New Earth Cotton Jersey
The tldr; on New Earth Cotton Jersey is that it's a heavyweight but extremely breathable cotton unlike any other. Thick yarns, relatively low gauge knitting and a proprietary mercerization plus bio-polishing finish combine to make a heavyweight t-shirt fabric with a both a lot of stand-off-the-body structure and an open construction to allow lots of air flow. Heavyweight, smooth to the touch and cool on the body.
The longer more complicated way to think of New Earth Cotton is as a process rather than a thing. This fabric was born as an anti-cotton of sorts, an attempt to make a cotton fabric that cotton haters could love. We called it FU/Cotton originally and it worked a little too well, we fell in love with cotton and we need to find a new approach. As beautiful as cotton can be it comes from a world of problems. It is usually grown on soil that can also be used for food, it is usually very thirsty, demanding lots of either water and /or chemicals. Despite the plant itself being a carbon sink, the processing around it is not, the industrial revolution was largely built around processing cotton, by the time it gets turned into a garment it as transformed by humans and machines as any synthetic fiber.
With New Earth Cotton our goal is to systematically push toward a healthier and cleaner cotton. We want all our fabrics traceable to the source and we want to those sources to be using the lowest chemical and lowest carbon intensive methods feasible.Right now New Earth Cotton is a Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton grown in Pakistan and knit in Portugal. We want to push forward toward a multitude of improvements, toward fibers traceable to local regions or individual farms, towards regenerative agriculture techniques and towards a relocalizing of the supply chain to minimize the miles in-between growing, processing, spinning, knitting, sewing and warehousing.
Most of these goals are individually obtainable already but only in small quantities and for very particular materials. Our goal is to push forward to the point they are available all together and for all types of yarns and end uses, including the relatively uncommon thick yarns used in New Earth Cotton Jersey. As what makes the New Earth Cotton so nice right now, it all stems from a very particular combination of yarn size, knit gauge and fabric finishing. We start with BCI cotton yarns that are much thicker than what's found in most t-shirt jersey. By knitting these yarns at a lower gauge than usual we leave lots of space in the knit for air flow.
Then we have the mill add their proprietary finishing technique where the fabric is first mercerized to burn off fuzziness and bio-polished to give it a smooth finish. Not only does this feel great on the skin but it also helps keep those gaps in the knit structure open to keep the cool air flowing. The whole combination nets out a heavyweight t-shirt jersey clocking in at about 270gsm or 80z. Like many cottons jerseys in this weight class it has a crisp, stand off the body structure that both looks and feels great. These are troubled times but this is a cotton to build a new earth in.