So I have decided to avoid contact with artificial fibers as much as possible and am planning to sort my clothes, bed linens, towels, etc soon.
What are the most paleo or healthiest fabrics?
I tend to think cotton, linen, wool, silk, but I don't know how long these have been in our history. I'm afraid of thinking they are OK since they are "natural", only to later find out that they are as paleo as soy... and then having to buy new clothes again!
Also, it would be interesting to know which dyes in clothing are OK, since I've heard that dark colors such as blue, purple, black, brown may be less healthy than others. Any info on that?
asked byPedrita (467)
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on March 12, 2012
at 09:38 PM
My tendency is to go with the list above (all natural fibers, but I also add in washable as highly desirable) and then buy used (after the smell test for off gassing) so that most stuff like sizing, leachable dyes etc is gone. Anything that has the slightest odor of chem perfumes from detergent etc gets washed with baking soda and ideally line dried in the sun. I avoid anything that has a dry cleaning smell or has to be dry cleaned. (In my experience, a lot of things that say they need it don't) My main issue is does it breath? Non-organic cotton is grown with HUGE amounts of pesticides so one reason I buy used cotton is to avoid adding to the pesticide load out there.
Of course you also get into the issue of essentially slave labor clothing factories, so buying used, older, American or European made helps alleviate that problem. Slavery isn't paleo!
You can find lots of info on clothing/fashion issues from labor to pesticides to more here: http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/the-issues
Added: If you've got the cash (I rarely do) there are wonderful fair trade clothing places out there with beautiful fabrics etc.
on March 12, 2012
at 08:42 PM
Cotton, linen, wool, silk, leather, hemp, flax, angora, alpaca, cashmere, mohair, rayon (actually a regenerated cellulose (plant) fiber... usually bamboo, to be precise), ramie, jute.
Like everything else, the fabrics that you'll thrive in are n=1 choices. In order of how long we think we know that they've been part of human clothing:
- cotton [then a BIG gap to around 1920s]
*Technically, rayon is neither completely 'natural' nor completely synthetic. It is a mechanical manipulation of plant fibers to create something that is semi-synthetic, but which retains many of the characteristics of the natural fiber, including breathe-ability, evaporative capacity -- otherwise known as 'wicking', etc. Rather than being a petroleum product, as are most synthetic fabrics, rayon is not reactive for most people, with the exception of those with severe chemical sensitivities. In such cases, these individuals typically react more to the dyes used for rayon fabrics than the plain fabric itself, though natural-colored rayon is a bland, mediocre color somewhere between mud, oatmeal and khaki, which isn't really attractive on anyone, IMO.
on March 13, 2012
at 12:49 AM
I LOVE wool! I live in wool almost year-round.
Check out Icebreaker & Ibex for washable merino wool clothing that lasts ages! (I've replaced almost all my cotton clothing with wool.)
on March 12, 2012
at 11:04 PM
Make your own! There is hide, grass, bark, cotton, dog hair. Then again, you can do CT and go naked. Dogs come in all kinds of colors, so there is plenty of variety for any occasion.