Monday, 25 October 2010

Fibre: Soybean

[caption id="attachment_2750" align="alignright" width="262" caption="Soya fibre, spun and knitted"][/caption]

Soybean fibre is a fairly new fibre that can be classed as an environmentally friendly fibre. When manufacturing soyabeans into soymilk, tofu, or soybean oil, dregs are left over as a waste product. In 1937 Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company invented soya fibre by using a new method that could make use of this by-product. Protein liquids from these dregs are extracted and through the process of wet-spinning, these are solidified to form the fibers.
Soya has anti-bacterial properties, is wrinkle free and very colour fast when dyed. Un-dyed it has a beautiful golden colour. Soya fibre is often blended with other fibres such as cotton or wool.

Working with soya fibre
Soybean fibre is smooth and light and has a cashmere feel to it. It has a silky lustre and drapes really nice. Having spun undyed soya for plying with recycled cashmere and merino I find that it is generally easy to work with but requires a bit of practice to draft.

"Soya is very soft and easy to spin and ply. Do note that it only needs a tiny amount of twist to spin and the fibres are very short. The yarn retains a slight halo which I really like. However, it does not have much elasticity and therefore it is important not to knit it too tight." (Cecile)

The images in this post are copyright of Eddie Roued-Cunliffe. You are hereby granted permission to use them for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit Eddie and link back to this page. If you are using them and talking about this post I would love to hear from you in the comments.

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