Milk fiber – eco or not?

Lately on the media there were a lot of articles telling how eco friendly and “good” for human skin Milk Fiber fashion is.

Reading these articles it really looked like one could simply skim some milk, dehydrate it and spin it into a thread. Trying to look a bit more deeply in how manufactures and producers describe Milk Fiber there is not much more. Except some clues concerning technological processes or copolymerization, the process described is very similar to the well documented production of the 1930’s Milk Fiber (invented by Italian inventor Ferretti and commercialized as Lanital), clearly involving heavy chemicals including Formaldehyde. All today’s producers do describe Milk Fiber as environmental friendly and even good for human skin. At the same time none describes how really Casein Protein – a waste product in cheese making – becomes a yarn.

exchangingfire.wordpress.com author asked him/her self the same question:

WHAT IS MILK FIBER?

here is his conclusion:

Milk Fiber is a blend of casein protein and the chemical acrylonitrile, which is used to make acrylic. It’s made using a process that is similar to rayon/viscose, but because it’s a regenerated protein fiber and not a regenerated cellulose fiber, it reacts like wool

Of course this is Exchanging Fire opinion and it sounds well explained, but as long as the producers will not give proves that their processes use are not similar to rayon/viscose, perplexities about Milk Fiber being eco-friendly will remain.

This story sounds too similar to what happened to Bamboo Fiber a couple of years ago. Now is clear that most of Bamboo Fiber out there is actually a Viscose, when will this be clear also for Milk Fiber?

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  1. Hi, I saw that you linked to my piece about milk fiber. Thanks so much for commenting about it. I will just say that the paragraph you are quoting from my article is not my opinion, but is fact. The Doshi Group, which produces milk fiber, says that the modern milk fiber they make is a “graft copolymer of casein and AN.” After some heavy research, I discovered that AN is the chemical acrylonitrile. It’s all quoted in my article, but it did get pretty dry and boring in there, so I’m not surprised if you missed it.

    AN apparently makes modern milk fiber stronger and more long-lasting than it’s 1930s counterpart, which was all casein protein. Also, formaldehyde is no longer used to dry and set the milk fiber strands. Most likely for environmental regulatory reasons. Hope that helps!

      • ethicalista
      • March 24th, 2011

      Hi,
      of course i did read very carefully your article and it is really interesting and “finally” explanatory concerning the Milk Fiber production process.
      The Doshi Group is not the only producer and since the other processes are not clear, we could hope someone does use a more eco-friendly one! To me your article is clear and not at all and “opinion” but a series of facts not boring at all! Alberto

      • Glad you didn’t find my article boring! I agree, Doshi Group is only one producer, and while they are aboveboard about how they create milk fiber, other companies many not be as straightforward.

    • Alida
    • April 15th, 2011

    This is really fascinating…I am really curious about how much does the AN affect the environment in this process, and moreover what is grafting when it applies to AN and casein …I mean does the fiber end up being some sort of hybrid resin similar to acrylic/ wool? In other words, how ‘natural’ is it? I am so glad to find this article as it is really difficult to separate the spin from the facts as you have shown…
    I personally love the hand feel of milk fiber, but would like to know more before I promote it in my etsy shop ” swoon fibers”, I don’t want to simply repeat some factoids that are not really true…

    • minal
    • July 15th, 2012

    fantastic info I get about milk fiber
    this will definately help me in my work
    can u please send me any ppt on this topic
    i want more n more information, where i can get it
    i will be very thankfull to u if u do the same for me

  1. October 6th, 2011
  2. May 10th, 2012

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