EcoMall

GROWING ORGANIC COTTON T-SHIRTS
IN THE USA

May is the time of year for planting organic cotton in Texas. The soil has been prepared to receive God’s blessing of spring rains and compost has been applied to the soil for fertilization. The worst enemy of the organic cotton crop is a weed. To help fight this enemy without using chemicals, it is best to keep the land clean by plowing the land as long as possible before planting. The last week in May seems to work best for planting cotton in the Texas panhandle. Earlier would mean more weeds to contend with and later increases the risk of a shortened growing season if the killing freeze comes early.

After the crop is planted, there are about 6 weeks of TLC needed to keep the crop safe from blowing sand and weeds. This is accomplished through weekly cultivations and hoeing. Also small calves may be allowed to graze from May until September, walking the rows and feeding on weeds but doing very little damage to the organic cotton.

July turns hot and dry and irrigation is used to supplement the natural rainfall. The cotton begins fruiting at about 6 weeks and continues until frost. Harvest cannot begin until after a killing freeze as defoliant chemicals cannot be used. The freeze occurs on average around the 1st of November but can come as early as late September in the Texas panhandle. The fiber color is determined by the maturity of the cotton boll which is a function of the heat received during the growing season and the length of the season. Like wine, cotton properties are determined by the elements of nature and will vary from year to year.

Harvested cotton is ginned and shipped to a spinning mill in North Carolina to convert into knitting yarn, then to a knitting plant to be knitted into tubular fabric. This greige fabric then moves to the finishing plant for washing and compacting (to mechanically control shrinkage). Color can be added here as well using low impact dyes. If left in the natural color, the tale of the growing season will be evident in the color of the tee. The lighter the color, the more mature the bolls at termination. Immature bolls will have a darker fiber yielding an oatmeal color at worst and sometimes striping in the fabric if a mix of maturity is in the crop. The final step is the cutting and sewing of the fabric into an organic cotton t-shirt. For low impact pigment dyeing, the finished tees would then go to a garment dyer to get that earthy, worn look. All processes take place in the USA, even labeling and thread.

So from the “seed to the sewing” or “dirt to the shirt”, it takes from May to about March or April to grow an organic cotton t-shirt. And by the way, a t-shirt grown using chemicals uses about 4 oz of concentrated chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, growth regulators and defoliants. An organic cotton t-shirt???---Zero. Four ounces doesn’t sound like much but an adult t-shirt weighs about 8 oz.

Click below to e-mail this article to a friend
or to post a link on your favorite sites.
Thank you! Bookmark and Share

Written by: SOS From Texas


RELATED LINKS:



Shop by Keywords Above or by Categories Below.

AIR PURIFICATION AROMATHERAPY BABIES
BEDDING BIRDING BODY CARE
BOOKS BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS
CAMPING CATALOGUES CLASSIFIEDS
CLEANING PRODUCTS CLOTHING COMPUTER PRODUCTS
CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANTS CRAFTS
ECO KIDS ECO TRAVEL EDUCATION
ENERGY CONSERVATION ENERGY EFFICIENT HOMES ENGINEERING
FITNESS-YOGA FLOWERS FOODS
FOOTWEAR FURNITURE GARDEN
GIFTS HARDWARE HEMP
HERBS HOUSEHOLD INDUSTRY
INVESTMENTS JEWELRY LIGHTING
MAGAZINES MUSIC NATURAL HEALTH
NATURAL PEST CONTROL NEW AGE OFFICE
OUTDOORS PAPER PETS
PROMOTIONAL RESOURCES RECYCLED SAFE ENVIRONMENTS
SEEKING CAPITAL SHELTERS SOLAR-WIND
TOYS TRANSPORTATION VIDEOS
VITAMINS WATER WEATHER
WHOLESALE WOOD HOW TO ADVERTISE

 Green Living Magazine
Updated Daily!

* * * IN-HOUSE RESOURCES * * *
WHAT'S NEW ACTIVISM ALERTS DAILY ECO NEWS
LOCAL RESOURCES DATABASE ASK THE EXPERTS ECO CHAT
ECO FORUMS ARTICLES ECO QUOTES
INTERVIEWS & SPEECHES NON-PROFIT GROUPS ECO LINKS
KIDS LINKS RENEWABLE ENERGY GOVERNMENT/EDUCATION
VEGGIE RESTAURANTS ECO AUDIO/VIDEO EVENTS
COMMUNICATIONS WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ACCOLADES
AWARDS E-MAIL MAILING LIST


EcoMall