While the world has put a premium on silk, it’s far from being the most sustainable material in the world. Luckily, there are more ethical and environmentally friendly alternatives to silk. One of the most popular alternatives comes in the form of vegetable silk. Now, this may be your first time encountering vegetable silk, and may need more information on it. To help you out, here’s a brief breakdown of everything you need to know about vegetable silk.
What Is Vegetable Silk Fabric?
Vegetable silk fabric or sabra is made of vegetable fibers, which is why it’s also called vegetable silk or cactus silk. With that being said, vegetable silk fabric can also be derived from plants such as agave and aloe vera. This type of fabric is commonly seen in Moroccan handicrafts, as they are often used for weaving, textiles, floor mats, bedspreads, and even jewelry. Indeed, the city of Marrakech has developed quite a reputation thanks to vegetable silk fiber.
Considering that vegetable silk fabric is a catch-all term for this type of fabric, it’s important to know more about the different variations of fabrics. The main thing you have to understand about vegetable silk fabric, the plant used will completely change the end product.
Agave silk is a popular type of vegetable silk fabric. As its name suggests, this fabric is made with agave fiber. The fibers extracted from the agave, a type of cactus that’s commonly found in Mexico and widely cultivated in Morocco, have an aesthetic very similar to silk. Despite their similarities, agave silk has the distinct advantage of not needing to breed silkworms. Agave fiber is one of the most ethical fabrics out there. This is due to the fact that agave can be grown organically and has no negative effect on the environment.
Cactus silk is also widely used and is an important part of Morocco's heritage. The fiber’s silken texture and flatweave construction make them perfect for warm climates. Since the textile is woven by hand, every product derived from it is unique and can be interpreted based on the choice of symbols used and composition.
Is Vegetable Silk Fabric Eco Friendly?
Many of you may not know this but fabric waste poses a significant threat to the environment. In fact, 85% of all textiles thrown away in the United States are dumped into a landfill or burned. And seeing as this amounts to roughly 13 million tons of waste, it’s crucial that we find a viable alternative to mainstream textile whenever we can.
As we’ve already mentioned, agave silk is derived from the agave plant. Since the plant can be naturally cultivated and grown, it can be considered as a good alternative. And while this alone already makes it a viable option, you also have to consider that agave silk can be used as an ecological fertilizer after it’s served its original purpose.
What Are the Common Uses of Vegetable Silk Fabric?
What’s great about vegetable silk fabrics is that they have a wide array of uses. Thanks to its unique properties, it can be used for pretty much everything. Cactus silk is commonly used for authentic Moroccan rugs. Since cactus silk is an epicurean decor element, it effortlessly complements the entire room. Aside from rugs, vegetable silk can also be used for cushions, bedspreads, and bolsters.
Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light on vegetable silk. As you can see, vegetable silk has a slew of different benefits that makes it a great piece of material to work with. With that being said, it’s still important that you obtain the highest quality products to really see how great this material can be.
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