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Our home is an extension of our body, an outer shell. How we furnish our home environment is as important as the quality of food that we eat and the quality of the air that we breathe.
You may be surprised to know that, in our ‘modern’ world it has become usual to preserve home furnishings in the same way as foods, as a means to improving wear or maintenance, texture or appearance. Additives such as formaldehyde are used to make fabric ‘crease resistant’ or ‘easy-care’ and remnants of chemicals used in the dying process such a dioxins and even heavy metals are often present. Even many so-called natural fabrics have been treated with potentially harmful chemicals, either during the growing cycle, to improve crop resistance and increase harvest, or as applied finishes. These chemicals can pose a threat to human health and well-being.
Non-synthetic fibres such as cotton, linen wool, jute, sisal, coir, hemp, bamboo can be processed in ways that demand less treating although cotton is a very thirsty plant and does need large amounts of water to grow sucessfully. These fabrics can also be coloured with natural dyes which have far less impact on the environment. They are also biodegradable and can be recycled. Hemp for example has a very long life, being very hard wearing, and its texture actually tends to improve with age.
For some examples of how to become more green and take the first steps towards using eco fabrics in the home, visit http://www.designercushionsandthrows.co.uk