All the cotton fabric available on this site is traded fairly. This means that the people who grow, weave and dye the cottons get a fair guaranteed wage and that their health and welfare are supported. We are licensees of the Fairtrade Foundation and the majority of the cotton fabrics available through our website are made from Fairtrade certified cotton. Look for the FAIRTRADE Mark. The majority are also produced from organic cotton, although we do not have certification for their organic status. The aim of Fair Trade Fabric is to ensure that whilst we have the enjoyment of being able to choose the fabrics we love, and to enjoy crafting them into clothes, curtains, quilts, toys etc, the people in the developing world who work hard to create them for us are paid fairly, and have the chance of a better future.
Handloom Cotton Fabrics
The cotton for the handloom fabrics was grown in Gujarat, India to organic standards. This means that instead of spraying with toxic chemicals, weeding was done by hand and pests are controlled by encouraging predators.
These fabrics were hand made, woven and safely dyed by a worker's cooperative involving 300 weavers in Tamil Nadu, South India, using hand looms. The fabrics are available in patterned and plain styles, all 48" wide, and are
* hand made
* dye fast
They also have the lovely soft irregular texture generated by handloom weaving. Some imperfections may be present due to the hand-crafted nature of the fabrics.
We have recently had a mix of great and sad news that means we are unlikely to be able to source further stocks of the handloom fabrics in future. The weavers in Tamil Nadu who made them have been producing cloth within a fair trade system for 25 years. Their children were paid bursaries to remain in education, and as a result the whole community has become much better educated. The young adults have many more choices about how they will live and perhaps unsurprisingly, many choose not to follow in the hand loom tradition, but to pursue higher paid jobs. As a result there are now too few hand loom weavers to produce our fabric and so we are paying fair wages to power loom operators instead. This is wonderful because it proves that fair trade really works to raise people out of poverty, but we will really miss these fabrics when they are gone!
Powerloom Cotton Fabric
Our new power loom fabric is a similar weight to the handloom cottons and uses the same vegetable dyes, but made on a power loom which gives it a much more 'perfect' finish with a lovely even weave. This cotton drapes beautifully and is perfect for clothes, patchwork and quilting, and other craft activities.
The fabric widths vary with these power loom fabrics, so do check the description to ensure that you buy the right aount of fabric for your needs. The prices vary a little in line with the widths. Each fabric is available by the metre or cut into fat quarter.
In addition we have a few remaining 'finer finish' fabrics, which are slightly heavier weight and double width when bought by the metre. They are 96" wide, organic and of course dye fast - perfect for quilt backing!
Designer Cotton Sateen
Harmony Susalla is a Californian designer who designs and produces beautiful organic cotton fabrics. She is completely committed to preserving the environment and protecting those who work on cotton, and wants to expand people's use of organic cotton through her great designs.
We have taken 6 of the cotton sateen fabrics as they have now achieved the new certification standards to include the fair working practice requirements of the revised GOTS standards.
The fabrics are flawless, they drape wonderfully and they are a delight to work with. They are an enormous 110" across the width, but we are happy to sell by the metre either at the full width or as a half-width, still a generous 55". The fat quarters are also generously sized at approx 50cm x 70cm.
These beautiful fabrics are ideal for dressmaking, patchwork, wholecloth quilting and all kinds of other crafts.
Cotton Velveteen and Babycord
In addition to the standard woven cottons, we also carry two ranges of fabrics which provide greater choice in terms of weight and texture. The velveteen and babycord are more suited to furnishings and curtains than the rest of our range. Both these ranges are also Fairtrade certified cotton fabrics.
These fun tape measures are made by a Vietnamese project that provides work for the poor and marginalised. Workers receive a fair wage, social and health care insurance benefits. In recent years they have funded a new well, subsidised teachers' wages and bought machinery for vocational training programs.
The finger pin cushions are handmade in Guatemala by a women's cooperative based in Guatemala City. All their profits go towards the empowerment of women and community service programs.
All our packaging is made with 100% recycled materials, with the exception of the twine we use to tie our products, which is fairly traded, made by a project for disadvantaged women in Bangladesh
Fair Trade Fabric is a licensee of the Fairtrade Foundation. This means some of our fabrics are made from Fairtrade certified cotton and carry the FAIRTRADE Mark. Please note that Items made from our Fairtrade cotton fabric that are intended for re-sale cannot be advertised or referred to as made from Fairtrade certified cotton or Fairtrade cotton. To do this you would need to be a licensee of the Fairtrade Foundation (or another member organisation of Fairtrade International) and the products approved by Fairtrade.
To find out more about Fairtrade certified cotton please visit www.fairtrade.org.uk/cotton.
To find out more about fair trade, how it is certified and controlled and how it benefits the producing communities in the developing world, check out the World Fair Trade Organization website.