Chemical fibres of natural origin for baby and children's clothing
In addition to natural fibres, chemical fibres are also used in the textile industry. Natural cellulose is used in the production of natural man-made fibres. This is obtained from the wood of coniferous or deciduous trees such as eucalyptus, bamboo, pine or beech. Linters, the short-fibred seed hair of cotton, are also used for production. In the manufacturing process of the individual fabrics, the cellulose is first extracted from the wood and then processed into fibre in a very elaborate process.
Baby and children's clothing made from chemical fibres on a natural basis
This fibre is made from a vegetable-based pulp with the help of acetic acid. This process is also called esterification, which is only partially done in textile manufacturing. Acetate is a pleasant, light fabric used in textile production for tight-fitting clothing such as skirts.
Bamboo viscose is a semi-synthetic fibre. Bamboo fibres are produced in two different ways, mechanically and chemically. Primarily, bamboo fabric is produced by chemical processes, with the viscose process being the more preferred. In this process, bamboo leaves and shoots are processed in a chemical process until they become viscose yarn.
Due to its rapid growth rate and its versatility, bamboo is also called the material of the future. Due to its biodiversity, it can thrive in different climatic zones on more than 70% of the earth's surface. Because of its immensely fast growth, it is one of the fastest renewable resources on earth. Its versatility is evident in its use as food, as a building material, as a viscose fibre in the textile industry and its use for objects in various crafts. Bamboo is also food for giant pandas, which are threatened with extinction.
Clothing made of bamboo has the following positive wearing properties:
- comfortable, breathable, moisture-wicking, dries quickly, regulates heat and is anti-static.
Bamboo contains a natural biological agent, called "KUN" in Japan, which has an antibacterial effect even after several chemical processing steps. This natural active ingredient prevents bacteria from settling on textiles, for example, and thus also prevents bad odours caused by perspiration. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic by nature. The only disadvantage of bamboo viscose is the use of chemicals in the production of the fibre.
Can it be a little shinier? This glossy effect is achieved by using viscose. The basic material is wood or cellulose. By adding chemicals, a semi-synthetic fibre is created that is often used in textile processing if the end product is to be shiny. Viscose is also called artificial silk because of its shiny fibre.
The positive properties of viscose are that the fabric is flowing, very light and soft. It is also highly absorbent, breathable and has a cooling effect.
On the downside, there is the aforementioned use of chemicals. But also that the articles tend to crease or wrinkle more quickly and have hardly any elasticity. There is also a higher probability that the garment will shrink a little during the washing process, depending on the percentage of the material.
Modal is produced on the basis of cellulose and is called regenerated fibre. This is obtained from beech wood. It is a viscose fibre that is structure-modified. In its production, only the composition of the spinning bath is different.
The production of Modal uses less water and energy than cotton. The advantages of this modal fibre are that it has many positive wearing properties, as well as being long lasting and easy to care for.
Positive properties are:
- it has good breathability
- it is silky soft
- very elastic
- has a higher strength
- easy to iron
- hardly forms creases and is cooling.
The disadvantage of the fibre is that it hardly warms and is not suitable for textiles in the winter season.
Like modal and viscose, this fabric is made from biodegradable cellulose and is a regenerated fibre. For this purpose, the wood from eucalyptus trees, but also from oaks, bamboo and birch trees, is used and processed into a wood pulp in a direct solvent process. The cellulose is then filtered and transformed into light-coloured, long and thin fibres in a spinning process. The fibres are then washed, dried and lubricated before being processed into a yarn and woven into Lyocell fabric.
Lyocell is very sustainable as very little water and energy is used in its production. It is 100% biodegradable and the solvents are collected and reused. Another advantage is the use of eucalyptus trees, which can grow over all. These grow very quickly, requiring very little water or pesticides.