Gallery View: Recycled, organic denim fabrics gain traction

More suppliers adopt "green" materials as ecological consciousness among buyers increases.

February 15, 2017

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More suppliers adopt "green" materials as ecological consciousness among buyers increases.

With demand for environment-friendly alternatives to traditional textiles growing, several makers of denim fabrics in China are switching to recycled and organic materials. Among the popular sustainable options are organic cotton, modal and Tencel.

Organic cotton is grown under chemical-free conditions, and possesses a distinct weight and smooth drape as its natural wax is retained during processing. Textiles in the material should be GOTS-compliant. Modal comes from reconstituted beech cellulose, and has a strength and hand similar to polyester and silk, respectively. Tencel is a byproduct of conifer trees. It is moisture-wicking and soft, and has an easy drape.

Fabrics are available in various constructions depending on the intended purpose. Slub-knitted variants suit pants and leggings while twill versions can be used in different apparel. Many come with functional finishes for improved shrink resistance and moisture absorbency.

The products in this gallery represent the current trends in recycled and organic denim fabrics.

Silk-like hand

The model LS15-169 denim fabric from Changzhou Showsha Textiles Co. Ltd adopts mercerized 50:50 cotton-modal with a hand that is similar to silk. It boasts shrink-resistant and moisture-absorbent features. Fabric weight is 6.3oz, yarn count 16x21/96x50 and width 57 or 58in. Colors and patterns are customizable. An MOQ of 3,000yd can be delivered within 35 days.

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Slub-knitted

Changshu Suntex Trading Co. Ltd's KD08 model is a slub-knitted denim fabric made of 50:45:5 rayon-polyester-spandex. The textile is elastic and moisture-absorbent. It weighs 210gsm, and suits pants and leggings. A minimum order of 100m is required. Delivery lead time is between 15 and 20 days.

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Double-layer

Kinghood (Quanzhou) Textile Development Co. Ltd's JFD591 model is a double-layer woven denim fabric utilizing 51:42:7 cotton-Tencel-polyester. The single-dyed textile weighs 341gsm and measures 57 or 58in wide. Yarn count is 2x200d/78x68. The supplier requires an MOQ of 100m. Delivery lead time is 15 to 20 days.

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Plain-dyed twill

The model NY-H719D knitted denim fabric from Ningbo Nanyan Import & Export Co. Ltd uses recyclable 48:47:5 polyester-cotton-spandex. It weighs 290gsm and comes in a plain-dyed twill construction. Yarn count is 21s+150d+40d while width is 62 or 63in. Black, yellow, red, blue and indigo are the color options. The fabric goes for $2.50 to $3.60 per meter for an MOQ of 2,000m. Delivery lead time is 30 to 60 days.

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Uses hemp, organic cotton

Prosperity Textile (H.K.) Ltd offers the model A3060-20 recycled denim fabric that adopts 66:19:15 cotton-hemp-organic cotton. It comes in a 2/1 Z-twill construction and measures 54 or 55in wide. The textile boasts quick-drying and anti-bacterial properties, and has a warp and weft shrinkage of 2 to 3 percent. Mineral blue is the standard color. An MOQ of 3,000yd can be delivered in 30 to 40 days.

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Woven linen-cotton

Made of 55:42:3 linen-cotton-spandex, the model QF13-0733 woven denim fabric from Qingdao Fab Mill Co. Ltd is recyclable. It is breathable, has a soft hand and weighs 7.2oz. Thread count is 10x10s/40d+12s/54x46 while width is 52in. Colors can be buyer-specified. A minimum order of 3,000m is required. The fabric can be delivered between 30 and 40 days.

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