Introducing the 14 Fabrics of the Future

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

While in July I wrote a post about the less sustainable fabrics for us, the environment, and animals, today I want to share an interesting article on the fabrics of the future that I have been researching on.

It is not the first time I share that I don’t believe in organic cotton as a sustainable fabric. Of course, it is better than other fabrics, but at production levels, it is still the same thing. I’m a firm supporter of recycling and upcycling, and the thing I love the most is when companies are committed enough to sustainability to take these steps and improve their level of positive impact.

In the following text, you'll find information on the fabrics and textiles that have caught my attention. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Bionic Yarn, obtained from recycled plastic.

One of the most innovative materials is Bionic Yarn, an ecological and resistant thread derived from recycled plastic, created by two young New Yorkers. The plastic they use is recovered from marine and coastal environments, addressing sea pollution.

The used bottles are collected, melted together, and divided into fibers before being spun. The yarn is obtained through the union of recycled plastic together with synthetic or natural textile fibers. The fabric made with these fibers was launched in 2009 and has also been used by major fashion brands.

  • Orange Fiber, made from orange waste

This innovative project was conceived in 2014 by two girls of Sicilian origin, Milanese university students, who developed the idea of the orange fabric in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Milan, where they also filed the Orange Fiber patent. The fabric, made from what is called in jargon "orange paste", is very similar to cellulose acetate.

In the production process, cellulose is extracted from what remains of the oranges used to produce juices and is transformed into thread for clothes and accessories. It also has beneficial effects on the skin because microcapsules with citrus essential oils and vitamin C have been inserted into the fibers.

  • Soybean Protein Fiber

Soybean Protein Fiber is a textile fiber made from soy. The liquid extracted from the post-oiling soybean is first subjected to polymerization operations that modify its compositional structure and is then cooked to produce the wet yarn.

The material thus obtained is cut and thermoformed. The auxiliary polymerization substances of the base material are natural and the resulting scraps are used as feed, therefore it is 100% ecological and eco-sustainable. The fabric obtained has the luster of silk, dyes well, and is very soft and shiny; it is perfect for functional underwear and swimwear.

  • Ingeo, Corn Fiber

Corn Fiber is an ecological fiber obtained from corn sugar, created by Cargill, the food giant, as a project for alternative usage of its food waste. Thanks to a particular manufacturing process, polylactic acid, a polymer that produces fabrics resistant to humidity and heat, is obtained from corn. INGEO also has high transparency qualities with the only drawback being that the fabric is slightly rigid.

In addition, the processing residues are used to transform into fertilizers, therefore the fabric derived from corn is also 100% green. Thanks to its particular breathability it is also applied in the construction field. In clothing, it is used to stuff mattresses, cushions, and sofas.