The Story of Nandina Future Fibers
Saving the earth, one incredibly soft towel at a time!
Although bamboo has long been known in Asia for its many unique applications, the idea of using bamboo to spin yarns is a much more recent technology. The story of Nandina the future fiber begins in Japan where considerable research and experimentation has been done with recyclable and environmentally friendly plant fibers. Interest in bamboo has steadily grown as more and more information becomes available concerning its inherent characteristics. Bamboo grows extremely rapidly and can be harvested every two to three years with little or no environmental impact making it a remarkable, sustainable resource when compared to a tree forest that takes over 60 years to recover from deforestation.
Bamboo is also inherently anti-microbial, so it is seldom infected by pathogens or eaten by pests. There is no need to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides to grow bamboo. Recent testing has proved that there is little or no growth in bacteria when it is brought into contact with bamboo for a period of 24 hours. It is noteworthy that for centuries, food in Japan was wrapped in bamboo leaves to keep it from spoiling. In addition, bamboo’s molecular configuration gives it the ability to absorb and release moisture very rapidly.
The bamboo that goes into the Nandina fiber is grown on plantations and logged by hand. It is then finely shredded and bamboo cellulose is extracted. Impurities are then removed leaving only the finest quality fibers which are pulped into a cardboard-like sheet. The pulp is dissolved into viscose before being made into a spun or filament fiber. As amazing as bamboo is on its own, it should be blended with other fibers to reach its full potential.
Organic cotton is the responsible choice. Conventional cotton production is one of modern society’s failures to respect the planet on which we all must live. An estimated 25% of all of the insecticide used globally goes into the production of cotton. In California alone estimates run from 17 million pounds of insecticides to 57 million pounds of agricultural chemicals that are dusted onto cotton crops every year. Even more alarming is that an estimated 10% of that total actually accomplishes its task, with the rest being absorbed into the environment. Whatever the exact total is, research has found that extensive and continuous use of synthetic fertilizers, defoliants, insecticides, pesticides, and other agricultural substances have disastrous and far-reaching consequences for our soil, water, air and many other living things including us.
When this much care has been taken to create a fiber that is truly natural, organic and sustainable, the manufacturing process must also be environmentally responsible. We chose the Ikeuchi Towel Company on the island of Imabari in Japan to weave our towels. Keishi Ikeuchi has been dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the environment for many years. His factory weaves our towels by using the wind to power his looms. Our towels are dyed after they are woven using only natural, organic, or low-impact dyes and through a four step purifying process, the water that comes out of the dye house is clear, clean and pure enough to use as a home for gold fish in the front office.
There is one last, but critically important step that we take which puts Nandina towels in a class by themselves. Our towels have been subjected to a rigorous battery of tests and are certified to be organic and free of harmful substances, meeting or exceeding the highest standards established by Oeko-Tex of Switzerland, the world’s leader in textile testing for human ecology.
We are proud of the fact that Nandina's products have their origins in the earth but whose place in the modern marketplace has been ensured by technology.
Nandina has four beautiful lines of towels -
Aragon - a smooth loop terry that is ultra soft.
Akhara - a jacquard pattern with a large sculpted pattern.
Sasa - a jacquard pattern in a combination of chevron striped body and floral pattern at the towel end.
Savari - a beautifully textured basket weave pattern.