Material Futures X Stella McCartney
Fur-free fashion world is on the rise. Ethical concerns over animal exploitation have finally been heard by the major fashion houses like Stella McCartney. For some time faux fur seemed like a suitable alternative, yet the damaging environmental impact is undeniable. Synthetic textiles are made from environmentally harmful materials including blends of acrylic and modacrylic polymers derived from coal, petroleum. These materials take over 500 years to disintegrate, thus causing incalculable damage to the ecology.
Is synthetic fibre only alternative to animal fibre? The answer to the question lies in the world of nature itself with its yet unexplored potential of plants. There are limitless possibilities of the natural fibers which can be developed from plants.
Stipa pennata, common name European feather grass is a flowering plant in the grass family Poaceae, which is grown as an ornamental plant for its feathery flowering spikes. Its dried stem naturally shimmers in the light. It’s interesting to me that each strand of grass has both shiny and fur-like qualities.
I tried extending the stem so that it could be woven. One stem on its own is quite fragile, but once it’s woven it acquires durability. And furthermore, by twisting it with linen yarn, it becomes durable enough to be warped.