The earliest evidence of the use of cotton in the Old World, dated to 5500 BC and clearly it has stood the test of time.
What's interesting is that even though archeologists have traced it back that far, cotton can still biodegrade relatively quickly in a landfill.
# 1 Biogradable
That's because it is made of cellulose, an organic compound that is the basis of plant cell walls and vegetable fibers. The fibers break down naturally in landfills similarly to other crops such as food and plants. It's still going to take time for cotton to break down depending upon if it is exposed to the elements or not, but stacked up against other materials used it fashion, it is a champion (1):
- Vegetables:5 days - 1 month
- Cotton T-shirt: 3 6 months
- Wool: 1 to 5 years
- Leather shoes: 25 to 40 years
- Nylon: 30 to 40 years
- Plastic Bags: 500 years or forever
We use 100% cotton for the bags and home goods we design, sew and sell because it is earth friendly, which is important to us. And growing/processing/weaving methods are improving all the time.
Cotton can be woven into hundreds of different fabrics, including canvas, Pima, Egyptian, muslin, twill, lawn, knit, poplin, just to name a few. Change the weight or weave (texture) or blend it with other materials such as silk or linen and it looks completely different!
We use 100% cotton canvas for our products in a #10and #12 weight. It's not flimsy and has a great hand feel.
Nothing accepts color as well as cotton. You can dye it, paint it, or apply a myriad of other techniques and cotton will accept it.
We dye our own canvas for use in our bags and home goods. The colors are rich and pure and look so much better than commercially dyed canvases.
#4 Ages Gracefully
Nothing compares with a broken in pair of blue jeans. They're soft and comfy and fit just right. Denim, a very durable cotton fabric, gets better over time to the point that you keep those jeans a lot longer than perhaps you should. Same thing can be said for 100% cotton T-shirts and sweatshirts. How we hate to part with them!
Customers say the same thing about our handbags. Once you purchase one it's hard to give up. You love the way they wear, their history, the places they've traveled with you. They become part of your history.
The first handbag I owned from our collection was a Carol Crossbody in aqua with sunshine orange accents. I love that bag and every time I looked at it the colors made me happy! I loved the way it felt, the texture and the way it wore. It shared history with me. Eventually I gave it up and replaced it with another from our collection, but I still think about it fondly. Here it a photo of my bag!
Cotton fabric is used to make hundreds of thousands of products around the world, from heavy canvas sails and tarps to featherweight gowns. It can be fancy or plain, soft or stiff, rugged or decorative. It's really whatever you want it to be. It's up to your imagination!