I love working with organic cotton. My husband is an ecologist; we were both brought up to believe in the importance of conservation. So for me, organic cotton is a no-brainer consumer choice- almost a requirement; expected.
When I bought those first few meters of organic cotton bottom weight canvas, I pre-washed and ironed as I would for any cotton. –Now that I know organic cotton wovens better, I would recommend several wash/dry cycles because it tends to shrink slowly over time. I usually throw a length in with my towels several weeks in a row.
Organic cotton handles like regular cotton, initially feels like regular cotton, and even smells like regular cotton but it’s a completely different fabric. As my husband wore his shorts made from organic cotton, and I noticed the fabric changed nature over time.
Those pants have worn very well. They’re not what I would call “smart” for work, they’re more like the softest, coolest pair of jeans imaginable. They live in the “sweat pants” or “blue jeans” slot in my wardrobe.
After several years of sewing with organic cotton, I know it’s not my imagination. Like linen and hemp, organic cotton ages spectacularly well. The fabric changes over time. It becomes almost plushy, or “buttery.” Smoooooooooth, soft, delicious and surprisingly hard-wearing. The “warm fuzzies” from wearing an ethical fabric is far outstripped by the delight of this soft fiber against my skin.
Information on the ethics:
Have you worked with organic cotton? How does it behave for you? Do you notice the difference? Where do you like to buy your organic cotton? I like Funky Fabrix and NearSeaNaturals, but a simple google search shows me the market is exploding so I’d appreciate some leads!
(I added t-shirt pattern sizes 40V and 45V today. “Birds on the Wires Tee” is rather cumbersome, so I labelled these “Blank Canvas Tees” because it’s shorter and describes a purpose of the design- to showcase pretty fabric! That’s how I’ll refer to the pattern in the future….)
Edited to Add, December 31, 2012: Check out this post for a great online shopping guide to eco-knit fabrics.