Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Our Organic Cotton Fabric

We have chosen to use 100% certified organic cotton fabric produced by Cerrton. The range and quality of the fabric is superb and it is Made in Australia! We have received permission by Cerrton to post the following information regarding the manufacture of their fabric.

The cotton in our ‘Certton’ range of fabrics is certified organic. We source raw certified organic cotton and certified organic cotton yarns from Australia, India & Turkey. All our fabrics are made in Australia. Certified organic cotton is farmed without the use of pesticides, genetically modified seed or synthetic fertilizers. The soil is built up over the years to retain moisture and fungus enabling in our case the organic cotton to prosper on a dry land (non-irrigated) farm.

Once the cotton is picked, the cotton is passed through a gin where the seeds and leaves from the plants are separated from the cotton fibre. The gin is cleaned out of conventional cotton fibre prior to our organic cotton being processed. The ginned organic cotton is then packed into bales and each bale is tested by an independent body for its quality. Our Australian organic cotton is tested and classed by Australian Classing Services based in Narrabri, NSW, Australia.

The organic cotton lint is then transported to a spinning mill in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The spinning mill is cleaned out of conventional cotton and our organic cotton is spun into yarn. Our imported ring spun and combed cotton certified organic cotton yarns are shipped directly to our Australian fabric factory partner.

Opening, Blending and Cleaning
Opening, blending and cleaning are the first operations at the spinning mill. A row of bales is opened and blended to ensure a consistent and homogeneous blend. The fibres are also cleaned to remove contaminants/ extraneous matter, such as leaf and bark.

Carding individualises and aligns the fibres, and then condenses the fibres into a single continuous strand of overlapping fibres called “sliver”. Short fibres and fibre entanglements (referred to as neps) are removed during carding.

Drawing is the process where the fibres are blended and straightened. The drawing process also improves the uniformity of the sliver. The number of drawing passages utilized depends on the spinning system used and the end product.

In preparation for ring spinning, the sliver needs to be condensed into a finer strand, known as a roving, before it can be spun into a yarn. The roving frame draws out the sliver to a thickness of a few millimetres and inserts a small amount of twist to keep the fibres together

Open end spinning technology was introduced in the mid 1960 ‘s and there are currently 8 million spindles installed world wide and together with ring spinning account for over 95 % of short staple yarn produced world wide. Sliver is fed into the machine and combed and individualized by the opening roller. The fibres are then deposited into the rotor where air current and centrifugal force deposits them along the groove of the rotor where they are evenly distributed. The fibres are twisted together by the spinning action of the rotor, and the yarn is continuously drawn from the centre of the rotor. The resultant yarn is cleared of any defects and wound onto packages. Rotor yarns are used in numerous products such as denim, towels, blankets socks, t-shirts and pants.

The certified organic cotton yarn we import has been ring spun. Ring spinning technology is not available in Australia.

Our single jersey fabric is knitted on a cylinder machine in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The cylinder machine is a single latch machine with a higher running speed and is capable of knitting a wider range of structures.

We bleach our fabric through an oxidization process to remove impurities from the fabric. We use the J-Box continuous bleaching system which uses sodium chlorite applied to the fabric at 3.9PH and temperature of 95-98%. This system of bleaching is the most environmentally friendly bleaching method available and provides a stronger, softer and whiter fabric.

We use the Jet & wash exhaust dyeing method whereby the fabric is treated with a diluted solution of dye, gradually transferred to the material. This creates a colourfast fabric that lasts. It is necessary to control the rate of dyeing by progressively adding dye to the dyebath. By circulating the fabric through the dyebath, the fabric can be evenly penetrated. Our Natural fabric is not penetrated with any dyes. The dyes in our fabric's all conform to the environmental standards of the Oeko - Tex standard.

Our organic cotton fabric is finished in open width form, sut open on a fabric sutting machine and then passed through a stenter. The stenter dries and heats the fabric at 185 degrees C in a series of heating chambers. The overfeed action of the stenter removes the processing tensions and produces a non shrink fabric.
This information has been provided by Cerrton - Australian Made certified organic cotton fabric.


  1. Hey Mama, thanks! We are so excited about our Free Range Clothing - we have just completed our last photo shoot (there have been 6 since December!)and making all the necessary changes to the website. The website will be going live in the next couple of weeks and we expect to have our range available for purchase mid March (all going to plan of course!) We'd love for you to follow our blog, as we add more info on our range and make the majorly anticipated announcement! Cheers.