German fashion designer makes clothes from milk

BERLIN Thu Oct 6, 2011 10:02am EDT

1 of 2. Fashion designer and microbiologist Anke Domaske poses with a pitcher of milk, milk fiber and milk yarn in Hanover, October 5, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Fabian Bimmer

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BERLIN (Reuters) - A young fashion designer from the German city of Hanover is revolutionizing high fashion by designing clothes with a staple she can find in her fridge -- milk.

Anke Domaske, 28, has developed a fabric called QMilch made from high concentrations of the milk protein casein -- the first man-made fiber produced entirely without chemicals.

"It feels like silk and it doesn't smell -- you can wash it just like anything else," Domaske told Reuters.

Made from all natural materials, the QMilch fabric is ecological but also has many health benefits, said Domaske, who also said the amino acids in the protein are antibacterial, anti-aging and can help regulate both blood circulation and body temperature.

Domaske's fashion label Mademoiselle Chi Chi -- a favorite among the likes of Mischa Barton and Ashlee Simpson -- has now started weaving the milk fiber into its collection.

Currently the MCC clothes -- which feature flowing wrap dresses with edgy cuts and bright patterns -- are made from a combination of various fibers, including QMilch. But Domaske plans to design a collection made entirely from the milk fiber.

Milk fabric has been around since the 1930s but was always produced in unecological ways that used a lot of chemicals. Unlike earlier prototypes, QMilch is made almost entirely from casein.

"We have developed an all-natural fiber consisting of a very high concentration of casein, with a few other natural ingredients -- and in only two years," the former microbiology student Domaske said.

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

Domaske said it would take about 6 liters of milk to produce an entire dress, which costs about 150 euros($199) to 200 euros.

Luckily, for that kind of money, the clothes don't come with an expiry date -- during the heating process, the molecules bind in such a way that the protein won't decompose.

Due to its anti-bacterial qualities, the milk fiber can also be used in medicine and makeup. Even some auto companies have looked into using the fiber for car upholstery.

($1 = 0.753 Euros)

(Reporting By Natalia Drozdiak, editing by Paul Casciato)

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Comments (3)
ONTIME wrote:
This is a terrific break through but the enviro whackos detest cow farts and PETA dislikes red meat, so this product will boost the dairy industry and increase the herd sizes…..wipe off those milk mustaches and stop that laughing.

Oct 06, 2011 10:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Secor wrote:
But they say on their website that the milk is not extra produced but is milk that cannot be used for groceries, because it doesn’t meet the requiries and is usually thrown away. So no increasing of her sizes or any, it all sums up to be a good invention.

Oct 06, 2011 12:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
oldtimer78 wrote:
Suppose some lady wearing one of these dresses were to find herself in an unfortunate position— such as abducted and imprisoned without food, or with a broken leg while walking in remote country. Could she sustain life by eating her dress? Milk protein is very nourishing.

Of course there is the further problem of possible death from exposure, but maybe her underclothes will be sufficient.

Oct 06, 2011 4:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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