Our group is currently undertaking a research on how to design babies’ clothes. After mush deliberations, our group decided to utilize fabrics made of organic cotton fiber. Our choice for organic cotton fiber is mainly because it is organic (Organic Cotton Facts, 2011). All members of our group are environmental cautious. We are all aware of the environmental damages that in-organic farming and consequent conversion of in-organic products into finished goods have to our environment. According to studies conducted by the US Department of Agriculture, cotton farming is ranked the third largest source of water pollution (Organic Cotton Clothing, 2011). In one year alone, over 50 million pounds of pesticides are used on US cotton fields, which cause contamination of water bodies, pollution of drinking water, destruction of the aquatic ecosystem, and pesticide-related illnesses (Organic Cotton Clothing, 2011). Since we are environmental friendly, we choose to use organic cotton fiber because it does not use in-organic fertilizers, as well as pesticides during its production process.
In addition, organically produced cotton is increasingly gaining new competitive ground both on the farms and in the market place (Organic Cotton Facts, 2011). This is mainly because, as earlier mentioned, its production process does not utilize synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, thus making it relatively cheap for farmers to produce. The conversion process of organic cotton does not entail use of chemical dyes and bleaches, thus making it allergy free. For these reasons, our group found it appropriate to utilize a fabric, which is competitive in the market and whose production process is competitive.
One of the features of organic cotton fiber is that its threads are soft (Organic Cotton Facts, 2011). The soft nature of organic cotton fiber gives a comfortable feel when the worn on the body. This makes its suitable for babies because, when they are young, their skins are very tender and fragile. They therefore require wearing clothes that are soft, for maximum comfort, as well as avoidance of possible skins damage caused by rough clothes. The production and conversion processes of organic cotton fiber do not utilize synthetic materials. Therefore, fabrics made of organic cotton do not contain chemical components, which cause allergic reactions to the skins (Organic Cotton Facts, 2011). Babies’ skins are sensitive and may react badly when exposed to chemical elements.
Besides, organic cotton fiber can be produce in different colors apart from white. Scientists have been able to develop breeds of organic cotton, which grow with different natural colors such as green, yellow, reddish brown, and brown. Availability of color-grown organic cotton reduces the use of artificial dyes (Organic Cotton Facts, 2011). This property makes organic cotton fiber suitable for babies’ clothes since it can be used to make different-colored clothes, without use of artificial coloring agents, which contain chemical elements that are not friendly to babies’ skins. Studies also reveal that the cost of naturally grown organic cotton is approximately 40 percent cheaper than synthetically colored cotton (Chamberlin, 2012). Babies can have a change of clothes up to 10 times in day. This implies that a baby should have quite a large number of clothes. Clothes made of naturally colored organic cotton fiber are cheap, thus making them appropriate for babies since mothers can afford to buy as many organic cotton clothes as possible.
Studies indicate that organic cotton fiber has a crystalline structure of cellulose (I) (Mangat, 2009). Cellulose I contains lattice, which small molecules linked together in a sheet-like structure. Weak van der walls forces join these molecules together. Crystalline is responsible for the strong character of organic cotton fiber. It makes organic cotton fiber to remain strong during the spinning process and during the onward processes of washing (Mangat, 2009). This makes clothes made of organic cotton fiber to last longer.
The process of generating organic cotton fiber starts from the farm. The seeds used must be organic: not engineered genetically. In addition, it is important to use natural methods of pest control as opposed to pesticides. Once the organic cotton matures, it is harvested and ginned to remove cottonseeds from the fiber (Chamberlin, 2012). The resulting material is known as lint. The next step is to spin the lint to produce yarn, and subsequently woven to form organic cotton fabrics. During the spinning process, ginned cotton is carded in order to align the fibers. The carding process also involves separation of the longest and strongest fibers from the shortest and weakest fibers. The carding process helps in softening the resulting yarn, so that the resulting fabric can be soft as well. Before the weaving of the fabric from the spun cotton fiber, the spun fiber is first soaked into a starch solution, which helps the fibers stronger, clean, soft, and tangle-free. The spun is then removed from the starch solution and pre-shrunk in order to mould it into final measurements. Pre-shrinking involves pulling and stretching the woven fabric with rubber bands and steam (Chamberlin, 2012). The entire process does not involve use of chemicals. Any substances used such as starch are natural and do not have synthetic elements.
Currently, the apparel industry is making use of organic cotton fiber for production of various types of clothes. Over the last decade, consumer interest towards use of clothes made of organic fiber. This has made the demand for organic fabrics to increase in the market, thus resulting to increased number of players in the apparel industry. Companies producing babies’ clothes made of organic cotton fiber have also increased over the years. A 2009 survey done in the US indicated that sales of babies’ clothes made of organic cotton fiber increased by 10.4 percent. Some of the companies producing babies’ clothes made of organic cotton fiber include Kook wear, Organic by Nature, Cultivate Kids, Onno Textiles, among others (Cotton Organic Clothing, 2011).