Animal products in materials

December 1st, 2011 / By: / Resources

We’re being asked by our client to certify that the filters we make for them don’t contain any animal products. We use an unfinished woven cotton fabric that we source from India. Would there be any animal products in that type of fabric?

A fabric that is sold as unfinished, or in the “greige” state, is one that is sold in the condition it’s in when it comes off the loom, with no additional chemical or physical treatments done to it. It is possible, however, for there to have been other chemicals involved in the weaving process, and that most likely occurs at the yarn level.

Yarns, especially spun yarns such as those that are made of cotton, are often sized prior to weaving. Sizing is simply a compound that is applied to the warp yarn in order to help it endure the abrasion it undergoes while it’s being woven. For a cotton yarn, that sizing is most likely a starch or a synthetic compound, and neither of those are animal products.

It isn’t unheard of, however, for a gelatin to be used, although those are more commonly used for yarns made of rayon or acetate. Since gelatin is often derived from bovine or porcine skin, this would be an animal product.

If you cannot obtain a certificate from your supplier or mill certifying that there is no use of animal products in the material, you may need to contact a testing lab to help you assess your specific material.

Our textile professionals answer questions about sources of supply, building codes, technical issues and more. This free service is exclusively for IFAI members. Contact us at +1 651 225 6967, e-mail infocentral@ifai.com.

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