You would need to order several rolls. When you have ordered and seen samples please contact us -  phil@organiccotton.biz with your requirements.
  • We are increasing our range of 10 metre pieces for shops

 

 

Are your Dyes Natural
We have tried 'natural dyes' - that is to say dyes made from vegetable matter. There are several problems. 1) They are very unstable, they run and fade.2) This can be improved, but only with the use of heavy metal mordents (bad chemical setting agents) 3) They use huge amounts of roots etc - is this a good use of land? There is much to read and know. We use low impact approved chemical dyes which are efficeint and accepted as being safe.

This is Genesh, our partner, explaining the dye system in Kerala.
 

The dye house is having water disposing system with sludge treatment plant. The polluted water is going through different level of Tanks. In the first tank polluted water is collecting, then it overflows to next level tank filled with sand and stones, then over flows to another tanks adding Alum to purify,  It is in the sixth tank the purified water using to watering the plants. The sludge is dried in sunlight  and it is used as fertilizers.

 

Can we use your fabric for Toys?
We don't test our fabrics for EN regs, but there is a facebook group that has tested some of our fabrics.  Have a look here 
http://www.ahandcraftedbusiness.com/ce-marking-for-handmade-soft-toys/
and here https://www.facebook.com/groups/779808745368557/

Testing in UK is quite easy, - have a look here  http://www.hstts.co.uk/pages/home

Many of our fabrics are made in GOTS certified units and we only use GOTS certified yarn .We have asked GOTS regarding EN71-3

This is what they say -

GOTS certified products should pass the chemical requirements for EN71-3.

If not, that must be from contamination, therefore cease to be GOTS goods.

 

 

Does your cloth contain chemicals?
We don't use finishing chemicals on our fabrics and our fabrics will be free of harmful pesticides etc as  the crop i.e mainly cotton is organically grown.
Linens (Flax) and bamboo do not normally use pesticides.
We do not have information on clearance fabrics (usually linens) 
All cloth and yarn goes through some sort of sizing or washing-  soap is used, soap is made with Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide)
Bamboo is made into yarn using Sodium Hydroxide, which is a chemical derived largley from ash and salt so Bamboo does go through a chemical process to make it the yarn.
Our bamboo is certified by Oekotex as being free from harmful chemicals and our cotton being organic will  not have pesticide residues. We strive for purity
.

Is your fabric food safe?

We have tested our natural/white organic cotton doblecloth muslin fabric and organic cotton muslin squares. A copy of the certificate can be sent to you on request.

Can we print on your fabrics?
Our finished fabrics are usually fine for screen printing.
If they are produced in Kerela they will have been made by hand and may have the odd slub, knot or irregularity. Such fabrics are crossweaves, narrow twill, denim, medium weight. If this is important to you then please ask for more detail.

Mill made fabrics like poplin, cambridge, percale, wide twill, jersey, batiste will all be okay for screen printing.
Most mill fabric like poplin, cambridge, percale, wide twill, jersey, batiste will be okay( after coating) for digital printing but printers will have their own requirements so we would advise showing them a sample.
Unfinished fabrics- linens and cottons may be suiltable for screen printing but you need to do your own tests. Unfinished fabric will shrink after washing.

 

Are your fabrics sustainable fabrics?
Our cotton is sustainable. We beleive in 'reduce, reuse, recycle'. Growing organic cotton uses crop rotation. Low inputs are sustainable. Land can be farmed year after year without depletion or harm.

Below is from wickepedia about conventional cotton farming.

Main article: Cotton

Cotton, also known as vegetable wool, is a major source of apparel fiber. Celebrated for its excellent absorbency, durability, and intrinsic softness, cotton accounts for over 50% of all clothing produced worldwide. This makes cotton the most widely used clothing fiber.[1] However, growing and processing this particular fiber crop is largely unsustainable. For every pound of cotton harvested, a farmer uses up 1/3 lb of chemical, synthetic fertilizer.[2] As a whole, the US cotton production makes up 25% of all pesticides deployed in the United States. Worldwide, cotton takes up 2.4% of all arable lands yet requires 16% of the world’s pesticides.[3] Furthermore, the cotton hulls contain the most potent insecticide residues. They are often used as cattle feed, which means that consumers are purchasing meat containing a concentration of pesticides.[3] The processing of cotton into usable fibers also adds to the burden on the environment. Manufacturers prefer cotton to be white so that cotton can easily be synthetically dyed to any shade of color.[4] Natural cotton is actual beige brown, and so during processing, manufacturers would add bleach and various other chemicals and heavy metal dyes to make cotton pure white.[5] Formaldehyde resins would be added in as well to form “easy care” cotton fabric.[5]

Payment security.
When you pay you will be taken to the secure payment website to pay by card or paypal. We do not hold your details. Your details are only entered when you are on the secure payment website.We can take phone payments. We enter your details onto the secure payment website. We do not retain your details. Any concerns, please get in touch.

Tell us about Tencel.
A very sustainable and compfortable fabric made in a closed loop system from Eucalyptus trees.
There is a lot on the internet, here is one article - Tencel
and here is another- Tencel

Tell us about Bamboo.
There's lots to know about bamboo, it grows freely without chemicals but the process of converting it to yarn uses chemicals. The same chemicals are used to make paper and soap. Our bamboo silk and bamboo drape is 100%bamboo viscose. The process for these fabrics is done in a closed loop system.
Our bamboo yarns are certified by OEKO-TEX 100 as being free from harmful chemicals.

http://www.liahren.com/page/html/cert.php
I would urge you to research yourself and make your own decision. We take the view that it is far less harmful to people than conventional cotton growing.

Our jerseys are made in Turkey. They buy the yarn from this company - bamboo - The yarn is Oeko-tex certified.
 

Courier /postage costs.

We send out most orders the day after the order is received/paid for, but can slip a day or two behind during busy times.
We are really happy to look for lower costs on (slower) courier for you, or happy to refund if the automatic system has charged you the wrong price - please let us know.    

The normal maximum UK charge for shipping is around £9/10 for a large parcel - max EU price is £19.95  (plus vat)
Wholesale customers will pay courier at cost.
We absorb some of the costs of shipping but may need occasionally to ask for extra if you live in a remote area or in special circumstances.


Where's my stuff? UK

All UK orders under 2kg are sent via Royal Mail 1st class, which takes 1-2 days. Parcels over 2kg are sent with a tracked next day courier service (usually UPS). Let us know if you would like insurance on your parcel, or a cheaper option.

Where's my Stuff? EU

Parcels under 2kg are sent as an international standard parcel with Royal Mail, which takes 3-5 working days, although they have been known to take a siesta. Over 2kg parcels are sent with a standard tracked courier  (usually UPS or DPD) which takes 2-5 working days. Let us know if you would like another service.

Where's my Stuff? Rest of the world

Parcels under 2kg are sent as an international standard parcel with Royal Mail, which takes 5-7 working days, these also can take the scenic route. Over 2kg parcels are sent with a standard tracked courier  (usually UPS or DPD) which takes 5-7 working days. Let us know if you would like another service.

Interplanetary orders arrive instantly as long as you don't mind your material being dematerialized, just let us know your galactic postcode.


Tell us if we got it wrong - our weighting system is complicated.
Carriage costs are shown towards the end of your purchase. We try and keep costs as low as possible and in some cases subsidise the cost. We don't send small  parcels insured or tracked. If you want this service please ask and we will advise the cost. (We rarley get any problems but please ask if you want tracking or  insurance)
Postage cost samples are from £1. up  to about £3.95 (for the whole set) UK prices on courier are currently plus vat
We try really hard to get this somewhere near right and usually we subsidise the cost - occasionally we don't get it right (usually due to us estimating the the fabric weight incorrectly) so please tell us if you think you paid too much and we will refund without hesitation.

 

Environment policy
We look at every aspect of our business and try to make it environmental sound and fair. We ship fabrics, we don't fly them, we only use certified cotton, we use carboard packaging when we can. We recycle our cardboard and our wrapping. We don't get it right all the time, but we do try. We try and pay fair wages though we struggle with the word 'fair'. We don't screw down to get the lowest price from our weavers and we don't charge 'designer prices'

We 'live' on an eco park with 110 solar panels.

Is your fabric Bleached?

Oxybleach is the standard for organic cotton, our mill made fabrics are oxybleached - this is a system that uses hydrogen peroxide.(Rather than Chlorine)
Genesh our partner in Kerala boile and beaches the yarn rather than the finished cloth - here is his explanation
.

It is doing after boiling the yarn. For boiling soda Ash, silicate are using. Silicate cleared the stains from the raw yarn.
After boiling around 8 hours, the yarn stays in boiled water more than 12 hours. Then it is washed with plain water and enter on to the Bamboo Sticks.
This yarns hanged on bamboo sticks are put in the bath tank used in Hydrogen Peroxide.
After Bleaching yarns are washing to washout its foam etc.
For piece dyeing the fabrics are washed after bleaching to get maximum performance of color dyes.

Are the working conditions of your weavers good and are they well paid.

GOTS certified fabrics are made in mills, the mills are inspected and certified and the workers rights are covered in the certification.
Genesh our partner in Kerala writes (june 2017)...

Yes it is true the living and earning circumstances are entirely different in India.
As per our labor earnings, They are getting in between INR 400/- to  500/- (£6) daily as wages. In addition For Onam up to 16% of their annual wage level is distributing as Bonus + In the Time of Vishu Cash Leave allowances and leave wages are distributing. 
In another side, Three of our weavers control 2 looms hence they are getting more income, as they have more productivity than others and is getting INr1000-1500 per day according to the quality.
These people are like tiny entrepreneurs with Two looms at their home premises. So normally their working system is not affected with sanitation etc.

Most of our weaving section is working like a free institution with one or two looms which is running and controlled by the whole family members. Husband weave, wife wind the pirns, elder parents wind bobbins etc. Wife and Husband inspect the fabric before I am taking from them to take notice how their weave looks like.
Another side we protect some old  women who wind the bobbins. One of the lady's photo I was sending before. They earn 200-300 Rs daily sitting in the portico of the home hearing radio/ TV programs. They are very good people with plenty of experience with yarns. Finer to thicker yarns, Jute and Linens, Curling High twist, viscose  etc.. etc
Most of the people get a pension from the Govt of INr1000.00(Thousand Rupees). They are very Lovely people who express their good Looking attitude with a smile and Love.
I have decided to give a few amount to Mrs.Devaki, the old woman who pose for our photo, and was very happy to ready to take photos. She posed with her grand children that time, and I have taken the two print outs to give them.

What is GOTS.

GOTS is the certification body for our fabrics - Here is their criteria.
Our mill made fabric is GOTS certified. Our fabric used in Kerala is made using GOTS certified yarn
.

 

Do you use combed cotton?
This  relates to the cotton used in Kerala.... this from my partner Genesh
The warp yarns for Linen Looks, Cw Black Rich Blue Soft, red soft, and Denims are semi-combed. Most of the weft yarns are carded.
 

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