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I have an odd shower. It is the width of a tub shower but extra tall since you step down into it. Finding a shower liner has always been a bit of a challenge. I refuse, I mean REFUSE to buy a vinyl shower curtain. (True confessions: in my previous life I use to design them. When the samples would arrive at the office you could smell them for days. I knew then it was not healthy. At that point in my life, I didn't realize how unhealthy.)
I am not a particularly crafty person but when our shower needed a new liner I decided there had to be a non-vinyl solution. . . I considered fabric but was concerned about mold, didn't want any creepy finished fabric, and didn't want polyester. I decided to create my own Tyvek® shower curtain. Tyvek® is that material that the USPS priority mail bags are made out of. They are cradle to cradle silver certified. They are made partly from recycled plastic milk jugs and water bottles in a closed loop system.
I sewed two pieces together to make one wide and long enough piece. I folded one side over and sewed a section at the top. I thought I would need to add grommets but discovered a simple hole punch did the trick. There are no seams on any of the other 3 sides so water runs right off and nothing gets trapped. No fraying. About 6 weeks into the experiment and it is working really well. I think I will even be able to throw it in the washing machine if it needs freshening.
The one small draw back is that it is a bit loud! No, it isn't as LOUD as the SunChip compostable bags and frankly I will take a bit of noise getting in and out of the shower over breathing toxic, cancer causing fumes.
Unlike here in the USA where Frito-Lay caved to complaints of their compostable bag being too loud, the Canada division is standing their ground. Three CHEERS to our SunChip neighbors to the north. The company's campaign slogan is: "Our bag is loud, our bag is different, our bag is good for the environment, and our bag will remain on store shelves."
11/9/2010 11:23:19 pm
A word of warning about washing Tyvek: I work in a lab and we use Tyvek lab coats to protect us from bleach and other chemicals. After wearing a few times, they become thin and frayed and don't last as long as other disposable coats, so I would only hand wash them and be very gentle. Once compromised, they rip pretty easily.
11/13/2010 12:05:23 pm
Hey, how about I make you a fabric shower curtain to go to over the tyvek on the outside and it won't be so loud and it will be your fabric! :)
11/14/2010 06:48:37 am
Congratulations to you Harmony and to Tyvek! Have always known Tyvek is a lifesaver for protecting rolls of fabric being shipped all the way out to Australia but what a brilliant application in the shower! Am currently realising this could well be the solution to a few other projects I have on the go at the moment!!!
11/15/2010 12:35:06 pm
What a great idea! I second Teresa's suggestion: sewing a fabric outer curtain so it looks real pretty. I'm offering to do it for you, too.
Beth - thanks for the tip. I believe the weight of the Tyveks I used is heavier than the fabric used in clothing, but I will report back after I wash it.
2012 UPDATE: Well, the Tyveks shower curtain experiment failed. It kept water in the shower very nicely but in a matter of a few months the "fabric" began to mold. I washed it several times but the mold was there to stay. My next experiment was with organic cotton sateen. Stay tuned...
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Founder of Harmony Art organic design.