Organic Solids: Cloud9 Cirrus Solids and Birch Solid Poplins
Cirrus Solids by Cloud9 Fabrics and Solid Poplins by Birch Fabrics are two of the most popular solid organic fabric collections for quilting and apparel. You may wonder if there is a difference between the two collections and how to choose which solid organic fabric is right for your project. I've researched the details and sewn with these fabrics and I'm happy to share my observations.
First off, let's review the benefits of choosing organic solids. Certified organic cotton fabric has strict standards for the entire processing chain to ensure no toxic chemicals are used and you and the environment remain unharmed. GOTS organic cotton is grown without toxic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or defoliants. It relies on sustainable and natural farming methods such as crop rotation, longer growing periods and hand-picking (which results in less waste). The health benefits of organically grown cotton are significant for farmers, as are the environmental aspects: reduced toxins and pollutants. GOTS certification also ensures they are fair trade.
Cloud9's Cirrus Solids are incredibly soft, have a rainbow of colors, and have a color card so you can match your colors. Birch's Solid Poplins are silky and smooth and their colors are more transient often offering solids to match their current fabric lines. The table below outlines the details about how these solids are similar and where they differ.
|Cirrus Solids||Birch Solids|
|Soft, thicker, and some texture||Silky and smooth|
100% Organic Cotton
100% Organic Cotton
|Certification||GOTS Organic Certified||GOTS Organic Certified|
|Dye||Low-impact dyes||Low-impact dyes|
|Thread Count||64 x 54||92 x 88|
|Purpose||Quilting & Apparel||Quilting & Apparel|
Consistent - 37 colors
Color card available
Varies - currently 37
Swatch packs available
|Price (MSRP)||$12.50 / yard||
Currently $12.00/ yard; price increases will be occurring soon
|Shrinkage||Cloud9 Fabrics will meet a 5% or less shrinkage which is industry standard.||You can expect your organic cotton to shrink less than 5%.|
|Pre-washing||Some fraying and wrinkles||Minimal fraying and wrinkling|
|Washing Instructions||Machine wash cold with like colors in a gentle cycle. Non-chlorine bleach when needed. Tumble dry low and remove promptly to avoid wrinkling. Warm iron if needed.||Gentle cycle in cold water with like colors using a fragrance free, non-chlorinated detergent that is preferably environmentally friendly. Dry on a low heat cycle or hang dry.|
*Broadcloth vs Poplin
Broadcloth has a somewhat coarser texture and is thicker but has a softer feel. It is suitable for quilting and apparel.
Poplin is a standard quilter's weight fabric which is suitable for a wide variety of projects including quilting and apparel. It is lightweight with a fine, smooth weave and texture with a certain crispness.
There are a lot of similarities with these organic cotton solids and I think you will be happy sewing with either one. Here are some of my personal observations. The biggest difference I notice between the solid organic fabric collections is their thickness because Cirrus Solids are a broadcloth and Birch Solids are a poplin. When I pre-wash the Cirrus Solids they do have some fraying and they wrinkle quite a bit; however, the end result is so soft. Birch Solid Poplins fray little when pre-washing and do not wrinkle as much. I don't know that I would mix and match these solids in one quilt. I have always worked with all Cirrus Solids in one project or all Birch Solid Poplins. Possibly, the biggest decision you will need to make with these organic solids is which colors you like best (not a bad problem to solve!)
Here's an example of the texture in Cloud9 Fabrics' Cirrus Solids fabric.
With two half-yard bundles placed side-by-side, you can see the texture of both - bigger weave on Cirrus Solids, finer weave on Birch Poplins.
Finally, when you look at the bolts you can see the thickness of Cloud9 Cirrus Solids broadcloth versus the smoothness of Birch's Poplin.
Please note: Cloud9 Fabrics has a line of Glimmer Solids which are 85% organic cotton and 15% metallic. They are made using organic cotton but they are not certified organic because they contain Lurex.