Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Two More Natural Fabrics

It has been well established by now that fabrics made with organic materials are more environmentally friendly than fabrics treated with materials that have been treated with chemicals and pesticides.

One of my favorite fabrics, cotton, is treated with more harmful chemicals than any other crop. Most consumers don’t realize this; but, it’s important to buy only items made with organic cotton. Not only does treating the crop with chemicals wreck havoc on our eco-system; but, some of those chemicals remain in the fabric after processing and harm the wearer.

Fortunately, our green choices are growing. Recently, I did a blog on fabric for clothing, sheets, linens and other articles being made from bamboo that is becoming quite the rage. There are two more natural materials in the running for most eco-friendly fabric. These fabrics are made from the soybean and milk. Read on, fashionistas!

Soy fiber (make sure it’s organic) is sweeping the fashion world. Henry Ford invented soybean fiber in 1937 and called the fabric “soy wool”. Henry wore and had his picture taken wearing suits made from soy wool. He was so convinced of the superiority of this fabric, he promoted it everywhere.

Being Henry Ford, many Ford cars wound up having soy wool upholstery interiors. (He was also very fond of hemp fabric.)

Soy fiber is often called vegetable cashmere because of its silky luster, smooth body feel and excellent draping properties. It has the same moisture absorbing properties as cotton; but, provides more ventilation.

Milk fabric is one of the most creative, I think. It was invented in the 1930’s in Italy and America to compete with wool. Back then the fiber was marketed under a variety of names such as “aralac, lanatil and merinova” among others. However, the milk-casein fiber was to become a casualty of the war as did soy fiber and wool.

The fiber is made by drying the liquid milk and extracting its proteins. The separated proteins are dissolved in a chemical solution, placed into a machine and spun in much the same way cotton candy is.

Milk fiber is environmentally friendly, superior in strength and has other amazing qualities. The producing of milk fiber has no effect on the environment and there is no formaldehyde formed by this process. Milk fiber contains 17 amino acids and has a natural anti-bacterial rate <80%.

I shall be on the lookout for the soy fabric. What girl can resist cashmere?


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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! We're making a custom pair of slippers for you :)” oh wow thank you!!

Anonymous said...

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Sandro Heckler

Pippa said...

I don't belong to any social network; so, the only way to have this come to you is by way of the RSS feed. Thanks for your kind words.