4 Toxic Textile Treatments: What You Want To Know About Flame Retardant Chemicals, Off-Gassing, PFC's, and VOC's

4 Toxic Textile Treatments: What You Want To Know About Flame Retardant Chemicals, Off-Gassing, PFC's, and VOC's

In this blog post we're going to address the top 4 concerns our customers have about certain potentially harmful chemicals used in some textile decor products, and whether we use them.  (TL; DR: No, we don't.)


When we are asked if we use flame retardant chemicals on our products the primary concern of our consumers is to avoid purchasing a product treated with certain flame retardant chemicals which are now known to be carcinogenic. In years past, these chemicals were required to sell certain things such as beds and sofas inside the state of California, to save people who fell asleep with a lit cigarette. Now that these chemicals are known to be carcinogenic, California has reversed its position and now requires consumers to be warned against these specific chemicals.  We have never treated our products with flame retardant chemicals. 

Our fabric suppliers are required to label fabrics treated with these flame retardant chemicals; we do not buy fabric labeled as having been treated with these flame retardant chemicals. We list our fabric content on our RN labels and on our website.

Our foam supplier sells us mixed scrap latex foam. Our supplier provides a variable mix of natural and synthetic latex foam. Our foam supplier does not treat the latex foam with these flame retardant chemicals. We also list the foam content on our RN labels and on our website.


Another concern our consumers often have, especially in the nursery, is to avoid certain memory foam products which are known to offgas. We do not use memory foam in any of our products. Consumers may think "memory foam" and "latex foam" are the same thing, but we have reason to believe latex foam is vastly superior to memory foam.

Although it's rare, one reason consumers may confuse latex foam for memory foam is actually due to the peculiar way biology varies from person to person. To most people, our natural synthetic latex foam blend has an odor which many people describe as being similar to vanilla, but which most people find barely noticeable.  However, a very small number of individuals may be hypersensitive to the smell of latex foam, instead of a faint sweet odor they smell a strong odor.   Most hyper-sensitive individuals report decreased awareness of the odor after washing or airing the cushions.


If you're worried about PFC's, you can rest easy knowing that we offer cushion options made with fabrics that have never been treated with stain resistant chemicals, and we do not add stain resistant chemical treatments to any of our cushions.

We offer two collections of products that have been made with fabrics that have never been treated with stain resistant chemicals: the Brisbane Collection, and the Premier Collection.

We do carry other collections that may have had a temporary protective treatment applied to the fabric before we used the fabric to make the cushions. Some fabric suppliers do this to protect the fabric during shipment to us, the cushion manufacturer. The treatment is similar to scotchguard, but if you wish to remove any protective treatments that my have come from the fabric supplier, you can purchase a set of machine washable cushions and machine wash with a gentle detergent such as Woolite. 


We are aware of an increasing number of companies that are using chemical treatments to render natural fibers such as cotton "safe" to use outside.  These fabrics are then turned into products which are advertised as "indoor/outdoor". Our indoor/outdoor products are made from 100% spun polyester or olefin fibers that are naturally able to shed water (or other liquids) because of the shape of the fibers; this gives them mildew resistance and stain resistance without the use of a chemical spray.  Unlike cotton fabrics treated with chemicals or wax coatings that may lose their effectiveness over time, our indoor/outdoor fabrics made from 100% spun polyester will always be safe to use outdoors -all you have to do is allow them to dry completely first if you decide to store them away when not in use.

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