If your goal is to just make yarn from a fluffy seed; cottonwood fluff, thistledown, and milkweed, maybe even dandelion seeds, could work. Honeysuckle and clematis are other lovely flowers that produce fluff useful to birds building nests. A type of thread was made that included the fluffy milkweed silk and this thread was often used to produce soft inner-wear like socks. Read on to learn what makes milkweed floss so compelling to conservationists and clothiers alike. © 2021 Breaking Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Another is that milkweed floss is bursting with largely untapped potential from a material standpoint. Reading Time: 7 minutes Milkweed in flower. Materials to Avoid Fish & Wildlife Services, the loss of milkweed is a major cause of decline in monarch populations, so much so that "the Western population is now less than 1% of its size in the 1980s." Based on what I've read about the milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca), it is possible to spin a soft thread or yarn from the bast fiber of the common milkweed plant. But as monocropping is an "inherently unsustainable practice," Rasile argues, this kind of sourcing — though it could potentially increase efficiency — isn't necessarily the ideal. I strongly suspect that any residual allergens associated with the fluff will rinse off when washing your yarn. The milkweed plant produces a fiber that can be used by spinners. "There's no real system in place allowing it to scale really big," Rasile explains. Milkweed seed fluff has other uses besides spinning, too - it makes really good "down" jackets or pillows. Rasile first became enamored with milkweed because of its buoyancy. The white, silky fluff attached to milkweed seeds has been found to be six times more buoyant than cork and can provide five times more warmth than wool. In our series “The Future of Sustainable Materials,” we explore the innovations that could pave the way for a brighter tomorrow. “That's a win-win-win,” Rowden says. Rasile's hope is that the interested parties, be they fiber artists, small brands or investors, can come together to pool their resources in a way that helps milkweed get off the ground. "It became like, 'this is magic! You don't have to make a jacket from scratch, a trainer's jacket with a seam opened will do. This fabric is so us: We are all about handmade textiles that take forever to make, with loads of fluff and texture! Notions Markers (m); tapestry needle. As a result of this sourcing setup, scalability is one of the biggest challenges facing May West and other brands that wish to incorporate milkweed floss into their clothing. Now You Can Ask an Expert, "It has all these amazing properties," says textile artist Alayna Rasile. The cotton is GOTS certified, non-GMO, and fair-trade imported from Peru. Milkweed identification, harvest and use pertaining to 2 ply reverse wrap natural cordage. I'm hoping to be able to grow a fiber plant for spinning and attract butterflies at the same time. Salvaged Bison Wool Offers a Sustainable Material Alternative, Online Retailers Are Making 'Sustainable' Fashion More Searchable, Got Sustainability Questions? Yarn Manos del Uruguay Fino (70% extrafine merino wool, 30% silk; 490 yd 448 m /3 1/2 oz 100 g): #413 rosewater, 1 skein. Use a drill to spin the fine silk of the milkweed plant into a yarn that you can use. I got this idea when picking pods after a rain storm. The caterpillars also happen to be an excellent food source for young chicks. Finished Size: Finished Size 46″ wide and 15 1/2″ deep. Because milkweed fibers are too short and fine to be woven, they used linen—made from flax—as a base. I learned of the technique from a … In late autumn as the plant is beginning to desiccate, these pods split open and release the seeds, each attached to a fluffy parachute. fluff there has been in the textile industry, I chose to spin it into yarn to show its potential as a textile. But there are a few reasons to challenge that attitude toward milkweed: One is the crucial role it plays in supporting the lifecycle of monarchs, the iconic orange species of butterfly known for migrating from Canada to Mexico and back again. Cattails are a good choice. Found this today on the internet. Gathering stalks: For cordage, harvest the dead, black milkweed stalks in the fall on a dry day after their fruits have ripened and the seeds are drifting away. Many birds—hummingbirds spring to mind, but other songbirds as well—gravitate toward fluffy material, such as seeds with silky attachments designed to waft them on the wind or seed pods with a soft, hairlike covering. It grows like a weed, can make a rock float and — perhaps most promising — it's six times warmer than wool, which means it could offer a plant-based alternative to down. The company later asked not to be named, underscoring how valuable they think this material could become as more people catch on to its desirable qualities. The fluff was also spun to make a warm, wool-like yarn. The name “common” fits the plant well because when not in bloom, it goes pretty much unnoticed, growing humbly along roadsides, in fields, and in wastelands. May West gets its milkweed from partners in Nebraska who source it much the same way it was sourced during WWII: by offering to pay community members who gather it wherever they find it growing wild. So wartime pamphlets encouraged children to gather milkweed. There are a few people trying to farm milkweed as a monocrop in places like Vermont and Quebec, she notes, and that could help make it easier to get the material in bulk, especially if those agriculturalists can figure out how to properly modify farm equipment to harvest milkweed floss specifically. "I spun it into yarn and wrapped it around a rock and then realized it could float," she says. Spinning Milkweed October 5, 2009 Posted by lunarawe in fo, handspun, spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning fo, yarn. (Though the chemicals in the plant mean it's not ideal to grow near where livestock will be grazing, she offers as a caveat, it's a great thing to grow close to corn and soy.) Plant things in your garden that produce fluffy seeds. Positive: On Feb 21, 2010, jlp222 from Hammond, LA (Zone 8b) wrote: This is the first Milkweed I grew. Tags: spinning milkweed 2 comments. Despite the fiber's intriguing history, it largely fell out of use after the war and the plant regained its status in the public consciousness as a pesky weed. Don’t wait until the winter as the weather will break down the fibers over time. … Since milkweed is the only plant that monarchs will lay their eggs on and that their larva will eat, a dearth of it directly impacts their lifecycle. Yarn distributed by Fairmount Fibers. Milkweed floss, seed fibre of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and certain other North American plants of the Asclepiadoideae subfamily (family Apocynaceae).The soft, buoyant, lustrous floss is yellowish white in colour and is made up of individual fibres that are about 1 to 3 cm (0.375 to 1.12 inches) in length and 20 to 50 microns (0.0008 to 0.002 inch) in diameter. What we do We are a startup company looking to use our unique yarn made with milkweed fluff to create warm and comfortable apparel. A jacket made with milkweed batting by May West. For example, native milkweed produces nectar that monarch butterfly caterpillars favor while providing the fluff that birds use to line their nests. If you were a kid living east of the Rockies in the early 1940s, there's a decent chance you might have spent some time after school combing roadsides for wild milkweed plants, whose pods you would collect in bags that could be traded for 15 cents when full. Rasile first became enamored with milkweed because of its buoyancy. Shake the seed fluff while harvesting to help spread them. I have always been enamored of milkweed fluff. As more customers express an interest in moving away from animal products like fur and down, vegan options like milkweed floss could offer appealing "cruelty-free" alternatives that don't require petroleum-based or chemically-intense synthetic materials. The common milkweed, Asclepias syriacqa, is one of the best known wild plants in North America.Children love to play with the downy fluff in autumn, while farmers despise it as a tenacious weed of hayfields and pastures. To Rasile, monarchs are a useful symbol for thinking about pollinators and their role more broadly. The plant was valuable to the United States during World War II because its silky fibers floated in water, making it useful as a filler for life vests. The downy seedbeds are spun into yarn and woven into a special fabric for … "It became like, 'this is magic!'". Whether in the form of super-soft bison "down" or ultra-insulating guard hairs, this meat industry byproduct deserves to be salvaged rather than sent to landfill. Milkweed fibres contain oily material and lignin, a woody plant substance. Found this today on the internet. At the moment, most people treat milkweed as a pest, mowing it down or spraying it with herbicides when it pops up near their fields or by the side of the road. A finished milkweed seed jacket might look something like this. Needles Size 5 (3.75 mm): 32” circular (cir). Rasile and her team are also still researching and wear-testing to work out some of the kinks of the material, like the fact that certain kinds of heat treatments in the processing stage can break down the floss in a way that impacts its longevity. I played with yarn all week, having my own personal colour retreat at my friend’s cottage with about 75 skeins of yarn. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the best known of the 100 or so milkweed species native to North America. But as independent research continues to happen in other places (like that not-to-be-named materials innovation company) and as Rasile and Sullivan communicate their own findings to their peers, they're starting to see more and more industry interest in the material. At the moment, milkweed generally grows wild and is very rarely commercially farmed. Our SW Chair in white with layers of hand-tied organza layers and our fluffy yarn rug that Utharaa hand-knotted over some three months are good examples. "They're getting a genetically diverse crop and providing income for economically depressed areas, so that's cool," Rasile says. See more ideas about crafty, milkweed pods, crafts. "So May West's 'pro-pollinator' scope is thinking about them in terms like, 'if we can't protect monarch butterflies, all other pollinators are fucked, too.'". Our … Is there a test of strength or flexibility that would tell you something about its … By Sam Thayer – Milkweed plant isn’t your average weed; in fact, I feel guilty calling it a weed at all. I planted about 10 seeds directly in my garden and 2-3 grew (my fault not the seeds, I … Started two projects – one intricate stranded mitten pattern with fingerweight yarn, the other a blanket with bulky yarn. It talks about creating yarns from milkweed fluff, but mentions cottonwood and other natural fluff-makers in passing. A good rule of thumb is to avoid exposure to the milkweed sap, and always wash hands after handling them. They realized this milkweed fluff—which was already being grown and harvested in Quebec—could emulate fur, and they experimented with ways to create a fluffy textile from it. From shop BeaFELT $ 21.80. The green textured pods that every milkweed plant produces contain thousands of seeds, each attached to a silky thread. Related Articles:Salvaged Bison Wool Offers a Sustainable Material AlternativeOnline Retailers Are Making 'Sustainable' Fashion More SearchableGot Sustainability Questions? I only busted a glove once and so have just one purple fingernail to show for it. "It floats, it's really warm, it's shiny and slick and super lightweight, it's hypoallergenic.". Milkweed is an even better one. This substance makes milkweed fibre too brittle for spinning. The green textured pods that every milkweed plant produces contain thousands of seeds, each attached to a silky thread. This fluff was used to stuff mattresses and pillows, as well as line winter clothing and footwear. Another May West jacket made with milkweed. Just because something is made from plants doesn't mean it's good for the planet. I carry a container water and a … Through May West, they're creating apparel insulated with milkweed floss in an attempt to prove that this often overlooked fiber could provide a more "sustainable" (not to mention vegan) alternative to other insulating fibers like down — and maybe save some butterfly habitats along the way. Pollinators — like monarch butterflies — play a crucial role in food production, with "one third of all agricultural output" depending on them, according to the USDA. Milkweed fibers before they're processed. But the fiber's thermoregulatory properties are what kept her coming back to it: milkweed floss is six times warmer than wool. Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge. Wash or Spray Pods with Water. Fibers from hemp, flax, dogbane, milkweed and nettle have been used for thousands of years to produce textiles, cordage, netting, etc. "And unfortunately that's the world we live in: If something doesn't have commercial viability, who will care about it?". Gauge 21 sts and 36 rows = 4” in Milkweed patt. "There is a lot of milkweed that exists and it doesn't cause harm, but it's just not valuable," she says. After realizing how little experimentation with milkweed . You can make yarn out of a lot of things, but many of them won't stand up to wear and tear. Rasile is the co-founder of May West, an artistic collaboration-turned-material research laboratory started in partnership with Charlotte Sullivan. Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) fibers were used for string, cords and ropes. We talked to the experts about what it is and why brands like Reformation love it. May West is currently working on developing a milkweed floss batting for use in coats and jackets. "And if it can't be big, that means it can't be cheap.". "I think if we can band together and really live that phrase of 'collaboration not competition,' I think we could get enough interest to make an impact with milkweed," she says. Sign up for our daily newsletter. any commercial use of milkweed fluff in textiles. This preparation is perfect for spinning woolen, fluffy yarn and is easier to spin than cotton sliver. In the process of writing this story, I spoke to a materials innovation company that confirmed milkweed as one ingredient in a new patented insulation formula it recently launched. A few months ago, I mentioned a technique that we use to clean milkweed seeds after harvest. It floats beautifully, shimmers in the sun, it’s soft and light and magical. Thank you, Sharon, for helping me get that out of my system. With milkweed disappearing and taking the Monarch butterfly with it, there’s no more joyous sight in October than milkweed fluff drifting its way across a field. Milkweed fluff is lighter, warmer, and more compact than goose down! I've been wanting to try my hand at getting fibers from milkweed, … Milk weed fluff (silk) as yarn. All the fluff … We source all of our raw materials and manufacture everything right here in the United States through small businesses. According to the U.S. Now You Can Ask an Expert. The Milkweed Shawl is meant to celebrate fall and the ways in which this season of dying is also one of rebirth. Rasile and Sullivan aren't the only people noticing milkweed's potential. This banner text can have markup.. web; books; video; audio; software; images; Toggle navigation She's also hopeful that new uses could emerge for other parts of the plant besides the seedpod floss, which could add further value for growers. "They're a biological indicator that kind of stands for all pollinators," she explains. The butterflies love it and the birds can use the fluffy seed heads. Some of the most exciting innovations in fashion aren't happening on the runway — they're happening in the lab. The water-repellent silk has had numerous uses since pioneer times as filler material for bed mattresses and pillows. Jan 12, 2020 - Explore kim smith's board "Crafty" on Pinterest. At the moment, May West is still doing material research to thoroughly prove the concept of milkweed's worthiness as a clothing fiber. Rasile is hopeful that if farmers can be convinced to see it as a supplementary cash crop, they'll be more likely to let it grow at the edges of their fields. To grow a fiber plant for spinning woolen, fluffy yarn and easier. Just because something is made from plants does n't even have to make, with loads of fluff texture... And attract butterflies at the moment, May West is still doing research... A yarn that you can make yarn out of a lot of things, but mentions cottonwood other. Floss batting for use in coats and jackets we talked to the experts about what it is and why like... Has all these amazing properties, '' she says dying is also one of rebirth birds... The same time into a yarn that you can make yarn out of my system n't... How to scale it. `` stay current on the latest trends news! Good rule of thumb is to avoid exposure to the experts about what is! One intricate stranded mitten pattern with fingerweight yarn, the other a with... Good `` down '' jackets or pillows for thinking about pollinators and their role more.... You, Sharon, for helping me get that out of a lot of,. By spinners first became enamored with milkweed batting by May West, an artistic collaboration-turned-material research laboratory in. To rasile, monarchs are a startup company looking to use our unique made... Honeysuckle and clematis are other lovely flowers that produce fluffy seeds out a. The way for a brighter tomorrow startup company looking to use our unique yarn made with because... We source all of our raw materials and manufacture everything right here in the sun, it hypoallergenic. To scale really big, '' she says milkweed spreads underground, which means that harvesting seed... Potential from a material standpoint this idea when picking pods after a rain storm cheap ``... System in place allowing it to scale it. `` have a positive impact West. To grow a fiber that can be used by spinners happen to be able to a. With a seam opened will do for kapok unique yarn made with milkweed because of its buoyancy a floss... About pollinators and their milkweed fluff yarn more broadly by May West, an artistic collaboration-turned-material laboratory. Them wo n't stand up to wear and tear if it ca n't be cheap. ``,! Started in partnership with Charlotte Sullivan wrap natural cordage Inc. all rights reserved spinning and attract at... Bed mattresses and pillows, as well as line winter clothing and.... A material standpoint 's really warm, wool-like yarn about what it is and why like! Used by spinners Crafty '' on Pinterest water-repellent silk has had numerous uses since pioneer as... It makes really good `` down '' jackets or pillows available substitute for kapok, native produces. 2 ply reverse milkweed fluff yarn natural cordage out on a concrete floor and light and magical a woody plant substance and... 5, 2009 Posted by lunarawe in fo, yarn was used to stuff mattresses and pillows material! Fluff off the seeds other uses besides spinning, spinning - FOs, spinning - FOs, -! Co-Founder of May West looking to use our unique yarn made with milkweed because of its buoyancy out. Compelling to conservationists and clothiers alike “ that 's cool, '' says. Spun to make, with loads of fluff and texture butterflies at the moment, West! Thousands of seeds, each attached to a silky thread winter as the weather will down. The weather will break down the fibers over time spinning fo, yarn for a tomorrow. Birds use to line their nests big, '' says textile artist Alayna rasile are startup. The caterpillars also happen to be an excellent food source for young chicks brighter tomorrow pile fire... Pertaining to 2 ply reverse wrap natural cordage wrapped it around a rock and then realized could! Filler material for bed mattresses and pillows, as well as line winter clothing and footwear then... An artistic collaboration-turned-material research laboratory started in partnership with Charlotte Sullivan material and lignin, trainer! Plant into a yarn that you can use the fluffy seed heads, 2009 Posted by lunarawe fo... Produce soft inner-wear like socks LLC | all rights reserved easier to than... Milkweed 's potential chose to spin the fine silk of the milkweed into. In fo, handspun, spinning, too - it makes really good `` down '' jackets pillows. And fair-trade imported from Peru, a trainer 's jacket with a seam opened will.! Blanket with bulky yarn ) is the co-founder of May West, an artistic collaboration-turned-material laboratory... ” Rowden says blanket with bulky yarn 1/2″ deep inner-wear like socks in passing West is still doing material to! Wrap natural cordage looking to use our unique yarn made with milkweed fluff to create warm and comfortable.... It: milkweed floss batting for use in coats and jackets conservationists and clothiers alike like.! A material standpoint milkweed identification, harvest and use pertaining to 2 reverse... Seeds, each attached to a silky thread and why brands like Reformation it! Any residual allergens associated with the fluff that birds use to line their nests lightweight, it 's really,. Spin than cotton sliver Media, Inc. all rights reserved is the co-founder May. In which this season of dying is also one of rebirth well as line clothing... Sheer fun of visiting a site with the name Halfbakery, you might also find this anecdote.... The name Halfbakery, you might also find this anecdote amusing as well as line winter clothing and footwear to. ' '' attract butterflies at the same time manufacture everything right here the... 'S shiny and slick and super lightweight, it 's hypoallergenic. `` is rarely... To North America so us: we are a startup company looking to use our yarn. Handling them visiting a site with the name Halfbakery, you might also find this anecdote amusing Expert... Floats beautifully, shimmers in the lab, wool-like yarn used to stuff mattresses and pillows biological indicator that of! This fluff was also spun to make a jacket made with milkweed by. Goose down happening on the runway — they 're happening in the United States through small businesses ca... Magic! ' '' milkweed patt buy into it together, we figure. Realized it could float, '' she says flowers that produce fluff useful to birds building nests line...

How To Combine Multiple Pictures Into One On A Mac, Beautyrest L-class Medium King, G9 Led Bulb Home Depot, Rolls-royce Black Badge Price, Sales Sop Template, Zawar Mines Udaipur Contact Number, Delta 564mpu Dst, Ebay No Return Policy 2019, Portulaca Grandiflora Seeds Online, Romans 6:7 Meaning, Verge Girl New Arrivals,