How is Soy Fabric made?
Soy fabric is an eco-friendly fabric made from the hulls of Soy beans. These are taken from the waste of food production, rather than harvesting the Soy beans especially for this purpose, meaning that nothing is wasted. It is often known as ‘Vegetable Cashmere.’
Soy protein is liquefied and then extruded into long, thin filament fibres that are then cut and processed in a similar way to many other natural fibres. The process does involve a lot of chemicals, but unlike the production of Bamboo and similar, these chemicals are re-used over and over again in the manufacturing process.
Unlike Bamboo and Hemp, Soy plants require a lot of care whilst growing. They need more water and the conditions have to be just right for them to grow. For this reason pesticides and/ or chemical engineering are often used to help the process and maximise the amount of useable crops available. Also, because Soy bean hulls are a by product of the tofu manufacturing process, the amount of waste that is reduced as Soy isn’t grown purely for fabric manufacture.
Most of the Soy yarns available today come from China where the Soy plants are harvested. All the useful proteins and oils are extracted, leaving only the outer hulls. These are melted down and forced through holes the correct width depending on the end textile use. These are then solidified, making the Soy fibres. These fibres are then spun into yarns which can be woven or knotted into Soy fabrics.
Properties of Soy fabric
- Lustre of Silk
- Easy to care for
- Absorbs dye easily
- Slight Stretch so garments fit well
- Natural Drape
- Excellent moisture absorption
- Cool and comfortable in hot weather
- UV resistant
- Not as strong as cotton
- Can be blended with various other fibres
End uses of Soy
- High Quality and High density fabrics
- A more sustainable alternative to Cotton
- Home Textiles
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