Textile Innovations Commercially Available Soon In Fashion
Luxury apparel has never felt so innovative, natural and functional. A dress made from milk? Mushroom-skin shoes? How about lingerie that moisturizes your skin while wearing it? In Europe, textile firms are turning household consumer items into fabrics. Qmilk, Muskin and aloe vera-infused yarns could soon take their place in future fashion collections, joining the usual wool, cotton and silks.
Not to be confused with muslin, Muskin is a vegan fungus alternative to leather. Made from mushrooms, the vegetable spores that make the fabric are knitted together to form a woven pattern, mimicking the animal cells that form naturally as leather hide. The mushroom skin comes from the top (button) section of the fungus and processed in a similar way to animal leathers. Yet, unlike traditional leather, the tanning is completely natural - without using toxic chemicals.
According to Italian creator, Grado Zero Space, the mushroom skin is hygienic; stops the breeding of bacteria; and is ultra absorbent. Ideal for use in shoes and watchstraps, moisture - from the wearer’s immediate environment - is absorbed and slowly released from the fabric, and it’s incredibly breathable. Cosmetically, the light brown of the skin is natural and neutral, meaning it stays timeless, and its soft, malleable texture rivals the luxurious brush of suede. Muskin is a perfect vegetable alternative to leather and works well as a non-toxic skin option for allergy sufferers.
2. Aloe Vera
Known for its skin rejuvenating properties, the aloe plant is now being used in textiles – at first for linen and socks, and now in sports apparel and lingerie. The aloe vera is infused into capsules or mini-beads, which are then injected into the fabric of garment. The microfibre, open mesh construction sees moisture move to the skin when worn; the aloe released naturally, as the fabric is rubbed or touched. But the fabric receives benefits, too; becoming an anti-bacterial agent, the aloe keeps clothing cleaner and combats body odor.
Italian lingerie brand Solidea, uses aloe beads in its legwear, where the capsules are bonded into the hose of the stockings. Simone Pereler’s bras and underwear feature aloe-made lace. The ‘Carrescence’ collection is designed to eliminate skin irritation sometimes associated with rougher laces.
Finally, sportswear brand You Intelligent Clothing, has an aloe-infused line for active people, helping with freshness and chaffing.
Aloe Vera is a soothing additive to textiles with real health benefits. Better still, the aloe remains in the clothes even after washing – perfect for repetitive wear.
Fashion made rom dairy? Drink up, thanks to QMilk. One of our five textile designers saving the world , the Dutch firm's dairy-based fiber is essentially made from milk protein casein. Fermented milk is first turned into a powder and then heated and mixed with other natural ingredients to be turned into yarn.
QMilk weaves blend with typical garment fabrics – cotton, polyester and wool – with just 20% of the milk protein yarn sufficient enough to improve the environmental qualities of yarn. Founder Anke Domaske, wanted to invent a textile fiber that helped allergy sufferers, and that recycled some of the thousands of tonnes of off-milk discarded by European milk producers every year. Domaske uses the textile in her own label Mademoiselle Chi Chi too, which is worn by Hollywood’s Mischa Barton and Ashlee Simpson.
Fabrics made f Qmilk fiber are very soft (similar to silk) and provide a comfortable, luxury fit. Qmilk manages heat and moisture well, making it ideal for workwear, sports and fashion clothing – especially knits and blouses. The fiber reduces bacterial growth and is safe for sensitive skin. Qmilk is a milk bath for your wardrobe.