Over the last decade demand for Organic Cotton Duvet Cover Sets is increasing because it is environment-friendly and free of fertilizers and pesticides. It is safe for children as well as adults and is long-lasting. The question that comes to the mind is how a consumer can discern whether an organic cotton duvet cover is truly organic? Is there a certification available? GOTS certification plays an important role here.
GOTS is a standard of the textile industry which certifies that the various processes in the textile industry value chain are organic. It is a very powerful standard and stands for Global Organic Textile Standard.
No wonder then that this standard is not easy to achieve and requires strict adherence to guidelines. A deep sense of principles of sustainability and fair trade is required as both parts are integral to GOTS certification, in addition to social, environmental, and health factors that are brought under purview.
In the organic cotton farming value chain, non-GMO seeds have to be documented and handed to farmers for sowing. Each farmer has a code and an identifier. The cotton yielded from a non-GMO seed on an organic farmer is tracked and traced to the ginning and spinning units and finally to the weaving unit. From there the organic cotton moves to the textile converting unit where it is either made into a garment or a duvet cover or bed sheet. From here it moves to the finished product unit where it is packed.
GOTS certified entities are involved all along the above-mentioned organic cotton farming value chain.
Genetically modified seeds (GMO)
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a protocol as well as a process for seed certification. Only those seeds which are natural, or of a natural hybrid and not genetically modified seed (GMO) are certified as organic seeds. Bt cotton seeds, for example, incorporate genes from a common soil bacterium called Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) and are classified as genetically modified seeds.
Organic cotton does not include any synthetic fertilizers
For cotton to be GOTS certified, no synthetic fertilizers are used. Only natural fertilizers such as manure from livestock are used. To keep their fields fertile, farmers indulge in crop rotation practices. For example, they cultivate rice in alternate seasons. Other farmer’s copper Sulfate fertilizer, although it’s usage is diminishing now.
GOTS certified cotton does not use any synthetic pesticides.
GOTS certified cotton does not use pesticides such as Roundup and Dicamba at all, since even if a detectable trace of pesticide residue is found in it, then it will render the certification as void. For organic cotton, pesticides such as acetic acid (concentrated vinegar) are permitted. Care should be taken to use this in moderation as excess usage can be harmful.
Experts suggest doing crop rotation between rice and cotton as one of the best ways to improve the yield in organic cotton farming. Crop rotation creates fertile ground, diminishes soil pathogens, and helps eliminate short life-cycle insects.
Organic cotton is of a superior quality
GOTS certified organic cotton fiber is of very high quality. It is measured and classified as superior on the basis of its physical attributes that include fiber length, length uniformity, fiber strength, micronaire, color, and extraneous matter content.
Production processes carried out on organic cotton yarn
GOTS certified organic cotton is kept separate from conventional cotton. In all production processes mentioned below, the machines are cleaned and labeled as “organic cotton”. This is to prevent even a slight contact occurring with conventional cotton that could lead to the transfer of pesticide-laden fibers to organic cotton.
- Cleaning: Cotton bales are loosened, opened and cleaned.
- Blowing: Cotton clumps are picked up and further loosened.
- Carding: Tufts are broken into individual fibers and short fibers are removed.
- Drawing: In this process Silver (resulting from carding) is checked for uniformity. Non-uniform Sliver is doubled and drafted.
- Combing: In this process finer and higher quality yarns are cleaned and shorter fibers and impurities are removed.
- Spinning: The fiber is spun into yarn and wound on cones.
- Weaving: The yarn is re-wound onto proper feeds for warp and weft. Sizing is also done.
- Finishing & Dyeing: No chemicals are used; especially the use of Formaldehyde is not permitted.
- Organic Duvet Cover set manufacturing: The fabric is cut, bundled, and sewn into different sizes and styles.
The above processes distinguish GOTS certified organic cotton from conventional cotton and this is the reason why organic cotton duvet cover sets are distinct from conventional duvet cover sets and demand for them is increasing.