[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)
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