Fabric and Technology: Top 5 innovative fabrics
Woven fabric is nothing new but researchers and engineers are continuously cooking up new high-tech textiles for fashion designers to play with. Great for them but as a consumer, is this anything worth getting excited about? Yes, it is, why? Because the potential to eradicate a large proportion of textile pollution is very likely to happen; as a result, which means cheaper production costs, which in theory means cheaper garments for the consumer. So I’ve put together a short list of new textiles to get giddy over if that’s possible.
1. Crailar Flax
Crailar Flax is produced using an all-natural enzymatic process that results in a fibre that is as soft and durable as cotton. In fact, garments made of or blended with Crailar Flax Fibre outperform pure cotton. They are strong, dry quickly, and shrink less. They wick in a manner similar to synthetics, yet feel indiscernible from cotton. Crailar flax’s production and farming methods have low impact on the environment. Large brands such as Levis have already begun incorporating the fibre in their garments.
2. BioCouture – Suzanne Lee (Designer and Founder)
Biologically grown clothes? Yes… possible apparently! Fashion designer, Suzanne Lee’s genius concoction, was inspired by her meeting with a biologist, she is now on a mission to create clothing using microbes. She has conducted experiments in growing a Kombucha based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. It’s not a foolproof material just yet as it can easily dismantle and evaporate under water, but it is fascinating stuff.
Fashion made by out of date milk? Another strange but true creation but on this occasion by German company Qmilk; they create fibre, which can be mixed with conventional fabric and yarn to improve its quality. Fabrics made of Qmilk fibre are very soft and provide a comfortable fit. Due to the excellent heat and moisture management, Qmilk’s fabric can be used for work wear ranges and ready-to-wear clothing. The reduced bacterial growth of the fibre and the best skin-sensory properties creates clothing for every activity and any weather.
4. I am not a Virgin
This cheeky company creates jeans out used materials like plastic bottles, food trays and x ray film, how might you ask? The materials are broken down into a fine particulate, melted, and extruded into fibre. Using a mix of 25% bottle fibre and 75% cotton, the resulting material is soft to the hand, yet is durable and performs, as denim should.
5. 37.5 (Cocona) Technology
37.5 Technology also known as Cocona is a fibre used in sportswear, the technology comes from naturally derived materials which means that there are zero levels of irritants to contend with when wearing 37.5 products. The fibre is known to work to keep the optimum relative humidity in your microclimate so your body more efficiently maintains an ideal core temperature, enabling you to perform better and longer. Sports brands like Adidas and The North Face use the technology in their sports wear.
So here you have it, a few of the best new textiles already on the market or in the experimental stage and in the process of being released. This kind of renewable technology and resource will eventually make old fabric production practices obsolete to the textile and fashion industries.