Questions and answers (FAQ)
- When is the Engel factory outlet open?
When is the Engel factory outlet open?
You’ll find our current opening times here.
- How can I get hold of the Engel factory outlet by telephone?
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
- Where can I buy vouchers for the factory outlet?
Where can I buy vouchers for the factory outlet?
In our Webshop and in our factory outlet itself you can buy vouchers for the factory outlet.
Questions about products
- Wool/Silk scratches, doesn’t it?
Wool/Silk 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.
- Is wool/silk clothing too warm in the spring or summer?
Is wool/silk 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.
- What is the fabric weight of ENGEL Sports products?
What is the fabric weight of ENGEL Sports products?
- Why do Engel Sports products contain elastane?
Why do Engel Sports products contain elastane?
Our requirement is, that each Engel-Sports product should fit each movement of your favourite activity. Wool is flexible by nature and the silk makes the items tear-proof. The addition of 2% elastane increases the natural flexibility of the wool fibre and provides ideal adjustment to the body and movement.
- For which kind of sport is Engel Sports suitable?
For which kind of sport is Engel Sports suitable?
Engel Sports is perfect for several activities and sports, for example hiking, running, nordic walking, yoga, skiing and snowboarding, exercise in the gym or at home. Because of the many different products, there are countless combination possibilities. The thinner quality of the fabric is perfectly suitable for indoor sports or as a base layer. Whereas the jackets and hoodies are designed for the outdoors.
Questions about certifications of ENGEL Sports products
Questions about the production of ENGEL Sports products
- Where does Engel Sports manufacture its products?
Where does Engel Sports manufacture its products?
Engel Sports 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 Sports on Google Maps.
- Are Engel Sports products manufactured fairly?
Are Engel Sports products manufactured fairly?
All Engel Sports 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 and IVN BEST in our Lexicon.Lexikon.
- Do the zips contain harmful substances or nickel?
Do the zips contain harmful substances or nickel?
All the substances used in Engel products are nickel-free and not a health hazard.
Questions about the care and washing of ENGEL Sports products
- Do I need to wash my Engel Sports products before I wear them for the first time?
Do I need to wash my Engel Sports 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.
- How can I wash my Engel Sports products?
How can I wash my Engel Sports products?
For our Engel Sports products, made from wool and silk, we recommend hand wash or possible machine wash. In any case, you should use a detergent for woollens because they do not contain enzymes (protease) and are pH-adjusted. A must-do is the wool programme of the washing machine. As an alternative for hand wash you can also simply use a mild shampoo.
Wool consists of protein fibres. Proteins are sensitive to heat and high temperatures destroy them. Many off-the-shelf detergents contain enzymes that damage these protein fibres. Different detergent enzymes degrade contaminants like fat, proteins and starch, among others, by separating them from the fibre. This way they are able to be washed out later. One type of enzyme is protease that develops its optimum efficieny at 60 degrees, at 30 degrees their efficiency is at 5-10%. This suggests that a lukewarm washing temperature is appropriate. Proteases are not suitable for natural fibres like wool and silk, because they tend to affect these fibres. Detergent, especially for wool fabrics, has a neutral pH-value (PH-value 7 or below) and does not contain the protein degrading enzyme. Wool detergents build a foam pad so that the wool can be washed as gentle as possible.
You can find a more precise description of our laundry symbols in our lexicon.
Washing by hand
A short, light swivel and a gentle squeeze in plenty of lukewarm water with a special detergent for wool and silk. Rinse afterwards in water of the same temperature. Do not tumble dry or on top of a radiator, the wool gets otherwise hard, fragile and felted. We recommend to dry the products in a towel and to pull them in shape while still wet. Let them dry laying.
Please do not rub, spin-dry or wringing out. Avoid changing temperatures like hot then cold or the other way round. Do not soak the laundry for a longer period of time.
Please select the programme wool/hand wash. “Cold wash” or max. 40 degrees in the washing machine keeps the wool/silk laundry soft, elastic and absorbent. For machine wash too, it is very important to use the same temperature for washing and rinsing. At all times, a low spinning speed should be used, adjusted either manually or by the machine – maximal 400-500 spins.
For hand wash as well as machine wash you should generally use a wool detergent. Silk and wool are protein fibres that should always be treated with products that have a pH-value of seven or smaller. These care products work non-degreasing and protect the fibre at the same time.
- How do I protect my Engel Sports garments from pests such as moths?
How do I protect my Engel Sports garments from pests such as moths?
The clothes mothClothes 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 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 beetlesThe 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.
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.
- How can I become an Engel Sports products stockist?
How can I become an Engel Sports 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.
- What exactly is mulesing? Are animals tortured to produce Engel Sports wool?
What exactly is mulesing? Are animals tortured to produce Engel Sports wool?
You will find all you need to know about mulesing in our encyclopaedia.
- We are committed to sustainable action
We are committed to sustainable action
Statement of Principles
We are committed to sustainable action
ENGEL GmbH is a manufacturer of underwear and nightwear for babies, children and adults, for baby clothing and wool fleece and boiled wool clothing and for functional sportswear. From the very beginning, the foundation for the ecological orientation of the company was laid as, when today’s ENGEL GmbH was founded in 1982, we specialised exclusively in the production of textiles from pure natural fibres at the location in Germany.
Because increasing industrialisation and the associated significant increase in the transport of goods, excessive agriculture, people’s growing need for mobility, world tourism and our consumer behaviour have been leading to global warming for many years and because this climate change is not only leading to an accumulation of environmental disasters, but also to an increase in tropical diseases and skin and respiratory tract allergies due to air, water and soil pollution, ENGEL has very consistently committed itself to its guiding principle “for the sake of our skin and our environment”.
For the sake of our skin:
Today every 3rd baby is allergic Against this background, it is important to avoid allergens (substances that trigger allergies), especially in the first months and years of life. This is because not only the large surface of the skin but also the weak immune system lead to the delicate baby’s and child’s skin being highly sensitive to harmful substances. Pollutant-free underwear and clothing eliminate the risk of pollutants being absorbed through the skin and minimise the risk of allergies.
So it stands to reason that ENGEL initially devoted itself to the development of babywear and a natural nappy system. To this day, ENGEL carries a wide range of babywear. Day and nightwear for babies, children and adults made from untreated natural fibres were added as they are worn 24 hours a day. It creates a healthy skin flora, ensures moisture exchange, allows the skin to breathe and protects from harmful external influences.
For the sake of our environment:
The environment refers to the world around us, i.e. the surroundings of all living beings on whom the environment acts and influences their living conditions. Environment is, therefore, one the one hand our social surroundings and one the other hand everything between the atmosphere and the earth. These last two are the connections and interactions between nature, the economy and technology.
They include, for example, air pollution, climate change, water pollution, water shortage,
soil management, erosion, forest dieback, waste, noise, immissions, radiation and species extinction.
Our environment is already impacted by the very fact that we exist, by the interactions of our actions with the natural or unspoilt environment and with the social environment of people among themselves – so much for the theory.
The aim and the great challenge for us as a company is, therefore, to orient our economic actions in such a way that, one the one hand, we curb and steadily reduce the balance that has been thrown out of joint by the excessive consumption of natural resources and, on the other hand, we take into account people’s elementary and physiological needs and the social needs, partnerships and interactions between people in all our decisions.
We buy our raw materials in accordance with this specified standard. One the one hand, long-term yarn contracts secure the contractually agreed purchase for the suppliers, on the other hand, this enables us to give sheep farms and cotton farmers planning reliability for the future.
The wool fibres go through the NatureTexx Plasma finishing treatment to prevent shrinkage of the garment during washing. This finish is free from chlorine and AOX, the energy used for the finishing process is 100% renewable.
The wool fibres are dyed exclusively as wool tops which saves dyeing agents and energy compared with yarn or fabric dyeing.
For our cotton products, the fabrics are dyed after the knitting process – due to smaller quantities.
We adhere to the strict guidelines in all stages of production or monitor compliance with these criteria in the cutting and finishing operations and ensure close and efficient cooperation with our suppliers.
We buy our yarns in Germany, the following production steps such as knitting, finishing, cutting, making up, checking, packing and storage all take place in Germany. In this way we achieve not only a high degree of flexibility but also fast delivery transports and short distances within the supply chain. This saves CO2 emissions.
We ensure that the amount of waste is kept as low as possible and use larger remnants from cutting waste to make give-aways or donate them as craft supplies to kindergartens or we pass on cutting waste for recycling. Our recycling project has been running for about a year, with the aim of having our cutting waste ripped up, developing new yarns from it and producing a small range of recycled products from it – likewise Germany. The products from recycled fibres will be released in autumn 2021 under the name Reborn by ENGEL.
We have a photovoltaic installation on the shed of the company building. This consists of 164 modules with a generator output of 61 kWp. The annual electricity generation amounts to approx. 68,500 kWh, thus saving 48 tonnes of CO2. We can currently cover between 43% and 47% of our electricity needs with solar energy from our own roof. For the required electricity from the public grid, we only use electricity from renewable sources (hydraulic energy).
All lighting and lamps were converted to LED in 2016. This has led to a much lower power consumption.
• Power consumption in 2015: 89,993 kWh
• Power consumption in 2016: 81,270 kWh
• Power consumption in 2017: 49,878 kWh
• Power consumption in 2018: 51,023 kWh of which 6,148 from photovoltaics
• Power consumption in 2019: 53,541 kWh of which 25,198 from photovoltaics
• Power consumption in 2020: 61,570 kWh of which 26,817 from photovoltaics
The savings from the photovoltaic installation are fully reflected for the first time in 2019.
We heat the company building with natural gas. The installation of new, highly efficient pumps and hydraulic balancing, as well as a new control system, will enable demand-led heat output. The natural gas consumption in 2017 for heating around 3000m² was 348,969 kWh, in 2018 there was already a saving of 13.3% down to 302,400 kWh. In 2019 we were able to reduce the consumption of heating energy by another 5.75% down to 285,023 kWh by the partial installation of new windows and insulating walls. A further 10.9% reduction in natural gas consumption resulted in 2020 down to 254,031 kWh. For a further step towards CO2 neutrality, the installation of a pellet heating system is planned for 2022.
No water is required for the operational processes. Therefore, the annual water consumption comes from the sanitary facilities, the canteen and cleaning the working areas. In 2018 we used 251m³ water, in 2019 263m³, in 2020 281m³, which is approximately the consumption for a 6-person household per year (278m³) and shows that all 63 employees in the company are encouraged to use water very sparingly.
We only use FSC certified cardboard packaging with paper tapes as transport packaging for our products. For paper requirements in operation we use part recycled paper without certificate, part FSC certified products. In most operational areas, paper is already largely dispensed with now as very many records and documents are digitised.
Some of our products have product packaging of FSC certified cardboard. The majority of the products have so far been packaged in conventional new polyethylene bags, Since August 2020 we have been using recycled polyethylene bags made from so-called post-consumer recycling granulate (PCR).
Because everyone who wears ENGEL underwear should always feel good in their skin, new market-driven articles will continue to be developed in the future. All fashion requirements, be it cut, designs or colours, are taken into account and each creation is designed for the greatest comfort. But, despite all our fashion consciousness, we will not lose sight of our ecological objectives.
ENGEL has the social obligation, like every company, to secure existing jobs. And this is not only an obligation towards all employees, but also for the for the company itself. However, social sustainability also means securing jobs in the region and in the country, i.e. giving preference to regional suppliers, maintaining supplier relationships and keeping them close. The contract manufacturers are all located within a maximum radius of 40 km from the company headquarters.
By social sustainability we also mean making workplaces pleasant, offering flexible working hours, within the limits of operational possibilities, offering part-time models and granting employees various company benefits in recognition of their commitment. We inform them about business development so that everyone can be part of it. Social sustainability also includes the integration of refugees into the local work processes.
In addition, we feel responsible and under an obligation to ensure an appropriate and pleasant working environment for employees in supplier companies.
Corporate social responsibility is borne by the Managing Directors Ms Gabriele Kolompar and Ms Vera Simon.
Mandatory requirements for ENGEL and our suppliers:
- Under the IVN-BEST guidelines and the GOTS guidelines, we are required to adhere as a minimum to the ILO core labour standards and the regulations of the international human rights convention.
- Through long-term forward-looking planning and responsible procurement of our yarns and materials for the manufacture of our products, we guarantee our business partners the ability to appropriately schedule order completion and, associated with this, suitable staffing planning and payment. If we become aware of adverse impacts on human rights and the environment as a result of our business activities, we undertake to systematically remedy and make amends or at least reduce the negative impacts that we have caused or to which we have contributed by our activities.
- Complaints or information of any sort can be addressed to email@example.com.
- Long-term collaboration is a prerequisite for trust-based cooperation and the willingness not only to work according to the guidelines but also to obtain annual certification. We guarantee the contract manufacturers fixed order quantities.
- We work with contract manufacturers within a radius of approx. 40 km. The short distances to the production sites make sense ecologically on the one hand and, on the other hand, they allow us a high degree of flexibility, speed and production monitoring.
- With our suppliers and contract workers, we avoid language problems that might lead to misunderstandings about the production specifications.
- All contract manufacturers involved in the production process undertake in a declaration of conformity to work according to the guidelines of the IVN and to comply with the minimum social requirements.
Purchasing and production planning, design, sales, administration and dispatch, as well as a small sewing room are located at the company headquarters in Pfullingen. Currently ENGEL employs 63 employees for this.
All employees are aware of the social criteria; the current version of the GOTS and IVN_BEST guidelines is displayed both at ENGEL and in the contract manufacturers.
- We offer language courses and further training in a wide range of areas within the company.
- We offer attendance at further training courses and external seminars at the company’s expense.
- We train our employees regularly (twice a year) on fire prevention, on the actions to be taken in the event of fire and on occupational safety matters.
- At least once a year we conduct a fire drill and evacuation drill led by eight trained fire safety officers (from October 2021 there will be 8 trained fire safety officers), support the staff in recognising and eliminating fire hazards and, if necessary, operating the fire extinguishers in the event of a fire.
- We have 6 trained first aiders in the company who attend regular refresher courses.
- We employ a safety officer who takes measures to prevent accidents at work, monitors the presence and proper use of the prescribed safety devices and personal protection equipment.
- We regularly conduct product training.
- We are not bound by collective agreements, we pay wages above the general pay scale for a 39-hour week.
- We employ full-time and part-time staff with very different weekly working times, depending on the needs of the employees. We do not employ children or minors.
- We pay special attention to the protection of vulnerable people such as young people, women, older workers and people with disabilities and take into account their wishes and abilities with regard to work quality and performance.
- We offer flexible working hours, the desired core hours are from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
- We provide lunch in our canteen for break times,
- We grant our employees 30 days holiday per year; this exceeds the statutory requirements under the Federal Holiday Act.
- All our employees have a written contract of employment in accordance with section 2 of the Act on Proof of the Existence of an Employment Relationship (Nachweisgesetz).
- We do not employ any temporary staff and do not enter into fixed-term contracts of employment; the only exception for a fixed-term contract is a necessary replacement for absent employees e.g. due to illness, maternity leave, parental leave or temporary seasonal help.
- Where the earnings situation of the company allows, we grant our employees a Christmas bonus in the amount of one month’s salary (without interruption since 2007).
we regularly offer information events on voluntary pension provision and provide information on various tax and social security benefits.
we have a company pension scheme; for company pensions we grant all employees a 15% employer’s contribution on the amount of the deferred compensation.
- We have a contractual agreement with a company doctor. As part of his quarterly risk assessment consultation, we offer voluntary preventive medical checkups (e.g. examination of eyesight and posture damage at VDU workplaces) or a flu vaccination. Due to the current circumstances, a Corona vaccination has also been offered.
- We have the noise emission in the sewing room measured by the company doctor for the preventive health protection of our employees.
- Where necessary, we provide work safety shoes.
- Once or twice a year we organise company parties or a company outing.
- At least once a year, we organise a staff meeting to inform employees about the economic situation of the company or on current matters of interest, e.g. sustainability in the company, certifications, special offers for employees, events, training matters.
- We grant special leave for getting married, moving house, death of a close relative and birth of one’s own child (for the father).
- We grant employer loans at reduced interest rate.
- Every employee is given a small birthday present.
- Once a year we offer fabric remnants, semi-finished goods or leftover haberdashery items free of charge to employees for their own use.
- Our own products, as well as purchased items in our factory outlet can be purchased at discounted employee prices.
- A suggestion box for employee requests, criticisms or ideas for improvement is centrally located in the company. Concerns can be submitted in writing anonymously or by name, depending on the wishes of the employee. The complaints box is emptied regularly (every two weeks) and the issues are dealt with accordingly or are incorporated into operational improvements. Staff complaints are recorded and investigated, including the necessary corrective actions to be taken.
- We provide a work bicycle on request.
- We grant a 10% subsidy on membership of one of the local fitness studios.
Economical sustainability is expressed in constant monitoring of all operational activities, to ensure the company’s continued existence, e.g. in the short-term income statement, in controlling, in rating, (we are in our 3rd year of being awarded the CrefoCert for very good creditworthiness), in the financial budget, in staff training, in securing customers – i.e. in all monitoring mechanisms and measures to secure the company for the long term.
We incorporate sustainability factors in our marketing concept.
Underwear and clothing in natural fibres
Wörthstr. 155, D-72793 Pfullingen
Phone: +49(0)7121 – 38787 7
Local court Stuttgart HRB 352217
Management: Gabriele Kolompar, Vera Simon
Definitions of terms A–Z
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.
- 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.
- Characteristics of Wool
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Functioning of Skin
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.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognized as the world's leading standard for the processing of textiles made from organically produced natural fibers. At a high level, it defines environmental requirements along the entire textile production chain and at the same time demands compliance with social criteria.
ENGEL carries products that are GOTS certified. In order to be able to continue to carry these product certifications, we have to be re-certified every year by an independent certifier and can therefore guarantee transparent, fair and ecological production.
You can find more information on global-standard.org/de
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.
International Association Natural Textile Industry e.V. (see Natural Textile)
- IVN BEST
Products that carry the seal "IVN certified BEST - natural textile" are manufactured according to the highest possible ecological standards and thus clearly exceed the requirements of the GOTS.
The products that are certified with the IVN Best must be made from 100% certified organic natural fibers.
You can find more information onnaturtextil.de
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.
- Laundry Symbols
WashThe 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** The points in the iron indicate the levels of temperature of the respective iron. **Tumble Drying** The points stand for the drying level of the tumble dryer. **Bleach** **Dry 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).
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- Organic Animal Farming
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.