Using Organic Materials for Window Coverings
Do you want to add organic window coverings to your Wilmington, NC home, but want to know the specifics of what makes a window treatment organic? In this blog, we’ll learn all about organic window coverings.
The turn of the 20th century brought about the Industrial Revolution, introducing assembly lines and their efficiency into the business world. Efficiency arrived in the mainstream home in the mid-20th century, being sold as convenience and luxury. The chemically produced and treated materials that dominated popular interest would eventually be held responsible for health issues ranging from cancer to the inability to concentrate, causing heightened awareness of physical and environmental damage. Organic production requires more cost and more care, but even so, the products less tampered with are those most desired, ranging from food and clothing to construction materials to electronics. Natural is now the preferred lifestyle, health and wellness the main objectives, green the path to glory, and organic the supreme being.
The textile industry is a challenging battlefield for the organic movement, putting the onus on the consumer to defend the home front. Organic materials are scientifically defined as anything carbon-based, although the general consumer refers to products that are plant-, animal-, or insect-based as being organic. The USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) is working towards standard regulations for the agricultural level of textiles, but little can be said about the resulting products since chemical treatments are often applied later in the process. Nanotechnology, the man-made construction of products at the atomic and molecular level, has introduced the next wave of synthesis that the organic world is combating, drawing strong comparisons with genetic modification. The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements, the Organic Trade Association, the Soil Association, and the Global Organic Textile Standard are examples of organizations who are pioneering the governance of organic textiles, but until their purposes are accomplished, there will be a lot of homework to do.
Clean indoor air is the goal for organic window treatments. Curtains, drapes, shutters, blinds, and shades have long been ironed, kept clean, and made less flammable by chemical applications. The issue is usually not the origin of these chemicals – most of them are organic, or carbon-based, in themselves – but their effect on air quality. A chemical’s boiling point is the temperature when a compound can saturate the air, becoming breathable. Water is a chemical compound that doesn’t boil until 212F (100C), but formaldehyde (often used in window coverings) vaporizes at -2.2F (-19C), meaning that it will permeate your air almost all year round.
What makes a material organic? What makes the end product organic? What are the benefits of buying that material? These questions are addressed in the “Using Organic Materials for Window Coverings” series for bamboo, hemp, and cotton. We hope this series will help you decide which organic window coverings to add to your Wilmington, NC home.
Science will continue to discover more uses of Earth’s elements and their positive and negative effects. Supply and demand will continue to motivate production. Creativity will continue to expand the use of the newest materials at hand. More information will lead to more answers as much as it will lead to more concern and more outcry for supervision, but stay sharp and educate yourself as best you can. No set of government regulations can defend your quality of life better than you.