My Organically Grown Roots at i play.
Of seven grandchildren, I was my grandmother’s only granddaughter. In the summers when I visited her and we sewed together, I developed my passion for fabric. I loved their colors and designs, textures and functions. When [my daughters] Emi and Mari were born, I made their cotton nightgowns, because, at that time, it was impossible to find cotton sleepwear. Since then, fabric technology has come a long way.
Over 30 years ago, when I started my business, i play., Inc. 100% cotton was the most natural fabric available. Then I discovered natural (or green) cotton. which was fabric that had not been bleached or dyed. Seamstresses worked in my basement making bodysuits, bibs, diapers, caps, blankets, and towels. Over the years, I introduced organic cotton several times, but no one knew what it was, or was interested in buying it at that time. Parents today are aware of the value in organic cotton for their babies.
Babies have many functional needs for comfort, breathability, absorbency, and for waterproof protection. There are many options in the market to create products for babies that are functional and comfortable with cute designs.
Now, when I attend fabric trade shows, I am fascinated by the array of options—functional fabrics with charcoal and bamboo, fabrics that wick away moisture, fabrics that have extra absorbency, and those that are waterproof and breathable. Although I have come to accept the value of man-made fabrics, such as fleece, Lyrca, and microfiber for the functions that they offer, I prefer natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, silk, and wool to be next to a new baby’s skin for maximum comfort and health.