Hello, dear readers of our blog! Today we would like to talk about new sustainable fabrics we discovered recently.
Cupro is a regenerated cellulose fabric made from cotton waste. It is made using tiny silky cotton fibres, known as linter, that stick out of the cottonseed and are too small to spin. The linter is dissolved into a cuprammonium solution, which is a mixture of copper and ammonium, dropped into caustic soda, then spun into fibre. Much like Tencel and Modal, cupro is a plant-based material that is chemically processed to produce the resulting fabric.
Cupro is said to have all the positive qualities of silk: it’s silky-smooth and drapes just like the luxurious material. First invented in the 1900s in Germany, cupro is also commonly known as ‘Bemberg’ (from the German manufacturer, J.P. Bemberg).
Cupro is a by-product of cotton production, so it is technically a recycled textile. We know by now that cotton production is a very wasteful and intensive process—it requires a massive amount of water and pesticides when it’s not organic. So using every bit of the cotton plant helps reduce waste.
Since cupro is plant-based—unlike silk which comes from silkworms—it is vegan and cruelty-free. Plus, unlike silk again, it is machine washable, which is more eco-friendly than the dry cleaning required for delicate silk garments.
Nettle fabric is an unusual textile that seems to defy logic: as the name implies, this strong, lustrous fabric is derived from the nettle plant. If you’ve ever accidentally stumbled into a nettle bush, you’ll understand why the concept of nettle-based fabric seems so ridiculous. When touched, a “stinging nettle” causes a breakout of a painful rash!
The good news is, nettle fabric is perfectly safe to wear, and in fact, is a highly luxurious and sustainable textile. The fabric is made from the fibers within the stalks of the plant, not the silky barbs on the outer surface.
The final woven fabric is similar to linen, but much stronger (it’s strength even increases when wet) and a bit stiffer, making it ideal for more structured garments.
As the plant grows incredibly quickly it allows for high production of fabric in a short space of time on small pieces of land. It's not just its rapid growth, however, that makes nettle an easy crop as the plant is naturally resistant to bacteria, fungi, rot and a whole lots of other destructive forces. Grown without pesticides and using the natural rainfall, the plant from which the fabric is made has relatively little negative environmental impact.
So, what do you think about these fabrics? Would you like us to make garments using them? If yes, which? Please let us know in the comments.