And I thought I recycled everything.

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
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50 percent rice straw fiber and 50 percent cottonI, for one, plan to be the first person to reveal this fantastic leap forward in fashion engineering (fashineering): biodegradable knitted fabrics made from materials like rice straw, wheat gluten, and chicken feathers.

Every year, farms worldwide produce millions of tons of agricultural waste, which includes wheat gluten, rice straw, and even chicken feathers. Now scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are turning this refuse into biodegradable fabrics as an alternative to the ubiquitous nylons and polyesters made from petroleum.

I think it would be neat if knitters could do the same with their ball remains that these folks at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are doing with agricultural waste. There are recycling programmes for batteries, electronic equipment, old fridges, and then of course less dangerous recyclable materials like paper and plastics and Kevin Bacon. Wouldn’t it be neat if there were programmes for recycling wool? They could be processed and respun into brand new balls and sold on the cheap to folks who need income. I’m sure hippies would pay for whatever garments they produced.

In knitting news, I’m a few inches down the leg of my second Jaywalker, and I’m starting a pair of Knucks for my cousin. They’ll be made from the red merino sweater I bought in this post with these fantastic embroidery tips. The yarn’s a bit tweedy; I love how warm and stretchy it is! This yarn may also become a pair of socks; I’m already eyeing Baudelaire.

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3 Comments to “And I thought I recycled everything.”

  1. Too late, the concept has been around. But it doesn’t become yarn. See

    Everyday Knitting: Treasures from a Ragpile

    or google “shoddy mill”

    Comment by Iris
    September 12, 2006 @ 12:01 pm
  2. And I thought that making granny squares for Warm Up America, etc., was recycling…

    Could some of the agricultural waste be turned into biodegradable packing materials? Grocery bags? Other things for which (body heat + sweat = falling apart) doesn’t matter so much as clothing.

    Comment by korinthe
    September 12, 2006 @ 12:29 pm
  3. Hopefully this type of new technology can make a higher quality fabric.

    I’m not focussing on the process, I’m more interested in the institution of a widespread yarn recycling programme.

    Comment by Eve
    September 12, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

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