TCF Certification

The True Story Behind Bleached Cotton

Total Chlorine Free

On this site, you’ll find that we consistently use the term “purified cotton.” While it’s an important industry term, in many ways it’s also a complete misnomer. Our cotton is TCF, which in the cotton business means Totally Chlorine-Free.

Surprised? Most consumers are. But to understand cotton, you have to dig a little deeper into the process, and start at the very beginning.

Our Processes Strive For The Highest Purity

Cotton Kier

While we wish we could just pluck cotton from the field and utilize it immediately, that’s simply not a reality. Cotton has to be purified. Since it’s completely natural, cotton has roughly 650,000 colony-forming units (CFUs) within it—which means cotton fresh from the field is filled with molds, fungi, bacteria, etc.

It doesn’t arrive white or absorbent, either. But this is where we come in. Our time-tested practice of TCF “bleaching” and purifying ensures that our cotton is of the highest and safest quality.

Let’s Dig Deeper Into What “Bleached” Really Means

However, it’s important to comprehend what “bleaching” really means in the 21st century. TCF purification is actually “oxygen purification,” which means hydrogen peroxide—you know, that fizzy stuff in the brown bottle your mom used to clean your cuts and scrapes when you were a kid—is used.

This is crucial because the process still purifies and whitens the raw cotton, but the process is safe for the environment too because it does not release harmful toxins the way archaic bleaching methods used to. For example, the hydrogen peroxide purifing agent is environmentally friendly since it breaks down to oxygen and water, ultimately eliminating chlorine in wastewater discharge, too.

Totally Trusted. Totally Chlorine-Free.

TCF cotton is important to us because we know how important it is to our partners and customers. Time always teaches the most effective—and in this case, the most environmentally friendly—production practices. That will never change, and it’s exciting to consider what advancements will be made in cotton purification over the coming decades.