Friday, May 10, 2013

I will post part of my research on the Toxicity of Textiles (#1)

Please bear with me if you are not interested.  There are some of us who are affected by the chemical finishes on cloth and I'll edit where I can, the following report.  It may help some here.  RoseyP in Canada.  This is the first section of my research report:

The following questionnaire was sent out to a number of textile converters of quilt cloth:
1. If applicable, please name the chemicals used during the growing process of cotton.
2. If applicable, please list all the names of chemicals used during the cleaning and weaving of the cloth.
3. During the finishing process of cotton cloth please list the names and uses of all chemicals used during this process.
The names of the converters contacted are as follows (late 1980’s);
Cranston VIP PrintWorks,  Alexander Henry Fabrics,  Gutcheon Patchworks, Inc.  Hoffman International 
Peter Pan Henry Glass and Co.,  Springmaid Wamsutta,  RJR Fashion Fabrics,  Mission Valley Textiles, 
Concord House.  (note:  some of these companies may no longer be in business, Jeff Gutcheon, for example).

Of these, RJR Fabrics and Cranston Print Works were the most forthcoming with their information. Gutcheon Patchworks did not respond to the questionnaire itself.  Cranston Print Works response: “the majority of our fabrics are treated with glyoxal resins which help minimize shrinkage and wrinkling after washing. Several types of softeners, including silicone, cationic types and polyethylene are included to enhance the feel of the fabrics”   RJR Fabrics responded that “hand builders are often added to make a firmer hand. There are a wider variety of chemical types i.e. starches, polyvinyl alcohol, polyvinyl acetate or acrylics. Some are durable, some semi-durable.
Personal Comment: As so few converters were willing to share their knowledge of chemicals – one even going so far as to say that I did not speak the language of where the cloth was being made (off-shore) therefore they could not communicate with me; another saying that as I was not a chemist I would not understand their terminology; yet another wanted to know who I represented before responding and didn’t. One company on the west coast had a sales representative call me personally, who charmingly explained that she couldn’t divulge the information that I was looking for and confessed that she didn’t know anything about the chemicals or the problems involved but had been asked to call me in response to my questionnaire. I got the proverbial run-around from textile converters. Following this I researched and contacted organic growers of cotton to find what chemicals they did not use in growing, weaving and finishing their natural cottons. I learned more from them than in any direct contact with the quilt textile industry.


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