Durable material made from natural polymers is being used in handbags, clothing, footwear and car interiors. Your next handbag or pair of shoes could have a lot more in common with your garden or local park in the future thanks to new fabrics being created using the power of plants. An Illinois-based start-up is using new techniques and natural fibers to create durable and sustainable materials that can be used in everything from handbags, clothing, and footwear to car interiors. Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) is using plants to create sustainable materials and yarns such as plant leather. Its aim is to move the materials industry away from petroleum-derived products and a single-use approach. The company has also developed a process to strengthen recycled cotton by ‘welding’ short fibers into longer fibers using natural molecular bonding. This reduces damage to the fabric and means garments last longer. “Making our clothes, shoes, furniture, and automobiles from plants grown by regenerative agriculture is the future,” said NFW founder and chief executive Dr Luke Haverhals. The fashion and fabric industries have typically relied on plastic-based synthetic materials to create long-lasting goods. For example, many leather alternatives currently available use synthetics and oil-based products […]

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