Soy Clothing:
The Latest In
Eco-Friendly Style

Soy clothing

While looking through one of my favorite catalogs recently I found soy clothing. We are beginning to see more of this fiber being made into clothing. Will soy become a part of your wardrobe?

If you are like me you probably don't know that much about soy clothing. Don't feel too bad it hasn't been available on a commercial basis for all that long.

Believe it or not Henry Ford of automobile fame had the first suit made of soy wool. He was a big proponent of all types of soy products and really believed in the versatility and potential of soy.

Through extensive research during the 1930's a process was developed to turn soy protein into fiber. But problems with production, costs and a lack of commercial interest did not make it a viable alternative. With so many more easily available fabrics on the market no serious interest was taken in creating soy clothing, until Mr Li Guanqi of China.

What's so Great About Soy Fabric

Soy fiber In 1999, Mr Li was successful in creating a soft, smooth, drapy, comfortable fabric similar in feel to cashmere. In fact it is often referred to as vegetable cashmere.

The process basically uses the waste or leftover dregs from the production of other soy products like tofu. These dregs are processed to remove the leftover soy proteins which can then be spun into soy fiber. While this is a chemically intensive process it is a closed loop process. So the chemicals are recycled and used again.

Soy fabric is absorbent, warm, resistant to bacteria and UV rays and when discarded is biodegradable, many fabrics aren't. And it seems fairly easy care, being machine washable and either line drying or drying at low settings to prevent shrinkage.

China, the largest textile manufacturer and exporter, has begun mass producing soy-based yarn. Right now soy clothing is mainly found as underwear, socks, scarves, sheets and yoga or exercise apparel. It is also a popular choice for very soft, comfortable baby clothing.

Soy can be blended with other textiles like cotton, bringing the benefits of each to fabrics and beautifully colored using low impact dyes.

Where to Find Soy Clothing

A big selection of clothing is hard to find and since the nature of soy is to be very soft most styles are casual and relaxed.

Soy shirt Faeries Dance an earth friendly fashion shop carries soy fabric clothing with a little style and fun. That green sweater at the top of the page is a soy fabric blend from their line.

As more of us begin to look for more eco-friendly alternatives to conventional clothing, soy clothing can offer affordable, luxurious eco-fashion.


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