english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England

Who Made My Fabric?

Fabric Revolution Logo

Partly inspired by Fashion Revolution, I’ve become more conscious about how and where the fabric I buy is made. Just as Fashion Revolution challenges us to be curious and ask clothing companies who made our clothes, I’ve been asking some of my favourite fabric companies about the production of their fabrics.

Listed below (alphabetically by company) are fabrics shops which specialise in ethically produced fabrics, or provide detailed information on where their fabrics are produced. Also listed are fabric manufacturers who have provided information on their manufacturing processes. I’ll add to this post when I receive additional information & please do comment / get in touch if you can add more.

You may also be interested in my post about British fabric producers (including British wool, silk and lace fabrics).

Art Gallery Fabrics
The cotton for the majority of Art Gallery fabrics is grown in the USA, Brazil and China, weaving is done in South Korea or China, and dying and printing in South Korea.

Art Gallery work with mills in South Korea which are public companies and have tight security measures to make sure the products they produce comply with all the local and international laws.

All the dyes and inks used are ecologically safe and have been tested and passed all the safety requirements required by international regulators.

Atelier Brunette
Atelier Brunette fabrics are designed in France and produced in India – the cotton is grown in India, and weaving and printing takes place in India. Atelier Brunette have chosen to work in India due to the quality of Indian cotton and a personal connection with the country.

Birch Organic Fabric
Organic fabric milled, woven, and printed in India.

Cloud9
Cloud9 Fabrics are produced in India, using only 100% certified organic cotton in the manufacturing of our base cloths and eco-responsible low impact dyes for printing and dying. Cloud9 work closely with mills that are committed to ethical and responsible conduct.

More information is available on the Cloud9 website FAQ page.

Cotton + Steel
Cotton + Steel fabrics are designed in the US and produced in Japan. The About page of the Cotton + Steel website includes a video showing the production process in detail.

Free Spirit
Free Spirit quilting cottons are printed in Korea, and woven goods are made in India.

Hell Gate Fabrics (US)
Online store specialising in fabrics made with natural fibers in countries with fair labor practices.

HoneyBeGood (US)
Organic and sustainable fabrics, plus a made in the US section.

Lebenskleidung (Germany)
Fabric from GOTS-certified projects in India and Turkey who have a close relationship with the company.

Liberty
The cotton used to produce Liberty Tana Lawn is all grown in Egypt, woven in different locations across Europe, and printed in Italy. Crepe de Chine and Georgette fabrics are printed in Italy.

Marimekko
Marimekko publishes a list of its significant suppliers: here.

“Regarding the fabrics we use…we have our own fabric printing mill in Helsinki, Finland, where around a million metres of cotton, linen and cotton blend fabrics are printed every year to be sold by meter or to produce Marimekko clothes, bags and home textiles (see a video of the mill here). The base fabrics to be printed are mainly sourced from fabric weaving mills in Germany, Turkey, Portugal, Peru and Lithuania. Raw cotton fibre for the fabrics is sourced all over the world depending on the quality, availability and price. Some fabric manufacturers also blend cotton from different countries to ensure the consistent quality of the fabrics. The quality of cotton from different countries can vary significantly from one year to another due to weather conditions during the growing season for example. To improve the transparency of our cotton supply chain and help improve cotton production for people and the environment, Marimekko is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. Our goal is to increase the share of Better Cotton in our cotton fabrics significantly over the next years.

Our in-house printing mill does not possess the capacity or all the machinery and equipment needed to produce all of the fabrics used in our wide product collection. We place high value on the quality of the fabrics we use and our designers and sourcing team work hard to find the best fabric qualities for a reasonable price. In our clothing collections we use, for example, Italian, Japanese, Lithuanian, Portuguese, Korean, Turkish and Chinese fabrics, depending on the product. Italian fabric mills are world famous for the quality of their printing, whereas Japanese and Korean fabric manufacturers specialize in more technical fabrics and man-made fibres. Chinese manufacturers have a long heritage in silk production and printing.

Since Marimekko collections carry hundreds of products made of different materials and the different fabric qualities have a different production process, it’s difficult to give a comprehensive answer to your questions in one email. The basic fabric production process is more or less the same: fibre production, spinning, weaving or knitting, printing, finishing and cut-and-sew. However, the technical details and social and environmental impacts in different stages can be very different, depending on the fabric.”

Further information is available on the Marimekko website: http://company.marimekko.com/sustainability

Megan Nielsen (Australia)
The maker tees and totes in Megan’s store are made, using cotton fabric which is certified fair trade and organic, in Kolkata’s red light district, by women who have escaped sex slavery and now work in a sheltered workshop under fair trade conditions.

Merchant & Mills (UK)
The Merchant & Mills website includes information on country of manufacture in the listings of many of their fabrics. They have a dedicated section of organic fabrics.

Offset Warehouse (UK)
Online fabric store which provides lots of information in their fabric listings, including country of manufacture, eco credentials and accreditors.

O! Jolly! (US)
Cotton sweater knits that are grown, ginned, spun, and knit in the United States. The knits are non-GMO and they’re not dyed- all colours are grown-in.

Organic Cotton Plus (US)
Online fabric store which specifies country of manufacture in their fabric listings, and has a made in the USA section.

Siebenblau (Germany)
Berlin store specialising in organic and fairtrade fabric. Fabric listings state the countries where fibre originated,  fabric was produced, and fabric dyed and finished.

Simplifi Fabric (Canada)
Specialist in organic fabric, with a made in North America section.

Spoonflower
Fabric is printed on demand, reducing wastage, using eco-friendly, water-based inks. Fabrics include 100% made in the US, and organic options.

Weaving Destination (UK)
Social enterprise promoting silk and vintage-inspired cotton print fabrics and products hand-woven by indigenous women from Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Assam, India. 100% of profits go directly to the Weaving Destination weavers and to the charitable work of the NEDAN Foundation in Assam, India.

5 thoughts on “Who Made My Fabric?

  1. Pingback: Makers for Fashion Revolution | english girl at home

  2. A really useful post. This has also been the focus of my recent blog post and you have given me a few more companies/manufacturers to look into. This really is an important question for us who already make and I’m glad it’s being questioned more and more. Thank you!

    • Thank you. Really enjoyed your post (& your gorgeous Anna dress also). Yes I think it’s great to see more fabrics shops / brands being open about where their fabrics were manufactured.

  3. Pingback: Wardrobe ethics: is handmade better? | DIY wardrobe

  4. Thank you so much! That is the question isn’t it – all very well making our own clothes but we really have to think about where the fabric and yarn has come from too. I will take a good look through these, especially the British ones 🙂

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