Questions and answers (FAQ)

Factory Outlet

When is the Engel factory outlet open?

You’ll find our current opening times here.

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How can I get hold of the Engel factory outlet by telephone?

You can reach us on the following number during opening hours: +49 (0)7121 - 3878788

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Questions about products

Do I need to wash my Engel products before I wear them for the first time?

You don’t need to wash our products before wearing them for the first time. After the knitting process, our fabrics are washed to rinse out any excess dye residues, in the first place, and secondly to remove knitting oils and dirt.

Our products are all made using 100% ecologically sound methods and have no chemical finish. And we never make use of dyes that could be a health hazard or textile finishes which could cause skin irritations, for example, or harm the environment during or after processing. We are not allowed to do this under the strict manufacturing criteria with which we must comply to obtain the IVN BEST or GOTS certifications for our products.

We basically recommend that you wash our wool and wool/silk fabrics as little as possible. Wool regenerates in oxygen-rich air of its own accord and so it can also just be well-aired.

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How can I wash my Engel products?

You can machine-wash all Engel cotton products at 40 °C or 60 °C, depending on whether the item is natural, i.e. undyed, or coloured.

If possible, do not use detergents containing optical brighteners, as the colours may fade or change. Apart from this, the whitening agents that build up on the fibre are said to have a harmful effect on contact with skin. In addition, they are not easily biodegradable. A mild or colour detergent is better for the skin and the environment.

For wool and wool/silk, we recommend washing by hand or possibly machine washing. In any case, you should use a wool detergent because these do not contain any enzymes (protease) and are pH-neutral. This is essential for your washing machine’s wool programme. However, a gentle shampoo can also sometimes be a good substitute when it comes to a quick hand-wash.

Please check the washing instructions or label to see whether hand-washing or machine-washing is recommended.

You will find a precise explanation of the care symbols in our encyclopaedia.

Hand-washing:
Briefly swirl around a little in plenty of luke-warm water, squeezing gently, using a mild detergent specially designed for wool, then rinse in water of the same temperature. Please do not put in the tumble drier or on radiators as this will make the wool hard, brittle and felted. We recommend squeezing the products in a towel after rinsing, pulling them into shape while wet and drying them flat.

Please do not: Rub, wring out or spin, expose to changes in temperature (first warm water then cold, or vice versa), soak

Machine-washing:
Please select the Wool Wash/Hand Wash programme. “Cold” or max. 30 °C in the machine will keep your wool garments soft, elastic and absorbent. With machine-washing too, it is very important that the temperature is the same for both washing and rinsing and that you check that a low spin speed is either part of the programme or can be set manually – max. 400-500 rpm.

You should also use a wool-wash detergent for machine-washing, as silk and wool are protein fibres which should basically be cared for with products in the slightly acid pH range (below 7 pH value). These products do not remove the natural oil and protect the fibres at the same time.

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My Engel fleece products are giving off lint/are pilling. Is this normal, and what can I do to stop it?

There is a distinction between giving off lint and pilling: Lint is the fibre residue lying loose on the knitwear, whereas pilling is the name for the little knots that form when these fibre residues are rolled together by friction.

Unfortunately, we cannot completely avoid the formation of lint or pilling on fleece articles. Our products are manufactured from wool from certified organic sheep and have no chemical finish. With conventional products, the ends of the fibres can be saturated, for example, with special film-building substances such as acrylic or vinyl polymers to reduce the formation of lint and little knots (anti-pilling finishes). We do not use these finishes, for ecological reasons.

The reason for this pilling is the sliding capacity of the fibres. Basically all wool garments have a tendency to pill. The fibres are damaged, for example, by friction, emerge initially from the tidy knitted fabric and are then stuck to the surface. Loose fibres then form little knots, i.e. they are created by rubbing or scrubbing or by washing and drying, often in contact with fabrics made from mixed fibres containing synthetics. It makes sense that little fibre knots become established more easily in a loose knit than in a firmly bonded knit. Loose fibres lies on the surface of wool fabrics in particular, because the wool fibres do not have such smooth surfaces as, for example, cotton. Remember that pilling occurs extremely easily on flurry yet very high-quality wools, such as fleece, cashmere or mohair. Our wool fleece is as light, cosy and fluffy as it is partly because of the fibre quality – pure, very fine merino virgin wool – and partly because of the process of napping, when then stitches are loosened a little by scratching. The fluffy finish that this produces contains lots of tiny air pockets, and this is what keeps the wearer so wonderfully warm. The napping process means that individual fibres are no longer firmly locked in the bonded knit; instead, they become loose and “pill”. All napped fabrics have this disadvantage to some extent. And not every napping processing produces exactly the same result, because wools do not behave in exactly the same way (e.g. dyed wools are different from undyed). Cotton and polyamide fleeces have a greater tendency to pill because the loosely lying fibres come together into little knots, and super-light, pure wool fleece forms lint, especially when friction occurs. The formation of lint lessens with wear, once the loose fibres have come off. Only very smooth knits will be completely lint-free.

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that the care of wool fabrics also includes the removal of lint and pilling – ideally with a lint roller or a pilling shaver. You should never use a fabric softener, as this increases pilling.

You can also deal with the problem by going over the fabric with a soft clothes brush to brush the lint out. Another option is to remove the lint and pilling with adhesive tape or to place the item in the dryer at a cold temperature. But the formation of lint will stop of its own accord after a while.

Pilling and lint formation are not grounds for complaint, as they are perfectly natural, as described above. However, if you need any advice, for example, about removing pilling, we would naturally be happy to help.

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Wool scratches, doesn’t it?

All Engel wool and wool/silk articles are made from the finest merino virgin wool. This has nothing to do with the “scratchy” wool that many people think of when they hear the word “wool”. Merino virgin wool is soft and cuddly and doesn’t scratch – the best thing is to try it yourself.

You’ll find all you need to know about wool in our encyclopaedia.

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Is wool clothing too warm in the spring or summer?

Along with its many other great properties, wool is temperature-regulating. This means that when it’s cold, wool warms you up and when it’s hot, it cools you down. You don’t sweat as much as you do in synthetics, for example. In addition, wool can absorb a third of its own weight in moisture without feeling “wet”.

Not least, the natural antibacterial effect of wool means that the garments never smell. You can also easily wear wool in warmer temperatures – maybe not exactly as a fleece jacket, but perhaps as a t-shirt or body.

You’ll find all you need to know about wool in our encyclopaedia.

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How do I protect my Engel garments from pests such as moths?

The clothes moth

Clothes moths are nocturnal moths that are found all over the world. In nature, they are found most frequently in birds’ nests. In homes, they are primarily considered to be pests. The female lays around 100 to 250 white eggs. These are placed individually on wool fabrics, feathers, furs and soft furnishings. After around two weeks, yellowy-white larvae emerge from the eggs. The larvae live on keratin contained in wool fibres. Garments made from wool are therefore particularly at risk of being attacked by moths. When they eat, the moths leave tiny holes, or often grooves, i.e. oblong holes; it is quite obvious that fabric is missing. Moths particularly love worn clothing containing hair and skin flakes. To combat this, cedar, Swiss pine or neem tree wood and their etheric oils or lavender in little fabric bags can be placed in cupboards or drawers. Garments should be checked regularly. Cupboards in which garments are kept should be regularly washed out with soapy water, especially after infestations, and cracks should be vacuumed out.

If a garment is affected, it helps to place the item carefully into almost boiling water or to store it in the deep freeze (for at last a week). Washing at high temperatures can cause felting of the wool. However, with these procedures – as with other methods – you should check after a few weeks whether the infestation has really disappeared from the fabrics. Otherwise, you will need to repeat the process.

Fur beetles

The situation with fur beetles is similar to that with moths. The females lay eggs near organic materials. The larvae feed on wool and wool fabrics, carpets, furs, feathers, etc.. The parts eaten by the larvae can be seen as irregularly shaped holes.

To prevent this, once again, it helps to avoid dust around the garments, to keep cupboards clean and to fix fly screens on windows. If an article is affected, storage in the freezer can help.

Note
We advise against the use of chemical moth and fur beetle control methods, as these often contain substances that could be a health hazard. Incidentally, these pests are also the reason why our articles are packed in plastic bags.

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Purchase / availability of articles

Where can I order an Engel catalogue? / Please send me a catalogue to the following address ...

Unfortunately, we do not have catalogues for end users, as we only sell our products to specialist retailers. However, you can view and download all our catalogues online on our website:

Apart from our bargain shop, where you can buy special items and surplus stock, you thus cannot order directly from us; you can only buy from a specialist retailer near you and from various online stores.

You’re bound to find a shop near you if you check the “Shopping” menu item on our website: Specialist retailers

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Where can I buy Engel products?

You can buy Engel underwear and clothing in a wide range of specialist retailers here and abroad. You’re bound to find a shop close to where you live if you check the “Shopping” menu item on our website. Or just visit one of the online stores that carry our products and find your favourite item there.

You can buy special items and surplus stock in our bargain shop.

Apart from that, you can buy our products directly from our factory outlet in Pfullingen, which always has attractive special offers, such as remaining stocks, 1-b items at a reduced price, hosiery, accessories, etc.

To the factory outlet

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Why can’t I find all the items from the catalogue in the online shop?

As a manufacturer, we only supply specialist retailers, which means, for example, high street retailers, online stores or mail order companies. Our bargain shop only has special items and surplus stock available, but not all the products in our current collection.

Under the menu item “Shopping” you’re bound to find a retailer near you, sorted by postcode, or an online shop that stocks the item you’re looking for.

You can also visit us in our factory outlet in Pfullingen.

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Other questions

How can I become an Engel products stockist?

We are delighted that you are interested in our products.

Please send us a copy of your business registration plus a short description of your shop business and/or a link to your shop.

You will then be send sales documents and further information from us.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Where does Engel manufacture its products?

Engel manufactures all its products in Germany. We work with a number of companies in South Germany, mostly based around 30 km from our headquarters in Pfullingen. In this way, we guarantee short transport distances; this is good for our environment and allows us to be flexible. We are also protecting jobs in Germany in this way.

ENGEL on Google Maps.

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Are Engel products manufactured fairly?

All Engel products are manufactured in fair working conditions in Germany. Our range is 95% certified with the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or the IVN-Best quality mark, which is the most demanding in the world. Along with the strict ecological guidelines, these two standards also contain social criteria that must be complied with in order to retain the certification. These include the ILO (International Labour Organisation) core standards such as the prohibition of forced labour, prohibition of child labour, no ill-treatment or discrimination, fair wages, health and safety at work, freedom of association.

You’ll find all you need to know about GOTS in our encyclopaedia.

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What do GOTS and IVN mean?

You’ll find all the information you need about GOTS and IVN in our encyclopaedia.

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Why are Engel articles packed in plastic bags?

For our packaging, it is particularly important for us to ensure that our high-quality articles are protected against dirt and pests such as moths, and we want our customers to be able to see from the outside what article, in which colour, is inside. At the moment, only polythene bags can do this. We know that polythene is not the most environmentally friendly of materials, but with paper packaging (or cardboard), for example, there is a risk that the article may get dirty or that pests could get in. In addition, the polythene bags can easily be re-used, e.g. to store our items (“over-wintering” in cupboards), to help keep your workroom tidy (for screws, etc.) or as places to keep beads or DIY accessories. The bags are also food-safe and can thus also be used to store foods that have been opened.

Here are a few more facts about polythene:

  • Polythene is a thermoplastic item and can be recycled endlessly.
  • Polythene consists solely of carbon and water and burns to form carbon dioxide (as with any form of combustion) and water.
  • Polythene does NOT contain plasticisers.
  • The manufacture of polythene does not produce toxic gases or toxic waste water.
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What exactly is mulesing? Are animals tortured to produce Engel wool?

You will find all you need to know about mulesing in our encyclopaedia.

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Do the press studs or zips contain harmful substances or nickel?

All the substances used in Engel products are nickel-free and not a health hazard.

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Encyclopaedia
Definitions of terms A–Z

A

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

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

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 1/3 of the 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

Wool and wool/silk laundry should be washed by hand with wool detergent if possible. 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. Most of our wool and wool/silk products are now machine washable.

For machine washing: Machine wash at 30°C using the wool wash programme. The washing water and rinsing water must have the same temperature as “cold shocks” can cause the wool to felt. With all newer washing machines, the “wool wash or hand wash” programme heats the rinsing water up to the same temperature as for the washing process. This avoids any cold shocks. The “delicate wash” programme, on the other hand, does not provide this temperature balance.

In the wool wash programme, the washing is moved around gently and only spun at a very low speed (stop-start spin). If your machine does not have a programme with a slow spin, please set it at the lowest possible speed manually.

Detergent: A special wool-wash product should be used. Silk and wool are protein fibres which should essentially be cared for with products that come in a slightly acid range (pH less than 7). These products do not remove the natural oil and protect the fibres at the same time. Alkaline products (such as heavy-duty detergents, pH over 7) cause the wool to felt, even if it is treated correctly otherwise.

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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Clothes for prematures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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L

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

Wash

Machine wash
Delicate machine wash
Special delicate machine wash
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

Hot iron
Medium hot iron
Do not hot iron! Be careful when steam ironing
Do not iron

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


Tumble Drying

Drying with normal thermal load
Drying with reduced thermal load
Do not tumble dry

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


Bleach

Chlorine and oxygen bleach admissible
Non-chlorine bleach only
Do not bleach



Dry Clean

Do not Dry Clean
Do not wet clean


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.

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

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. Australia is looking for alternative methods of farming and (allopathic) treatment so that mulesing is no longer necessary. 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 GmbH 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

Natural textile

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. Compliance with the criteria is continuously and seamlessly monitored and evaluated at every stage of production and for every substance used.

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 is a silverish-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 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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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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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

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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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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