Category Archives: Green

Earth Day Means Taking Care of the World

Earth Day is around the corner and as such, now is the perfect time for asking what we can do, as a company, to make this world a better place. Our customers often ask what options they can select from that offer beautiful décor but also can help to keep the environment safe. Even if you do not spend a lot of time on your own go green campaign, do consider your investment in window treatments as an opportunity to give something back.

Earth Day
Earth Day 2012 - courtesy of www.earthday2012.com

What Type of Fabric Is Best?

When you are selecting window treatments for your home or business, be sure to consider numerous options and materials. Curtains, for example, may be made of natural fabrics, manmade fabrics or recycled fabrics. Which one is the best option for those who want the best possible, environmentally friendly solution?

Eco-Fabrics from www.Duralee.com
  • If you want to choose between manmade and recycled products, the creation of both requires the same amount of supplies. However, the recycled products are better because they require fewer resources and therefore are a better option between the two.
  • Natural fabrics are a great option because they use materials easy for the environment to replenish. Cotton and silks do cost more but they often offer the best environmentally safe option.

    Natural Eco-Fabrics from www.Duralee.com
  • Keep in mind that the average person will move every five years. If you invest in quality drapery and window treatments now, you may be able to take them with you. That would be the best option for protecting the environment in total – not having to buy new ones at all.

    Eco Fabric Drapes & Cushions Image courtesy of Duralee.com
  • Materials that are Earth Day friendly come in a wide range of organic and natural fibers. Check out the options on Fabric.com to see just how amazing your selection can be.
  • Another way to look at the cost to the environment of your window treatments is the actual maintenance of them. For example, if you purchase products with manmade polyester in them, the material holds its shape better than cottons, which require more cleaning and ironing.

Top Fabric Choices

Our top fabric choices for you for Earth Day include the following:

  • Cotton remains one of the best – it’s easy to mold into virtually any look, though requires maintenance.
  • Hemp is beautiful and customizable into various types of drapery.
  • Bamboo fabrics are also beautiful and are replenished quickly in the environment.
Hemp Fabric image courtesy of www.picknatural.com

These green fabrics, as they are often called, may be just what you need for your Earth Day celebration. It really is a personal decision but the bottom line is – you can choose environmentally friendly materials and still have fabulous looking window treatments.

Green Textiles: Oeko-Tex Standard 100

In coordinance with the ever-prominent shift to greener living, there are certain standards set to ensure textiles are the safest they can be. It’s strange to think something as harmless as fabric could be harmful, but it’s true. The Oeko-Tex Standard is a testing and certification system for materials used to produce textiles. From their raw state to the end product, standards are set at all stages of production.

fabricut, green fabrics, eco-friendly fabric, eco-friendly textiles, oeko-tex standard 100
Fabricut's Oeko-Tex Standard 100-certified textiles

“Sustainability is a high interest initiative within the home furnishings industry, both as a response to consumer and regulatory demands and as a key component of corporate strategies that emphasize environmental accountability,” says Bill Perdue, AHFA vice president for environment, health, safety and standards. “Third party certification is a critical tool for manufacturers to ensure their supply chains are delivering products that meet desired quality and ecological standards.”

Companies like Fabricut, a decorative fabrics distributor, are complying with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Take their “Connect” Pattern, for example. The textiles are produced using strict environmental guidelines, creating fabric that’s free of carcinogenic dye stuffs creating a skin friendly pH.

If all components of a textile comply with the requirements of the Oeko-Tex criteria, a textile manufacturing company like Fabricut receives certification. They are then entitled to use the Oeko-Tex label to mark their products. The Oeko-Tex certificate is issued for a period of one year and can be extended subject to further successful testing. In order to ensure ongoing compliance with the test criteria, the authorised Oeko-Tex Institutes carry out control tests every year on a minimum of 15% of all certificates issued on Oeko-Tex products available in the shops.

This Form of SPF is 100% Oil-Free –

Summer may be ending, but don’t think you need to stop worrying about sun exposure. You should be taking care of your skin year-long, even if you’re not one of those who ignore the unlimited warnings about over-exposure to the sun. It has become increasingly important to protect your skin. More people today are progressively aware of the damaging effects UV rays have on our skin. As a result, it’s becoming more and more common to find products other than just sunscreen with SPF added in. But there are products for your home that can save you money and spare the mess of lotions.


In collaboration with the ever-prominent green movement, fabrics are becoming more than just a decorative accent to your home. Sun-protective blinds and solar shades enhance your home, but are also very practical because they filter UV rays, depending of the fabric’s thickness and weave. Not only are you protected from the sun, your furniture will not be damaged, but your home will also generate

Solar Shades, Blinds, Window Treatments, Northside Piers, Sun Protection
Solar Shades at Northside Piers will protect the floor and furniture, and prevent an overheated room.

Consider  the following when selecting a sun-protective shade for your home:

– The denser the weave of the fabric, the more protection from the sun. Shades typically have a weave ranging from 1% to 10%

– Fabric material type distinguishes the UV filter – Materials like bamboo can block up to 98% of harmful UV radiation. Fabrics that are man-made, like polyester and Lycra, are also capable of filtering amount of light entering. Nylon, wool and silk are still good options, and cotton and hemp offer very little UV protection.

-The more dye used in the fabric; the more opaque, which blocks more UV rays. This is not the most eco-friendly product, since it is not made with natural, organic materials, but it is energy-efficient.

– Some companies use chemicals to soften the fabrics. These chemicals are also seen as colorless dyes, and these get imbedded in the fabric offering some UV protection.

With skin cancer rates on the rise, people are more aware of the damage the sun has on our skin, but it is equally harmful to the floors and furniture in our home. Environmentalists and scientists have warned us about the strength of the sun and its negative effects, but interior designers and architects have become just as conscious. Sales of sunscreen have soared over the past 10 years, and manufacturers are in increasing demand of products that function as energy-efficient.

What Is Greenguard?

Greenguard LogoGreenguard, or the Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) as it is formally known, is an organization dedicated to protecting the health of people and improving quality of life specifically by reducing the amount of chemical exposure people have, especially when it comes to indoor air quality. The organization works to provide a third party certification program. When a company’s products are certified, this signals that the product meets specific emission standards in the home or in surroundings where humans are. Certification means that the products offered by the company are low emitting products. The organization itself establishes the criteria of what levels of control are necessary and they can be rigorous.

How does Greenguard affect window treatments? This is the perfect example of how this company works. When a manufacturer designs window treatments that are to be safer for the home, such as using fewer chemicals in the production process, Greenguard will take that product and perform tests on it. This allows the consumer to get a clear picture of what will happen when that product is placed within the home.

The process of producing most things, including window treatments, allows chemicals to enter into the material. These chemicals are then present in the home where they can be breathed in by humans. If a product passes the Greenguard certification, this means that the product is safe and meets the rigorous safety levels the organization has put into place.

For a healthier and safer home or work environment, look for window treatments that have the Greengaurd seal of approval. There are only a few manufacturers who have actually produced products that meet this need, though. One of the most popular of them is Hunter Douglas. Their products ensure that indoor air quality is maintained and the products are environmentally friendly. Hunter Douglas products, then, get the Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified marking on them.

Why Natural Fabrics are Better Than Man-Made Fabrics

silk dupioni aqua fabric bedroom window curtains
Natural silk fabric for window curtains

Natural fabrics are an ideal choice for window treatments, clothing and throughout your home. Synthetic or man-made fabrics have long been used in households and while some have advantages (less expensive to make), most cannot offer the benefits that natural fabrics can.

Natural fabrics include wool, hemp, silk, linen and cotton. Even better, choose those that are organic. Look at why natural fabrics are the way to go.

  • They feel great and are less irritating to your skin. Natural fibers allow air to circulate better, too.
  • They do not contain chemicals found in many man-made products. This means they are healthier to have around your home and better for the environment.
  • The manufacturing process for manmade fabrics involves dying and bleaching which could affect allergies.
  • Chemical treatments placed onto man-made products make them easy to care for, but chemicals such as formaldehyde and ammonia are not good for people.
  • Insecticides and fungicides are commonly used on manmade fabrics when they are stored in warehouses (ensure your natural fabrics are not stored this way, either.)
  • Natural fabrics consume fewer resources. The environment easily renews many within a few years.
  • They are more able to drape, meaning they are more pliable and work better to give you that natural look.

You may not have thought about what materials you are using in your drapery, but natural fabrics offer better style and they are better for you