A decades old milk-based fiber is making a big ecological comeback in a fashion line being created by a German designer.
QMilch is a silk-like fiber produced from large concentrations of Casein – a milk protein. According to the Reuters news agency, QMilch has been used as a fabric since the 1930s, but was always comprised of a high level of chemicals which compromised its commercial value.
Now, designer Anke Domaske, 28, has devised a way to manufacture QMilch, ecologically – the first man-made fiber produced without chemicals, the Reuters report said. She told the agency QMilch also has anti-bacterial and anti-aging properties that can help with blood circulation and regulate body temperature.
The fiber contains a total of 18 amino acids which store nutrients, lending to the various health benefits ascribed to QMilch, a GlobalPost.com report stated.
GlobalPost.com suggested Domaske got her inspiration while working for a year on an Idaho dairy farm. Domaske worked with a small research team at the Fiber Institute at the University of Bremen to develop the QMilch reboot, the report said.
“It feels like silk and doesn’t smell – you can wash it just like anything else,” Domaske told Reuters.
Domaske’s high end clothing label – Mademoiselle Chi Chi – is already starting to weave the QMilch fabric into the company’s designs along with other fabric types. But the designer said she plans to go a step further and create a collection that is comprised entirely of QMilch.
The former microbiology student told Reuters she developed the new, all-natural fiber over a two-year period. The milk Casein is removed from dried milk powder and heated along with other ingredients. When the fiber is completed it is spun into yarn on a machine. Fiber molecules bind during the process so the milk protein doesn’t go bad, the Reuters article said.
Domaske estimated an entire dress would require about two gallons of milk to manufacture and would cost about $200.
Reuters reported the QMilch fiber may also show promise for use in everything from medicine to make-up and auto upholstery.
Trent Dagher specializes in uncovering ways our lives can be improved with ecological innovations. He also enjoys a glass of cold milk, so he is very excited about the possibilities for QMilch. When he isn’t writing, Trent is hard at work with recruitment services, temp staffing, IT staffing and other recruitment services.