What exactly is vegan silk? Special materials for textile gourmets!
You adore the soft touch of silk, its sensual fall and its splendent texture, yet you still desire a vegan option? It is well known that to produce traditional silk they need to boil a large number of silkworms alive, so we looked for new alternatives. We now invite you to meet the plant-based silks’ exotic and cruelty-free world.
We are letting you know in advance, that we have already chosen our favourite one, the cupro, thus we dedicate most of this article to it. Anyway, it is still worth reading it all the way because we left the most astonishing alternatives to the end.
Cupro was already used in the textile industry in the 1890s in Japan, however, in recent years it has become increasingly popular due to its unique qualities. As a matter of fact, we are talking about a regenerated cellulose fabric, which is made from recycled cotton, more precisely the fluffy fibres surrounding its seeds. These fluffs are often thrown out during cotton production because they are too short to be spanned. However, cupro is created by dissolving the fluffs in cuprammonium, which is a solution of copper oxide. The fluffs can then be re-spun and woven into textiles again.
Cupro looks and feels completely like real silk…
...while it doesn’t contain animal by-products. It combines the softness of natural fibres and the practical qualities of synthetic fibres.
Let’s look at the most amazing qualities of cupro:
1. Kegyetlenségmentes: a cupró előállítása nem követel hernyó életeket.
2. It lowers the quantity of waste: since cupro is made out of the cotton’s by-product, it is a raw material given a new life that would otherwise have been thrown away.
3. It is biologically degradable: cupro is made out of 100% vegetal materials, which, unlike its synthetic counterparts, decomposes naturally.
4. More sustainable production: chemicals used in its manufacture can be re-extracted and reused several times, just like the water that was used in the production.
5. Easy-care: in contrast to silk clothes, it can be washed in a machine, it doesn’t crease, dries quickly and it is incredibly durable.
6. It’s pleasant to the skin: it’s extremely soft, furthermore, it’s hypoallergenic.
Hang on, now is the time to discover the exotic alternatives! Real textile delicacies are coming!
Lotus silk is made from the spun of the lotus flower’s long roots. In general, it is completely processed by hand, this why there are almost no carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover, the lotus flowers require very little water, and they do not require chemicals at all in their cultivation. The final result is a soft, light and breathable textile. A real luxury item, which is, in exchange, incredibly rare and expensive. The uncrowned queen of vegan silks!
The fibre of the leaves of the banana tree has been used in traditional textile production since the 13th century in Japan and Nepal. Besides the environmental rationality of using the unused parts of bananas in the textile industry, it brings extra income to the banana producers too. Banana fibres can be processed by hand or machine.
The pineapple silk is made the same way as the banana silk - the long fibres of the leaves of the plant are dried, spanned, and weaved. About 40,000 tons of pineapple waste is generated annually, it is therefore particularly economical and eco-friendly to give new life to this significant amount of by-products of the fruit industry!