Soy silk and cashmere: alternative organic fabrics
Soysilk is a fiber created from soy residue deriving out of the processing of soybeans for food products such as tofu, therefore making use of a resource that would otherwise go to waste. It is completely natural, fully biodegradable, making the environment zero impact.
Its cultivation does not require pesticides and helps to fix nitrogen in the soil. It, therefore, becomes an excellent solution also in terms of crop rotation and respect for the soil.
This textile is not a new idea. As far back as the 1940s, textile designers and developers experimented with soy. Even Henry Ford owned a suit made of soy fabric.
The soysilk is light, smooth, and kind of delicate, therefore can be employed as yarn for knitting or fine weave fabrics. For this reason, it can be used as a substitute for both silk and cashmere in garments.
It is generally wrinkle-free and has little to no shrinkage when washed. It is also machine washable, meaning it is far easier to care for than silk and cashmere. Since it is a natural fiber, it takes dye very easily.
When blended with other natural fibers, such as cotton, the soysilk adds a smooth silky quality whilst the other fiber improves the strength. Moreover, thick soy fabric is warmer than wool and far exceeds the warmth provided by polyester, making it excellent for winter wear and soft, cozy cover-ups. In this way born the vegetable cashmere.
Soy, if processed correctly, can provide the same cashmere sensations on the skin, becoming the best winter alternative to the product derived from “Changthagi” goat hair.
Due to the properties of soy fabrics, they are valuable fibers for vegans and those looking to reduce their reliance on animal-based fibers, who also want to do this in a reasonably sustainable manner.