fabric scraps in compost pile?

treeinnj(6)October 17, 2007

In addition to being a newbie mini-gardener/composter, I am also an avid quilter. I use 100% cotton fabrics - and have lots of little bitty pieces - like 1/4" or less wide by several inches long (the raggedy edges).

Anyone have any luck w/cotton fabric scraps turned to compost? Was just hoping I could add one more thing to my list of compostable items - and thinking that it was originally plant material.

[Of course I do have tons of leaves in the woodlands area in my backyard but nothing to shred them with - thinking of just piling them up as is w/some nitro source.]

Thanks, Tree

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mommyandme

Throw them in! I tossed in a pair of jeans & a denim purse last year & they are both gone!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 2:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diggerdee zone 6 CT

I too have thrown jeans in my compost (cut up in pieces), and I also throw in cotton socks and underwear.

Dee

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 3:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
treeinnj(6)

Thanks so much! Just what I was hoping to hear! That is awesome :)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 4:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
marquette

I topped the pile with an old wool sweater once. The coon thought it was too good to pass up, but as he tried to abscond with it, it hitched to the metal fence, and the coon left empty handed. The sweater is gone now, composted.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2007 at 11:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tclynx

Cotton scraps are a great addition to the compost.
The only stuff we seem to throw out in the trash is plastic and that is only if it is not re-usable or re-cyclable in some way.
Paper is compostable too though glossy stuff doesn't compost so well due to the coatings on it (often close to plastic.)

Leaves don't have to be shredded to compost, they just do it faster if shredded.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 1:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dorisl(5)

I threw a number of clothing items and towels in my pile, its kinda kewl to find the "stitches" or other leftover pieces that dont rot.

I found a whole long string from the seam of DD's stretchy pants.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 4:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Natural fibers, Cotton, Wool, Flax, etc. are good types of things to add to the compost pile, but the synthetics, Dacron, Rayon, Nylon, etc. are not.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 6:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Demeter(z6 NJ)

A kind of weird thing is if you throw in a poly/cotton T-shirt. The cotton composts out, and you find a ghostly T-shirt shaped polyester webbing.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 5:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
warhawk_grad(z4a WI)

Old clothes then would be treated as a carbon source, i.e. a "brown"?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 12:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Demeter(z6 NJ)

Depends on the fabric. Plant fibers (cotton, linen) are browns. Animal fibers (silk, wool, angora, etc.) are slow-release greens.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 3:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
annebert(6b/7a MD)

Rayon is actually wood cellulose. I think it would compost.
My clothes are almost all natural fibers and after they are no longer good as cleaning rags, they go in the pile.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 4:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lilacs_of_may

Most of my clothing and fabric gets used or reused somehow. I give it away if I can't wear it or don't want it anymore. If it wears out, it becomes cleaning rags. Beyond that, it goes into the compost bin.

I used to quilt and sew. When I get a new sewing machine, I'll take it up again and make sure to keep the fabric scraps and stray threads, although the fabric scraps get sorted to filter out anything that can first be used for scrap quilts.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2007 at 11:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
treeinnj(6)

Dear Lilacs in May,
When I get done digging boulders out of the "beds" I'll get back to my quilting :) . . . there is a season for everything . . .

I love scrap quilts, but I still have lots of selvages & just scraps that I know I'll never use & don't want to keep track of.

All the Best,
Tree

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gradulsk_oberlin_edu

If they are just small scraps, you can also put them in strategic places for birds to find in late winter. I included a link to another thread (ha) on the subject. It's quite a treat to find a nest with scraps of your latest project in it! Of course, natural fibers are best, but others can also work as long as they don't degrade into long, nonbiodegradeable string that can injure or kill a chick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fabric Scraps for Birds

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 11:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
obiechick(6)

I'm so glad to hear all of this info. I have a handful of denim I just couldn't throw into the plastic garbage bag

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 1:23PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Weeds and pollinators
Spring is just around the corner, uh huh yes it is,...
kimmq
Clay
Moving to a new home with a blank canvas and landscape...
dnamama
Questions re: raised bed soil + composting/fertilizing
Hi, everyone! Longtime lurker, first time poster here...
Angelina Zarre
Soil Test Report questions-please help.
Hello all you kind folks on this site. I have received...
allyn12
Gorilla hair?
I'm wondering about pros and cons of using redwood...
cakbu
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™