Milk: a new addition to your wardrobe
Posted on June, 26th 2014.
German stylist Anke Domaske has two passions in life: fashion and science. She has chosen to combine the two to create a line of organic clothing made from milk fiber.
It was Anke Domaske's grandmother who sparked her passion for fashion and showed her the ropes when she was a child. After finishing her studies, Anke set off for Tokyo, where she launched her first line of T-shirts before returning to Germany to pursue her interest in science by studying microbiology. Her goal at the time was to develop a clean, hypoallergenic fabric for her father, who had cancer, and could no longer bear the touch of clothing filled with chemicals. Anke turned her attentions to milk, which has been used to make textiles since the 1930s and even provided a substitute for wool during the Second World War.
It took several years of lab tests before Anke came up with the perfect recipe for 100% natural milk fiber. The result was "Qmilch" (a portmanteau of Q for Quality and the German word for milk, milch), which Anke makes through a company of the same name, weaving it into beautiful dresses for her brand Mademoiselle Chi Chi (MCC). Qmilch is a gentle, sophisticated, shiny, versatile raw material that offers an environmentally friendly alternative to cotton.
It is made from the milk protein casein. Anke only uses milk that has turned, which is no longer fit for consumption and would otherwise be thrown away. The process involves first treating the milk and removing the cream to eliminate any impurities and fatty content. The mixture is then squeezed into yarn for weaving. The resulting fabric has a texture similar to that of silk and can be used to make clothing that not only feels nice and is comfortable but is also hard-wearing and easy to wash. The manufacturing process is short and requires relatively little water: it takes no more than two liters of water and only five minutes to make a kilogram of Qmilch. There are no added chemicals. The milk fiber is also biodegradable and carries the OEKO-TEX® 100 label, a certification system awarded to eco-friendly fabrics.
Anke Domaske also ensures the fiber is anti-bacterial, does not absorb heat and provides UV protection. Other manufacturers—particularly in Japan—also offer this type of milk-based textile, which has already been woven into the collections of a number of designers, including Machja, Fabricha and even Nina Ricci, Dior and Célio.
Main picture: Copyright © Qmilk