Milk fabric taking fashion world by storm

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Milk has long been known as the drink that “does the body good,” and one young German fashion designer has taken it to the next level by turning milk into fabric that makes the body look good, too.

Anke Domaske, a 29-year old fashion designer, has created a natural method to transform leftover and spoiled milk into a luxury, sustainable fabric called QMilch. The concept of milk-spun fabric has been around since the 1930s, but previous methods to turn milk into fabric involved chemicals. The method used to create QMilch is all-natural, making it the first of its kind.

“Milk is such a great natural resource, so we have to keep it natural,” Domaske said in an interview with CNN, seen below. “There must be a way to produce also a natural fiber from it.”

Domaske used her background as a biochemist to turn the popular beverage into the textile. The process combines all-natural materials and processes to convert milk into fabric.

“A local dairy takes leftover milk no one can drink and lets it ferment to [a] lumpy cheese stage and turns it into a powder,” CNN’s Juliet Mann explained. “This milk powder, a bit like the protein powder that body builders use, is mixed with a secret recipe of natural ingredients.”

Moments after this process, a fibrous product is created that is then spun into the fabric.

“Milk is such a great natural resource, so we have to keep it natural. There must be a way to produce also a natural fiber from it,” Domaske told Mann.

Though QMilch requires less water than cotton, it is more expensive to produce:

 

Water consumption

Cost

 

--Per Kilogram--

QMilch

2 liters

$30

Cotton

20,000 liters

$3.80

QMilch is not touted as a cotton alternative, though, and instead is marketed as a natural, luxury textile and feels similar to silk. However, the cost of QMilch is stable, unlike other labor-intensive fabrics whose commodity prices fluctuate depending on markets and weather.

Even with a higher price tag, consumers are “eating up” Domaske’s fashion label Mademoiselle Chi Chi, including celebrity fashionistas Mischa Barton and Ahslee Simpson.

“I like the thinking that it’s made out of milk, and I had never heard about it,” consumer Sabrina Micheli said.  “The designer told me that it doesn’t produce any waste. I like this because our pollution is so terrible, so this is a very good idea.”



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