When we say the word "milk", you might think immediately of the beverage, maybe about cows, or possibly the episode of Friends where Ross thinks he came up with the phrase ”Got milk”.
As we all know, milk is naturally full of goodness and provides us with many vitamins and minerals. In addition, after decades of research and development, it's possible to take waste from cow's milk and turn it in to fabric.
Here comes the history...
During World War I, Germany attempted to develop new textiles due to shortages caused by rationing. Although they managed to extract a fibre from milk but it turned out to be too difficult to work with.
Later, in the 1930s, the chemist Antonio Ferretti picked up where the Germans had left off and finally discovered how to extract fibres from which he could make ones with similar characteristics to wool, but with a silk-like lustre.
And here comes the science…
Casein is the protein in milk. It is blended with NaOH (sodium hydroxide) and water, which leads to polymerisation. The fibre then goes through a process of filtration and deaeration.
After this the extraction of the fibres takes place. This is done using a device called a spinneret, where the fibre is shaped before going into a spinning bath with H2SO4 (sulphuric acid), a process is called wet spinning.
The fibres are then cut to the right length and hardened to get the right shape and form. After washing and drying, the fibres are made into yarn which can then be woven or knitted into a fabric.
Milk fibre has several benefits:
At Outsider we love working with this versatile fabric. We truly have "Got milk".
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