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Topic: I Found a Non-Toxic Waterproof Fabric! Opinions Please!  (Read 34896 times)
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plummy
« on: July 23, 2009 05:14:30 PM »

Hi everyone!  So I have recently been getting into making sandwich bags and wraps, and unknowingly used vinyl (gasp!  shock! horror!) as my waterproof layer on my first...20 or so.  >.<   Since I discovered the horrors of vinyl off-gassing, I have gone on a huge quest to find a food-safe waterproof fabric.  At first I looked into PULs and polyurethane nylons...but after a lot of individual research, talking to representatives in the polyurethane business, and talking to the FDA, I still felt rather iffy about the fabric that is currently in production (I actually even have talk going with a polyurethane rep about making my own fabric with food-grade polyurethane...scar y, lol).  BUT in more research I found this website:

http://www.mimithesardine.com/index.html

They sell already made items, but I called the woman in charge and talked to her and you can also buy any of the material on the website by the yard, for 26$/yard.  I know it's a bit pricey, but I would be totally willing to pay for something that will not be leeking toxins into my food.

If you don't want to hunt down the info on her site, here is the general gist (from the site and from when I called her):

The fabric meets the CPSIA requirements,  and the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard (european) which certifies that the cloth does not contain harmful chemicals and components.

The fabric is an organic cotton with a water-based acrylic coating (not PVC).  Apparently the fabric is water resistant and the coating does not wash off even after many washings in a washing machine.

The fabric has been tested and found safe with foods in europe (although not yet in the states).


I was hoping to get everyone's opinions on this, and if anyone knows of any other place to get a non-toxic food-safe waterproof fabric (even if it's a bit more pricey), please let me know!
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2009 05:37:40 AM »

That's pretty interesting. My only thought is that water "resistant" and waterproof are two different things, but if you're going for the greener/safer crowd I don't think they'll argue the point. You can always test the stuff out, at least, by storing something that sweats (ice in a bag or something) in a mock-up sack. If things are eventually soaking through it means they have to be washed more frequently.
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plummy
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009 09:54:01 PM »

that's a good point, and i'll definitely do a mock-up first.  thanks for the input!  Smiley
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RyverChyld
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2009 04:10:16 AM »

Hi
I just bought some of the PUL to line some sandwich bags.  I am a little confused on how to use it though.... there is a shiny plastic-y side and a soft fabric side......which side do you put up towards the food??  Which side is supposed to touch the food??? Huh

thanks for you help!! Smiley
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plummy
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2009 08:56:39 AM »

RyverChyld, commercially sold PUL has not been approved by the FDA for use with food, so make sure that you realize that before you use it in sandwich bags.  Many people still do, but just so you know.  Other than that, it's really up to you what side you put against your food.  The shiny plastic side is the polyurethane (the plastic that may or may not be harmful) so if you want your bag to be more waterresistant, put that side against your food.  If you don't want your food touching plastic, put the fabric side inwards.  Good luck!
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Flyin.Needles
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009 07:36:34 AM »

I just came across this post, as I was looking for the same sort of fabric to make sandwich / snack bags for my family.  The closest I'd come before seeing this was old fashioned 'oilcloth', made by painting linseed oil on duck cloth.  But, when I was researching linseed oil, I found that (for woodworking / food surfaces) they recommend only non-boiled linseed oil *and* that they consider it to have low water resistance.

So, did you ever discover another supplier for food-safe water-resistant fabric?  I'd love to know what you ended up using.  Thanks!
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plummy
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2009 08:57:29 AM »

ug.  So, basically I ended up giving up on the project (or at least shelving it until I find a magical supplier).  I have contacted a ton of people, done a ton of research, and pretty much ended up with zip.  I did try to make my own oilcloth using walnut oil (which my research indicated would work just as well, if not better, than linseed oil, and which is perfectly food safe) and it was an epic fail.  The fabric listed here is the only place I found that sells to private buyers (i.e. I don't have to buy a million bucks worth of fabric) and it was just too expensive for me to justify buying enough of it for my project.  I think there is a huge unexplored market for waterproof food-safe fabric that is pretty much completely unexplored, but I honestly just don't have the means to move in that direction.  If anyone has any other information, I would love to know more. 
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nancy01602
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009 06:10:39 PM »

OMG - walnut oil - that would be deadly for those with nut allergies. 

$26 dollars a yard for the material you want?  Perhaps if they give volume discount you could find other people interested in combining their order with you to lower the per yard price.  How many wraps could you make per yard?  What would your unit cost be per unit?

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plummy
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2009 08:36:58 PM »

I did think about that, but as I really wanted to make reusable sandwich bags not only for myself but also to sell, I wasn't sure it would be nice/polite/on the up-and-up to ask to buy fabric from this source, as she also sells reusable sandwich bags made from this material.  Thoughts? 
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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2009 08:38:21 AM »

Sometimes you have to go outside the norm with what you use to make stuff. What about this interesting waterproof bed cover thingie - says it's oeko-tex certified:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000OEZ2ZU/ref=asc_df_B000OEZ2ZU479136?smid=A20XM9JIDWM1G&tag=dealtimecouk-kitchen-mp-delta-21&linkCode=asn&creative=7974&creativeASIN=B000OEZ2ZU
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009 08:39:00 AM by CraftyChef » THIS ROCKS   Logged

plummy
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2009 09:09:15 AM »

Now that's really interesting.  I actually was looking at waterproof chemical-free bedcovers like this, but they were all quite spendy.  I'm guessing it would fall into the Oeko-tex category II (I posted the link to the Oeko-tex categories page below), which I think is the second most regulated category.  The thing that concerns me is that it allows 'body heat and vapour to pass through.'  It says waterproof...I wonder if it's more water-resistant.  Thoughts?

I also think it's interesting to note, this is a decent price on a UK site, but I just did a google search to see if there was any American sellers I could buy from (I'm over state-side) and I found similar items...for a lot more money.  I think pretty much the same item goes for upwards of 60$ (about 30 pounds).  I definitely could look into the british site's shipping though. 

Anyways, what do you think about the water resistant bit?

http://www.oeko-tex.com/OekoTex100_PUBLIC/content.asp?area=hauptmenue&site=einteilung&cls=02
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jen_a_s
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2009 10:22:03 PM »

This is probably a very non-helpful reply, since I couldn't name a manufacturer or supplier for you, but would there be any food grade biodegradable plastics (I think they may be corn based? I've only seen them in eco friendly and compost garbage-bag format, so there may be all kinds of food-unfriendly toxicity involved.)  The biodegradable factor is obviously a problem for the re usable bag idea, but maybe as a lining that could be replaced? 
It's a great idea you have, I hope that you can source some material!     
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plummy
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2009 11:50:42 PM »

Hm.  That's an idea, but if we were going the route of replaceable liners I don't see why we couldn't just use plastic sandwich bags as liners.

One idea I did have was to create liners with FoodSaver plastic.  It's thick, and you could use the Foodsaver machine to heat seal all the seams, so it would be waterproof.  Unfortunately I do not have a Foodsaver and am much too cheap to spend the 100$ or so to test out this idea.  Also not sure how easy it would be to sew it in since the plastic, I believe, is thick.  Anyone have a Foodsaver they can test this idea with?
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rubidoux
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2009 01:07:20 AM »

Do you know anything about PEVA?  I don't, really, but I have read that it's food safe.  I wonder if these shower curtains are food safe and how you could find out:  http://www.vitafutura.com/curtains/plastic.asp .  Here's a PEVA film seller, but I bet you'd have to buy a lot.  http://rdplastic.en.ec21.com/EVA_PEVA_Film--3445746_3480028.html  If you decide to coop it, lmk!  I'd love to buy some.  Smiley

Another idea which is not really feasible for going into business but would work for personal use at least is using mylar, the silvery snack bag stuff (I've been eating some extra smartfood and cheetoes lately).  It can be ironed, sewn, and washed in a washing machine.  I have several bags of it waiting to be turned into sandwich wraps and bags.  I'm thinking of listing a couple in my etsy shop, but I don't know if people would be bothered by the use of an old cheetoes bag.  But obviously, I don't need to eat so many cheetoes as I would need to stock a store.

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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2010 07:54:02 AM »

I was curious about all of this as well. I was thinking about using Iron-on-Vinyl, it's a Heat-n-Bond product. I have a small amount. I can't seem to find much info about how it is made other than this.

"Due to the recent Consumer Product Safety Act of 2009 regarding the exposure of children to plastics, Therm O Web tested our Iron-On Vinyl product for full compatibility with new government regulations. Our testing found that Iron-On Vinyl contains no BPA or lead content. However, Iron-On Vinyl does utilize a plasticizer, DIDP, and even though this Phthalate is not banned by the government, as a precaution we would suggest that Iron-On Vinyl not be used on items that are meant to be chewed on or sucked on by children."


I have made place mats with this product and the kids have been using them for years to eat snacks and sandwiches off of. I'm kinda concerned now, but where I don't have to much info on what is safe and what is not, I wasn't sure if I should try it. Another thought was to buy Ziploc Freezer bags (which seem more thick) and kinda quilt it together with the fabric.   Not sure what I want to try!

Cristina
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Moo
plummy
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2010 09:33:16 PM »

Hmm...my main concern would be that it is Vinyl, and the Polyvinylchloride isn't approved for use with food.  I would say that calling the company and asking if it has been approved for use with food would probably the best bet.  It could be that it isn't actually polyvinylchloride, but they just call it vinyl so that consumers will know the *type* of product that it is. 

I did try sewing ziplock bags to fabric.  I didn't try the freezer bags, but I had a few problems with the regular bags at least:  the first problem was appearance--at least with the regular bags, it looked really cheap.  The second problem was that water leaked out through the holes the needle made in the plastic (the same problem I had with Tyvek).  The third problem was that I was afraid with frequent use, the plastic would get stretched out of shape around points of stress, especially the seam along the top of the bag, and would eventually rip.  Do you think the freezer bags will be any different on any of those accounts? 

The idea I really wanted to try, but didn't have a chance, was to use the Food Saver plastic as a liner (it's fairly heavy duty) and instead of sewing the seams, heat bonding them.  Voila, waterproof, approved with use of food.  I don't know if you could sew it (I'm guessing it's too thick) and I'm not sure if you could heat bond it to fabric, but it might work as a bag liner.  Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Food Saver to test this idea out, and I'm too low on funds to justify buying one just to see if it will work.  Can anyone else test this?
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guacaMolly
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2010 03:45:25 PM »

I have been having the same dilemma! I'm not comfortable with PUL or ripstop nylon since neither is technically food safe. I just recently discovered ProCare fabric. It is on two websites:

http://www.candleonthehill.net/store/catalog.php?item=157

They say:
This fabric is a very high quality, very durable, waterproof barrier fabric.  Good for 300 industrial washings...1000 home washings!  Great for a waterproof layer in cloth menstrual pads.  72" Wide, white, supple polymer over polyester knit fabric, this fabric is food-grade as well.

So, basically, this is food grade PUL, correct? I found it on wazoodle for as little as 5.23 a yard, but shipping is high because it is heavy. I'm thinking that it would be worth it.

Thoughts?
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plummy
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2010 10:26:14 PM »

Now that is really interesting!  I will definitely have to look into that.  I must admit, though, that it makes me sort of nervous how they just tacked onto the end that it is food-grade.  From my understanding, it is quite a procedure to get something FDA approved as food-safe, so it's usually a heavy selling point.  However, it could be that the food-safety test was a side test they did to get it approved, say, for use with babies, so they don't understand it's selling attraction.  I also wonder who it is food grade with?  FDA?  Oeko-tex?  More research, says I!  This sounds like a great lead though, definitely one of the best ones we've had so far.
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Visit my etsy shop!   Cute girly clothing and accessories!  bydanalynn.etsy.com
muddy
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2010 07:42:38 PM »

All of your posts have been very informative.  I'd love to make lunch packs too but I want the same material you are seeking.  I love the lunchskins.com.  Can't figure out the material they use and I've searched for the German company they mention but have found nothing on it.  I'd love to order bulk if I could find the right material.  I'd even be willing to produce with a factory overseas if I knew what to request.  I can't believe there's no US shops that sell the material that we are all seeking.  I never imagined how difficult this small request would be.

Looking forward to any additional links/shops/info anyone can provide on food safe material and eco friendly would be a wonderful perk too.  Thanks again for all your helpful and informative posts.
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rachelhc
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2010 10:43:46 AM »

IKEA's coated fabric is cotton coated with acrylic.  I sent them an email to ask if it was food-safe and all they could tell me was that it was not designed to be in contact with food--so I guess that means not certified.  Still, I'm thinking it might be better than most of the other options--acrylic vs. polyurethane, etc.  It's also reasonably priced (about $10/m here in Canada).  I've seen some lunch bags that are cotton coated with acrylic that is apparently certified food-safe, but I haven't found any sources.  Most google searches lead to forums like this--with lots of questions!
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Fabrics
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2013 10:44:45 AM »

Most waterproof fabrics have a Polyurethane (PU) coating, I would ask to see a MSDS for the fabric, to check if the PU coating is Toxic.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2013 05:43:44 PM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to comply with Craftster guidelines » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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