Columbia is a soft yet strong and supple basketweave looking fabric. The viscose fibers give it a subtle shimmer which means it can be dressed up or down. Whether it's for story time, nap time or cocktail time, count on Columbia to be a stress-free fabric that's easy to love. For upholstery, drapery, skirts, dresses, whatever your imagination can come up with.
Columbia is Oeko-Tex 100 certified. Oeko-Tex is Swiss, and is one of the oldest third-party certifications, launched in 1992. The Oeko-Tex 100 standard assures you that the fabric contains no residual chemicals of concern, so it is safe to bring into your home or office or use on your body. Why is this fact important? The majority of dyed and finished fabrics are, by weight, 25% residual chemicals. Chemicals with a known toxic toxicity profile are used frequently in textile manufacture.
Columbia is named after the Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest. It is the fourth-largest river in the United States and has the greatest flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific. The river system hosts many species of anadromous fish, which migrate between freshwater habitats and the Pacific Ocean. These fish—especially salmon—provided the core subsistence for native peoples.
This fabric will tighten up just a bit with the first washing, and lose a bit of its luster; becoming slightly more matte. Shrinkage is about 8% in length only if washed in cool water and line or air dried. A little more than 10% in hot temperatures.
- abrasion test results: 30,000 Martindale**
- certification: Oeko-Tex 100
- content: 40% cotton; 30% linen; 30% viscose*
- railroaded: No directionality
- weight: 13.1 oz yd2 / 444 gm2
- width: 54" / 137 cm
The Oeko-Tex Standard 100 tests only the end product. Processing is not addressed, for example, wastewater treatment is not included, nor are workers rights addressed. It is NOT an organic certification and products bearing this mark are not necessarily made from organically grown fibers. Oeko-Tex is only concerned with the safety of the final product.
The certification process includes thorough testing for a lengthy list of chemicals, including all of the chemicals of concern, among which are lead, antimony, arsenic, phthalates, pesticides, and chlorinated phenols. The official table of limits for tested chemicals may be found on the Oeko-Tex website.
Specifically banned are:
- Heavy metals
- Chlorinated phenols
- Flame retardants
- Solvent residues
Textile products bearing the Oeko-Tex 100 certification mark, in addition to being safe to use, have a skin friendly pH. Skin's natural pH is a tad acidic, and when it's eroded your defenses are down, leaving you vulnerable to bacteria, moisture loss, and irritation. Oeko-Tex certified fabrics will not create these stresses. And the fabrics will feel lovely against your skin.
1People are often not familiar with the fiber, viscose. For an explanation of what viscose is, click here.
2For a discussion of what the abrasion ratings mean, please click here.