Latest posts by Annalisa Chelli (see all)
- Shibori: embellish fabrics using a simple tutorial with Supernaturelles - 6 August 2020
- How to knit the elongated stitch - 18 July 2020
- Macramé LOVE with Studio Folklore - 5 July 2020
Vegan or cruelty-free products mean a product that protects animals without causing them harm or suffering. It’s for this reason we’d like to show you a vegan silk, known as eri silk. Below, we’re going to tell you about the history of eri silk and its characteristics, plus talk about other vegan fibres too, such as, cotton, flax, hemp, ramie, wild growing Himalayan stinging nettle and viscose.
The history for Eri Silk, why is it vegan?
Eri Silk – also known as non-violent silk – comes about from a castor leaf eating silkworm. When the silkworm is satisfied it gets ready to construct a warm and safe shelter. The worms start creating the chrysalis, which is the start of the metamorphosis, then the butterfly emerges. The main characteristic of the Eri silkworn is that it creates a cocoon that has a hole at one end allowing it to fly out of the cocoon without breaking it. This is a really important aspect, as thanks to this distinctively unique detail, it doesn’t involve the killing of the pupa before it leaves the cocoon, as is done with other types of silk. The process of the unraveling the silk filament starts once the moth has left the cocoon. Starting off the whole production process.
Even though eri silk is one continuous filament, to obtain the silk thread, more filaments have to be put together, which is how “Ahimsa” came about in the North of India. A 100% Peace Silk brand, where women, who are assigned to this type of work, have had the chance to get social redemption.
To sum up, we can say that eri silk has all the characteristics and features of a non-vegan silk, such as the shininess and length of the fibres.
It’s for all these ethical reasons and more, that Eri Silk is loved by vegans and everyone who has the utmost respect for all forms of life. So, we’ve decided to add Eri Silk to our collection of plant-based natural fibres, that we like to call vegan.
Vegan fibres to use for felting
Many people ask themselves which kind of plant fibres, so vegan, can be used instead of wool. To try and inspire and enlighten you about all the alternative possibilities, we’ve decided to tell you a little bit about each of the fibres. Going from cotton to flax, hemp to ramie and last but not least Himalayan stinging nettle and viscose.
This is a natural fibre and one that’s most used by man along with wool. It’s also one of the few crops that have been harvested for hundreds of years not for food. The cotton plant needs a warm climate to be able to grow with a mix of some periods of high humidity and then very dry ones, for the development stage. You can find out a lot more about this fibre by checking out the specific article on the History, characteristics and a lot more.
This is another vegan fibre that has been used by man for textile production since the ancient times. So much so that many examples of both its cultivation and production can be found in Egyptian tombs. In fact, for the Egyptions, this plant fibre was considered a symbol of purity. You can learn more about this topic on Flax – a tough fibre from a delicate flower.
Since ancient times the hemp plant has been used for the production of luxurious fabrics. Its origin can be dated back to about 5000 years ago when it came about out of the blue in the regions of Eastern Asia. In the Middle East and Europe it only arrived thanks to the migrations of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia. It can be described as an live and eco-friendly fibre.
This is a plant textile fibre. It’s white, fine and shiny which makes it a lot like silk, to the point of being called vegetable silk, or vegan as we’d say. It’s also known as Chinagrass. Check out all the characteristcs of vegetable silk here.
Wild growing giant Himalayan stinging nettle
This is a beautiful fibre. Candid, glossy and really long and it’s obtained from the plant which has got the same name (Wild Growing Giant Himalayan Stinging Nettle Plant) that grows naturally in the Nepal and Himalayan regions at elevations of between 1,800 to 3,000 metres. A wild fibre for a textile with a conscious.