Encyclopaedia
    Definitions of terms A–Z

A

Ajour

Ajour

The term Ajour is French and describes weave and knit fabrics which follow a flimsy pattern of knitting. The patterns thus developing are called Ajour patterns.

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B

Bourette silk

Bourette silk

Short fibres remaining from the combing process of schappe silk and the short and curly parts of the most inner and most outer layer of the cocoon of the silkworm result in a medium fine to rough natural silk yarns, which is the bourette silk, mainly irregular and burly. It is blunter but also more bouffant than schappe silk.

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C

Characteristics of Wool

Characteristics of Wool

Wool is very elastic. It is dirt and water resistant and has a temperature and warmth regulating effect. It keeps better warm than all other materials and regulates cutaneous respiration and the oxygen exchange. It can absorb up to 35% of its own weight of moisture without feeling wet. Besides, wool is aliphatic by nature.

Due to the wool’s characteristic of being dirt-repellent frequent washing is not necessary as wool regenerates itself by airing-out in air containing a lot of oxygen.

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Clothes Care

Clothes Care

Underwear from wool and wool/silk should be washed by hand with a wool detergent. Please do not soak, rub, wring or toss your underwear in water. It is important that the washing and the rinsing water have the same temperature that wool does not suffer a cold shock which causes felting. After washing wrap the underwear in a towel, wring and pull it in form and let it dry.

Clothes from cotton are machine washable. Please do not use any detergent with bleaching or brightening effects.

Pay attention to our care labels on our underwear packages. An explanation of the symbols can be found under care symbols.

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Clothing for Preemies

Clothing for Preemies

More and more children and adults suffer from neurodermatitis. Every third child is highly allergic. And this is the reason why allergens – especially when children are newborn – are to be avoided. Not just the big surface of skin but also the weak immune system leads to a high sensitivity of baby’s and children’s skin for noxious substances.

Lingerie and clothing contaminant-free largely prevent the skin from taking in noxious substances. This was the reason to start a production of underwear for premature children from natural textiles. In cooperation with the Association for Premature Infants of the paediatric clinic in Reutlingen, ENGEL developed its first range of clothes for preemies under the motto “clothes according to measurements”. This range of underwear, which is especially harmonized with the needs of the smallest human beings, contains rompers, little bonnets, jumpers, baby pyjamas, wrap suits and sleeping bags from size 38 and 44. The products are either from soft wool/silk blends, untreated cotton or fluffy virgin wool terry.

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Cotton

Cotton

Baumwolle

is mainly the trichome of the cotton boll which opens up when it is fully ripened and grows in tropical and sub-tropical climate. The cotton Engel uses, is mainly hand-picked, organic and therefore free from pesticides, fertilizer and herbicides. Besides the gentle treatment of nature, a fair cooperation with the producers is guaranteed. Natural cotton is very eudermic and thus especially suits sensitive skin. Besides it is hard-wearing and robust. Textiles from natural cotton are also antistatic, colour-consistent and can be washed in washing machines with high temperatures.

When buying clothes from untreated cotton it is important that you always buy them a little bigger as they shrink about 3 % to 5 %. Customary washing powders containing brighteners, bleach, phosphates, etc. are not advisable as colours fade more quickly, textiles are strained and sewage are polluted with chemicals.

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E

Equipment

Equipment

Is the general term for all processes of textile finishing which alter the utility value after weaving of knitting, i.e. the appearance, the wear and the textile care characteristics of products. One distinguishes between mechanical and chemical equipment.

The mechanical equipment with water, steam or pressure, without the use of chemical additives consists of washing, sanforization and roughing. Conventional textiles are often treated with chemicals, e.g. treatment against moth and bug attacks, super-wash equipment against felting, dirt resistant equipment or matting in order to avoid high gloss, besides there is the crease-resistant, water resistant and anti-pilling equipment, just to mention a few.

These treatments cause a change in structure within the natural fabrics by the use of salts or the coating of synthetic resin. Thus one’s health and the environment are polluted. Untreated ENGEL products from cotton, wool or wool/silk are only equipped mechanically, i.e. they are washed, sometimes roughed and afterwards processed gently.

With a few drops of lavender essence on a dabber, with tanacetum paper, cedar wood or pinus cembra in your wardrobe you can protect your chemically untreated natural textiles against “natural enemies” such as moths and carpet beetles.

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F

Functioning of Skin

Functioning of Skin

The skin is our biggest and most important sense organ and serves us human beings as a protective cover. Our skin helps us to feel when we are tenderly touched as well as pain, pressure and temperature and regulates our complete heat and moisture balance. According to the amount of physical exercise, the skin daily gives out 1 to 2 litres of fluids via the perspiratory glands in order to cool down the body. Our clothes therefore have to be able to absorb this moisture, sweat and to be able to transport it to the outside for vaporescence. If this does not work properly, there is a very uncomfortable heat and moisture accumulation, which, for instance, can be noticed with synthetic clothes or plastic nappies. Our “skin ventilation”, i.e. the transport of moisture to the outside and the protection against cold depends vastly on the textile fibres (animal or crop product), on their processing (woven or knitted) and the atmospheric layers between skin, underwear and outerwear. Animal “hair” such as wool or silk is generally better in giving warmth than crop fibres or synthetics, knitted fabrics rather form an insulating air cushion than woven materials. Unpleasant smells come from bacteria which develop very quickly in sweat. Crop and synthetic fibres are a good soil for such bacteria. Animal fibres, however, like wool and silk, take up the odour and give it away by airing; thus bacteria cannot easily settle.

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I

Interlock

Interlock

Elastic, double-side, flat and circular knit fabric having the same direction of stitches on each side of the textile product but is not ribbed. Double plain-plain knits are thus united that one plain stitch on the front has an opposite plain stitch which is slightly shifted. Therefore the structure of stitches is very fine and smooth and the fabric feels very elastic.

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IVN

IVN

International Association Natural Textile Industry e.V. (see Natural Textile)

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L

Lanoline

Lanoline

Lanoline or wool fat is a natural secretion from the sebaceous glands of the sheep and provides a protective film on the wool and keeps it elastic. Wool fat is light yellow to brownish and has a distinct odour. When washing clothes from pure wool, Lanoline normally gets into the wash water, therefore you should use Lanoline wool treatment.

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Laundry Symbols

Laundry Symbols

Wash

waschen

Machine wash

waschen

Delicate machine wash

waschen

Special delicate machine wash

waschen

Hand wash

The numbers in the tub indicate the maximum washing temperature, which should not be exceeded. The line underneath the tub requires a (mechanically) softer treatment (delicate wash) and marks washing cycles suitable for wash-and-wear and mechanically delicate articles. A double line indicates washing cycles with a more minimized mechanic, e.g. for wool.


Iron

bügeln

Hot iron

bügeln

Medium hot iron

bügeln

Do not hot iron! Be careful when steam ironing

bügeln

Do not iron

The points in the iron indicate the levels of temperature of the respective iron.


Tumble Drying

trocknen

Drying with normal thermal load

trocknen

Drying with reduced thermal load

trocknen

Do not tumble dry

The points stand for the drying level of the tumble dryer.


Bleach

bleichen

Chlorine and oxygen bleach admissible

bleichen

Non-chlorine bleach only

bleichen

Do not bleach


Dry Clean

reinigung

Do not Dry Clean

reinigung

Do not wet clean


reinigung reinigung reinigung reinigung

The letters are for chemical dry clean and indicate which active solvents can be used. The beam underneath the circle stands for a reduced mechanical treatment, addition of moisture and/or temperature when dry cleaning.

trocknen trocknen trocknen

This symbol marks articles which can be wet cleaned. Normally it is in the second line under the symbol for chemical dry cleaning. The beam underneath the circle indicates a reduced mechanical treatment. (see washing).

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M

Mulesing

Mulesing

Because of climatic reasons sheep from Australia and New Zealand are particularly infested by the blowfly, especially the very hairy Merino sheep. The fly prospers mainly in areas with permanent green ground, i.e. rainy areas. The climate is continentally determined, only in the south of Australia there are minor seasonal fluctuations.

The animals are afflicted by fly maggots. The flies settle in the warm, wet, with excrements and urine covered, badly ventilated skin folds around the after and genital region. Here they find the optimal climate for the maggots, which the flies place there. The maggots move over and under the skin and ultimately eat the sheep from within. As a result serious inflammations occur and often the sheep die. Especially during periods of high environmental temperature the flies proliferate. To rescue the sheep from this fate, the painful “Mulesing” is applied. To prevent the infestation of the sheep, the skin folds around the after, vulva and tail of lambs in Australia are brutally cut out with a sharp scissor without any anesthetization. There is no further attention given to these wounds, they have to heal and scar over on their own. Wool does not grow anymore on this scar tissue, it stays even and fold-free, thus maggots are not attracted to it anymore. It cannot be excluded that also Australian sheep from certified organic husbandry have to suffer because of Mulesing. The criteria for certified organic husbandry are regulated by the NASAA (National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia Ltd.). In the Organic Standard of the NASAA, Mulesing is generally forbidden, but there are exceptions that allow Mulesing under restricted conditions.

According to our research Mulesing can be applied on farms that practice conventional husbandry and that are mainly located in rainy areas. Till 2010, Australia wants to find alternatives in the breeding and the (allopathic) treatment to abstain from applying Mulesing. The main market for Australian wool is China. However most of the wool textiles produced there are consumed by European customers.

Many countries in South America have already developed laws and control systems concerning organic farming that are geared to the demands of target markets like Europe and the US. One example is Argentina. Thus South America has the largest amount of wool produced in certified organic husbandry and it orients itself on the EC Directive for organic farming. Because of the climatic conditions in Patagonia – there are big temperature differences between summer and winter and day and night, additionally it is very windy - the Argentinean wool is curlier than the Australian wool, in order to protect the animals from wind and cold. And because of the same reason blowflies do not exist there, thus Mulesing is no issue in Patagonia.

It would be nice, if you recommend to your customers to make sure that the wool they want to buy originates from certified organic husbandry, because the wonderfully soft wearing comfort and the enjoyable and health enhancing attributes of wool should not have the bad aftertaste of cruelty to animals.

ENGEL exclusively uses Argentinean wool from certified organic husbandry for its wool products. All wool articles of ENGEL are certified with the quality mark “NATURTEXTIL–IVN ZERTIFIZIERT BEST”. This guarantees wool that is free of Mulesing. ENGEL exclusively uses wool from certified organic husbandry for all wool/silk articles.

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N

Naturtextil

Naturtextil

Naturtextil

The quality hallmark for natural textiles of the International Association Natural Textile Industry e.V. (IVN).

This IVN quality mark NATURTEXTIL–IVN ZERTIFIZIERT BEST stands for the highest possible environmental requirements textile products currently can fulfill. With the GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD (GOTS), the worldwide established, uniform label for organic textiles, products are labelled which comply with the basic requirements, as well on a technologically advanced ecological level. Only companies which comply with the strict production guidelines of the IVN standards achieve the authorization to label their products.

The standards are inspected and certified for every production stage and every substance applied.

GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD

GOTS is the minimum standard which IVN certified textile products must fulfill. It is the worldwide established uniformed label for organic textiles. If a product is to carry the GOTS label it must consist of minimum 90% natural fibres. Only 10% may be synthetic fibres or viscose rayon with exceptions for hosiery and sportswear which can consist of maximum 25%. However, at least 70% of the fibres must be of certified organic origin.

Certified organic fibres are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides from plants which are not genetically modified, adequate animal housing is compulsory. Organic farming protects soil, water and air, receives the variety of species and does without genetic engineering.

For fiber processing critical chemical treatments are prohibited; bleaches for example may only be made on basis of oxygen, the chlorination of wool or the use of certain optical brightening is forbidden. Mechanical or thermal treatments are harmless and permitted.

Substances used for dyeing and printing may not damage the health or be harmful to the environment and must be authorized by the certification bodies. Dyes containing toxic heavy metals or aromatic solvents and amine-releasing azo dyes are taboo.

Some textiles are provided with a functional finishing, as e.g. “crease resist finish”, “waterproof”, or “Anti-pilling”. With eco-friendly textiles this finishing may only be obtained by mechanical, thermal and other physical treatment. Synthetic auxiliaries are permitted only for softening, milling and felting. Hazardous substances like heavy metals, formaldehyde, aromatic solvents, chloro-phenols (as TCP, PCP) or halogenated solvents are forbidden in the entire production process. All substances must be bio-degradable and may not harm soil, air and water.

Accessories such as appliqué, inlays, interface, cords and shoulder pads are of natural fibers or viscose rayon. Metal as used for zippers, buttons or fastenings must be free from chrome and nickel, in order to avoid allergies.

To guarantee a high quality the products must fulfill appropriate requirements concerning the light fastness, perspiration fastness, saliva fastness, washing fastness and shrinking values. Any final product labeled according to GOTS must keep strict residue values regarding a comprehensive list of health-endangering or polluting substances.

The “International Labour Organisation” has defined standards, which serve as minimum social criteria for the GOTS: prohibition of forced or bonded labour, child labour, abuse or discrimination, demand of living wages, safe working conditions and freedom of association.

NATURTEXTIL–IVN ZERTIFIZIERT BEST

This IVN quality mark stands for the highest possible environmental requirements textile products currently can fulfill and consequently exceeds the requirements of the GOTS. The fundamental difference is that BEST labeled products must consist 100% certified organic fibres.

The list of accepted dyes and auxiliaries is more restricted then it is for the GOTS, for example no exception for the use of copper containing dyes is made.

The mercerization, a pre-treatment of cotton yarns with caustic soda to increase its gloss is forbidden. The use of optical brighteners is not permitted, either.

Accessories like inlays, embroidery yarns or edgings must be of natural fibres and may not consist of viscose rayon.

Source: IVN

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Nickel-free

Nickel-free

Nickel is a silverfish-white metal and triggers contact allergies most frequently. In Germany there are approximately 2 million people being allergic to Nickel. Besides, the breathing in of inorganic nickel compounds leads to a higher lung cancer risk. This is the reason why ENGEL only uses press buttons and fasteners from nickel-free material.

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O

Organic

Organic

Organic products are in fashion but the term “organic” is not protected in the European textile industry so that the grade “organic” in fact does not guarantee you that the goods produced according to ecological aspects. The same applies for the terms “natural”, “nature”, “healthy” or “eco”. Therefore look out for certified organic goods and the hallmarks “NATURTEXTIL–IVN ZERTIFIZIERT BEST” and “GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD (GOTS)”, “BIOLAND” or “DEMETER” (certified German organic brands). These are the hallmarks you can trust.

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Organic Animal Farming

Certified Organic Husbandry

Ecological husbandry is motivated by the esteem and respect for animal and man. The merino sheep are kept according to the requirements appropriate to the species, so that they can live in a healthy and stress-free way. The pastures therefore must suit the merino sheep in regard to climatic and ecological conditions. The use of pesticides both on the meadows and the animal is inadmissible. The animals procreate in a natural way and any kind of change on the animal such as trimming the tail or mulesing are forbidden. In short – the sheep should live a happy life!

The merino virgin wool used in ENGEL’s woollen underwear is from organic husbandry. The certified organic origin of the wool is without noxious substances like pesticides and herbicides and thus can not get into ENGEL’s range of wool clothing. Therefore, these articles are awarded the highest certificate, the quality hallmark NATURTEXTIL–IVN ZERTIFIZIERT BEST.

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Organic Cultivation

Certified Organic Cultivation

The traditional cotton cultivation takes place in monocultures. The seeds are partially abuzz with fungicides. The fields are sprayed with pesticides up to 25 times per growing season, normally by aeroplane. Before the mechanical harvesting the cotton bushes are defoliated. Due to the intensive chemical fertilization and spraying of pesticides, insect plagues are on the increase as vermin get resistant against all the different pesticides. Therefore an increasing use of noxious substances is necessary which leads to an overdose of saline in the soil and causes the water level to sink. Thus, the amount of nitrate augments and finally the soil will erode and pesticide residues get into the food chain. In the Eighties, pesticide residues were found in the fat of penguins in the Antarctic. But not only the soil and as a consequence the food chain are polluted, the land workers normally working barefoot on their fields are especially affected. Up to 30’000 human beings are supposed to die each year of such pollutions. Fungicides and pesticides, for instance, have a mutagen and neurotoxic effect.

Certified organic farming only allows natural fertilizers and regulates the cultivation of the fields according to the crop rotation (e.g. wheat or different kinds of vegetable, like corn, beans, peanuts, etc.). This means that cotton is grown without chemical fertilizers and without the use of pesticides according to ecological-dynamic guidelines. Thus, only those soils are cultivated which have not been treated with chemicals for several years. Weeds are plucked out by hand, vermin fought by mixed cultivation and the settling of useful insects. Designed biotopes like hedges and trees serve as nesting site for birds and small animals. Green manure and a consistent crop rotation enliven the soil and cause a more productive harvest. According to the degree of ripeness of the cotton capsules the harvest takes place in 3 to 4 pickings by hand.

As a matter of course certified organic farming abstains from spraying defoliation toxics. ENGEL solely uses organic cotton for all cotton clothing. Our clothes are awarded the highest certificate, the quality hallmark NATURTEXTIL–IVN ZERTIFIZIERT BEST.

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R

Raglan

Raglan

Raglan

Special kind of a sleeve cut. Shoulder width and sleeve is made up of one piece, without shoulder seam. The raglan seam ranges from the neck ring across the chest and the bladebone to the armhole.

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S

Schappe Silk

Schappe Silk

is gained from the cocoon of the wild silkworm. It has long piled up fibres which are spun together in the schappe spinning method to Tussah silk.

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Silk

Silk

The silk thread is an animal albumen fibre which is extracted from the cocoon of the silkworm and which is similar to the wool fibre structure and in its characteristics. The extraordinary length of this natural silk fibre, its tensile strength, finesse and its characteristic grip, turn silk into one of the finest textile materials. Silk is especially eudermic and has a shiny surface. Silk actively balances temperature, i.e. it gives warmth when it is cold and cools down when warm. Silk is suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Silk can take up 40 % of its own weight as moisture. It regenerates, similarly to wool, in fresh air and does not have to washed frequently. We advise to only hand wash silk in warm water without rubbing. Avoid when drying your silk clothes long and direct sun as otherwise the fibre gets brittle and loses its firmness.

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W

Wool

Wool

Wool fibre is an albumen fibre that is similar to human skin with respect to its component parts. The term wool indicates that it is only sheep hair. All other hair of animals such as lamas, vicugnas, goats, angora rabbits or camels is not defined as wool although they all resemble in their structure. They are all albumen fibres, consisting of Keratin. The wool fibre has a characteristic structure by its fine, gradual scales lying on top of each other. The outer scales can jam together when treated in the wrong way so that they will interlock firmly, which means that wool felts. Virgin wool is the wool fibre which one gains by shearing living sheep. Only the first processing can be called pure new(virgin) wool. Merino virgin wool comes from the merino sheep, is finely crimped and feels soft and cosy.

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Lexikon