Vegan silk made from Cupro is conquering the fashion world. Either as a lining or an elegant dress: the new material is increasingly establishing itself on catwalks. Yet, what is Cupro anyway?
Vegan silk, as it is called due to its properties, offers a wide range of benefits and not just for humans. In contrast to conventional silk, it does not endanger the welfare of the environment or animals.
Cruelty-free vegan silk
Normal silk is produced out of animal fiber from proteins. It is obtained from the cocoons of silkworms but in a questionable way. In order to make the fine material usable, silk moths are boiled alive in the pupal stage. According to the PeTA organization, close to 15 animals are killed for a single gram of silk. That makes 1.6 trillion caterpillars on a year to year basis of the global demand for one year. For producing Cupro though, not a single caterpillar or any other animal is harmed for vegan silk. Its material is produced from natural, plant-based raw materials in a multi-stage process.
Production of vegan silk
The fine fiber is made out of cellulose, a natural product found in plant cell walls. This cellulose is also found in the cotton linter of the textile industry, which would otherwise end up as a waste product. In addition, the use of textile remnants makes it unnecessary to grow your own raw materials for vegan silk. The cellulose is first dissolved in a special process and the resulting liquid is pressed to obtain the fine Cupro thread. It is then cleaned, dried and further processed into woven or knitted fabrics.
The entire manufacturing process takes place in closed water circuits and, therefore, is completely harmless to the environment. Individual Cupro manufacturers have already received the Oeko-Tex 100 certificate for its environmentally-friendly production. This confirms that the production processes plus the material meet a number of strict requirements and withstand tests for harmful substances.
Characteristics of Cupro vegan silk
Silk is particularly popular for its “haptic”, its improved advantage over plastic skins by how the material feels to the touch, its temperature-regulating properties and fine sheen. And Cupro is in no way inferior. The vegan silk also has the classic, delicate feel and silky sheen and has much more to offer than just to convince visually. This new material is particularly interesting for persons who are prone to allergies, as Cupro is hygroscopic. This means that the fabric is able to bind water and moisture, thus promoting a healthy skin climate. In addition, it does not irritate sensitive skin due to its fine, even structure.
Since no animal products are used in its production, the material is equally suitable for allergy sufferers and vegans. In addition, the skin-friendly fabric is breathable, thus deserving its place in the yoga segment. Cupro is best comparable to viscose. The flowing material caresses the body like a second skin and follows the movements without becoming statically charged. And, last but not least, what has been obtained from waste and leftovers does not burden the environment even if it ends up being discarded, as Cupro is completely bio-degradable.
Vegan silk is easy to care for
Where's the catch? There is none! You would think that such a complex material similar to cashmere could cause washing problems. Without hesitation, it can be washed at home at 30 degrees with mild detergent. It is best to turn the clothing inside out to protect it. The naturally wrinkle-resistant fabric can also be ironed at 150 degrees. You should still avoid the dryer. Compared to cotton, vegan silk has good color fastness and dimensional stability, which makes it very durable. With the right care, your new favorite piece will stay by your side for a long time. You can find more care instructions for your yoga wear here.
However, while we are rescuing the silk moth, our little friends, the clothes moths, will have to look elsewhere for food, for these little creatures only fly on animal textiles.
Text: Julie Duvernoy