Cotton is the purified fibre of the seed capsules of the cotton plant. Cotton is by far the most frequently used fibre of the Textile Industry. Over 50% of all fibres used are cotton fibres.
In 3000 B.C., cotton was already being grown in India. It was brought by the Indians to China. By this time, the Incas too were already using cotton. Between the eighth and tenth centuries A.D., the Arabs brought the culture of cotton from Persia to North Africa, Sicily and Southern Spain.
The cotton fibre itself consists of cellulose (carbohydrates); an inner vacuum is surrounded by several layers of cellulose, similar to the layers inside an onion. Its chemical composition as a carbohydrate
fibre makes cotton considerably less sensitive to heat and mechanical pressure.
Cotton, a mallow plant, grows as a shrub and reaches a height of about 25cm to 2 metres. After blossoming, the capsule opens up and seed hairs emerge from it. These seed hairs are the cotton fibres which, after spinning, are worked into a spinning yarn. One of the most important properties of cotton is the length of the fibres, the so called „stack length“.
Although cotton is a natural fibre, its cultivation is often problematic and involves high usage of water and agricultural chemicals. Cotton is grown on approximately 1% of the earth‘s usable agricultural surface. This 1% of land however takes up approximately 20% of all agricultural chemicals used worldwide.
Cotton can absorb about 20% of its own weight in moisture without feeling wet. It is pleasantly soft to wear, is permeable to air and actively breathes. It is highly resistant to friction and tearing. It tolerates high temperatures and can easily be washed at over 150°C. For this reason, cotton is the best material for sterile items in the medical field.
Cotton is a regular component of many items of our disana program. In the disana Nappy Set, cotton is used whenever high fluid absorbency is required – namely in nappies and liners. Once absorbed, the fluid is quickly distributed over the whole textile. A knitted nappy with a weight of 85g can therefore absorb and contain up to 100ml of fluid. Thanks to its chemical composition as a carbohydrate fibre, cotton is resistant to heat, mechanical pressure and many chemicals.
Care instructions for cotton
It can therefore easily be machine washed at 95°C. A hot iron will increase the volume of the
cotton and leave it feeling softer and fluffier.
According to legal textile labelling, only fibres produced from the cocoons of silk-spinning insectsmay be labelled as silk. Silk has a less than 1% share of world fibre production. 5000 years ago, the Chinese began to produce silk and they were able to keep the secret of its production for over 3000 years.
Mulberry silk moths, which deliver silk for breeding - production play the most important part in silk production. So-called „wild silk“ is produced from the cocoons of the Tussah moths. For the production of the thread, the cocoons are soaked in hot water and brushed. The threads from 3 to 8 cocoons are unreeled together, giving about 300-800 metres of raw silk thread. 10 - 11 cocoons are required to produce 1kg of raw silk.
In the production of mulberry silk only a certain middle section of the cocoon can be unreeled. The remaining part of the cocoon is used in the production of raw silk. Raw silk is less even and slightly knobbled. It is duller and more substantial than other types of silk.
Silk can absorb up to 30% of its own weight in fluid without feeling damp. Raw silk contains many antimicrobial materials. The healing and anti-inflammatory properties of these antimicrobial materials is also effective on human skin. Silk also feels pleasantly smooth and cool to wear.
disana Nursing pads are part raw silk which cools the mother‘s breasts which may become sore and even inflamed from feeding. Raw silk in the disana nappy liner is always effective when baby‘s bottom becomes sore. Placed directly on baby‘s skin, the healing properties of raw silk work quickly and any redness is soon cleared up without any use of powder or cream.
Care instructions for silk
Silk is very sensitive to high temperatures and will shrink if washed in too hot water. It easily gets dirty, but with correct washing, the dirt is quickly released from the silk fibres. Silk articles must be treated with care.
Qualities of wool
No other fibre, whether of synthetic or natural origin, combines so many positive features such as wool:
The wool has a so-called natural thermo regularization quality. Wool can take up water in the fibre inside. However, the surface pushes off water. It can take up water up to one third of its dry weight without feeling humid and it derives humidity substantially faster than, e.g., cotton.
As woollen articles (referring to their whole volume) consist of up to 85% of air, they are good warm insulators. The body warmth escapes only a little. Therefore, colloquially one says that wool "warms" well, although wool of itself only reflects the heat radiation of the body.
Wool badly accepts dirt, is sweat-resistant and antistatic.
Through its "recovery capacity" wool hardly creases, as the fibre is very elastic. Wool articles are virtually non- iron.
Wool is very colour-resistant and hardly inflammable. It doesn’t burn but carbonizes only.
Wool accepts few smells (e.g., from sweat) in contrast to art fibres, and has a natural self-cleansing function. Taken up smells are secreted to the air and the wool smells neutrally and freshly again after a short time in the fresh air. Wool can chemically bind sweat and urine and therefore neutralize them for a long time.
Thanks to its scaly skin, wool can get felt-like under control. In that way our soft disana wool materials are produced.
A clothes moth, a nocturnal butterfly, is called Tineola bisselliella. This moth has a length of 6 to 9 millimeters and is colored in between glossy yellow and dark brown.
The clothes moth prefers quiet living and storage rooms. The female places between 100 and 250 white eggs on woolen cloths, coats and upholstered furniture. About two weeks later light yellow caterpillars eclose. The main flight time between May and September is the most dangerous time for moth attacks.
To increase, the grubs need a protein called Keratin, which is available in animal hair. The grubs also eat strictly herbal and synthetical cloths but these cannot be stomached. Therefore mixed cloths with a high woolen percentage are in danger.
The moth’s meal/grub causes holes and bald spots in textiles.
- Woolen articles should be stored in closed plastic bags or in closed boxes.
- Hygiene factors such as a regularly suction, cleaning of the bottom and the scares of the storage shelves are important and help to decrease moth attacks.
- Moth grubs are in need of darkness and silence for their development, therefore the woolen articles should be moved from time to time.
- As a natural moth defense put some cedar, arolla pine or neem oil on a small cloth or a wooden stick. A small bag filled with lavender is also helpful.
- Ichneumons flies can be used as a biological defense. Their eggs are less than 1 mm and are laid down on the moths eggs. After a short while the hatched Larvae kill the moths eggs and larvae. This method can be used in form of small papers which are settled with Ichneumons colonies (to be found under www.nuetzlinge.de). The dimension of these useful animals is only 0,3 – 0,4 mm and therefore they can hardly be noticed with the naked eye.
- Attractants with an effectiveness of about 3 months can be bought in specialist shops. These attract the males by means of pheromones. They are proper to proof a moths attack, but they can only reduce the population.
- Moths-ridden articles and articles suspected of an attack should be packed in a foil and placed in the freezer for 4-6 days. The moth’s eggs and larvae will parish by cold and die off.