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German fashion designer “milking” it

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Summary of story from, Reuters, October 6, 2011

A budding fashion designer from Hanover, Germany, is transforming the fashion industry by designing clothes made from milk.

Anke Domaske, a former micro-biology student, has developed a fabric called QMilch, composed of high concentrations of milk protein casein.

It is made from all natural materials and, amazingly, is the first artificial fibre to be produced completely without chemicals.

QMilch fabric is ecological and also has numerous health benefits – Domaske claims the amino acids in the protein are antibacterial, anti-ageing and can help regulate both blood circulation and body temperature.

Domaske told Reuters: “It feels like silk and it doesn’t smell — you can wash it just like anything else”.

Milk fabric itself is not new – it has been around since the 1930s – but until now was produced in unecological ways that used a lot of chemicals. Unlike earlier prototypes, QMilch is made almost entirely from casein.

Domaske said “We have developed an all-natural fibre consisting of a very high concentration of casein, with a few other natural ingredients — and in only two years,”

The casein is removed from dried milk powder and then heated up in a kind of meat-mincing machine with other natural ingredients. The fibre comes out in strands and is then spun into yarn on a spinning machine.

Domaske said it would take about six litres of milk to create an entire dress, which costs about 150 to 200 euros.

Thankfully,  unlike its parent product  QMilch doesn’t have an expiry date – during the heating process, the molecules bind in such a way that the the clothes will not decompose.

Domaske now plans to design a collection made entirely from the milk fibre.

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