Organic Textiles

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Organic textiles are based on materials grown on organic farms, and manufactured without harmful chemicals.

If you’re seeking environmentally friendly clothing or home ware, textiles that are certified as organic it means that both the production of the fibre on the farm, and the processing of this fibre into textiles has met organic standards.

Organic textiles don’t contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic chemicals so benefits carry through from local wildlife, animals and people through to the culture of communities and the home environment where the end products are used.

While the most common organic textiles, cotton and wool are not produced in the Pacific, Pacific Island communities have proud traditions of organic textiles made from coconut, local grasses, pandanus and various plants that are used in art, craft and everyday life. 

Many of these textiles make practical and attractive gifts for people who have visited pacific islands. With a little care they can be taken home to countries with tight quarantine conditions. 

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Woven natural fibers and grasses are also durable materials that can be made into baskets and mats for both traditional household activities and customary purposes. 

Tapa cloth is a popular organic material produced from the bark of paper mulberry tree and used in a range of decorative products and also clothing.  Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji are some of the pacific nations that are noted for their use of Tapa.

The Marshall Islands, Cook Islands and many other pacific countries have highly developed designs for bags and fans both from natural palm and other leaves using traditional organic processing methods. 

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PNG has a unique tradition of bilums – a very distinctive and strong bag woven from natural fibers.  Natural fibers such as coconut husk are also be spun into rope that can be used in fabrics or hand crafts.