Composting fabric

Asked January 8, 2021, 3:56 PM EST

Can 100% cotton and 100% linen napkins be composted?

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

Short answer - yes. But it would be a slow process.

Paper breaks down very rapidly in compost, because the road from sawdust to finished paper includes high-pressure and high-temperature acid baths that digest the molecular structures that armor wood and give it structural strength.

The process that turns cotton or flax into fabric are much less rigorous. so it takes the fabric much longer to breakdown - I would estimate on the order of 2-3 years, depending on the weight of the fabric.

I do compost dryer lint.