Sustainability issues in Textiles have paved way for many new fibres in the new and emerging term in today’s life. Many new fibres are introduced to have an environment friendly future for next generation. Lotus silk is the eco-friendliest fabric in the world and often referred to as ‘sacred fabric’.
Lotus silk was first used to weave monastic robes as an offering to Buddha images or Buddhist monks. Lotus plants are pure in virtue as they emit this purity through their fibres. By wearing Lotus fabric, one feels calm, peaceful and meditative. Lotus silk is one of the rarest fabrics in the world. This natural fibre is extracted by few skilled craftspeople and is cut by hand to make silk like cloth in a special type of handloom.
The entire process of making Lotus fibre such as fibre extraction, yarn spinning, and fabric making is handled by hand. Each stem from the lotus tree is cut, flowers separated and the silk inside are extracted. Each stem contains a miniscule amount of thin, sticky fibres which are extracted and spun into yarn. The yarns are prepared for weaving by placing the skeins on a bamboo spinning frame and transferring the thread onto winders in readiness for the warping process. During the process of weaving, threads are frequently moistened with water, as lotus fibres need to be kept cool.
The fabric is woven in 100-yard batches, and it takes about a month and a half to complete one batch. It’s estimated that around 40,000 lotus stems are required to make just 1 metre of fabric and 120,000 stems are required for one outfit, making the textile extremely exclusive. Due to its time-consuming production process and its unique qualities, lotus fabrics are quite expensive than conventional fabrics like linen or cotton. The final product is unlike any other fibre. It’s soft, breathable like linen and slightly elastic.