As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Many of us do not know that in some countries lotus flowers are cultivated only for making cloth. Such countries are Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia – where lotus flowers are grown in lakes and lakes. Lotus is an aquatic plant that grows mostly in Sri Lanka. From Lotus flower, fine silky fibers are found, from which rare types of fabrics are made. Made of Lotus Fiber, this fabric is just comparable to the flawless properties of silk. The lotus flower is picked up and the fibers are collected from its data and the yarn is cut by hand and it is used to make silk-like cloth in a special type of handloom with the same yarn.
History & Spirituality of Lotus Fiber
Extraction of fiber from lotus stems has been practiced for a long time. In the nineties, Japanese designers conducted workshops on this lotus fabric. So that a foreign market can be created by developing Lotus fabric. There is a divine concept among the locals about the lotus plant. That is, the lotus tree is believed to have the ability to cure diseases. Even if you wear a fabric made from lotus fiber, it has the same effect. There are some religious reforms with lotus trees. Such as religiously symbolizing virtue and radiating this purity through the lotus fibers. Wearing a lotus fiber cloth will bring peace in life and again one feels meditation. Locals believe it also cures wearers of headaches, heart disease, asthma, and lung problems. Lotus fiber fabric is 100% organic and therefore environmentally friendly
Understand Structure and Properties
To understand the structure and properties of Lotus Fiber for development and improvement, research has been done on the theoretical basis of fabrics made of Lotus Fiber. As per the result, Lotus fiber contains cellulose, hemicellulose, fat waxy, ash, pectin, lignin, amino acids, hydrotrope, etc., where cellulose is the main component. The cross-sections of the Lotus monophylla appear as round or almost circular. To use Lotus fiber as a textile raw material, research was conducted to analyze whether the properties of fibers locally in Sri Lanka meet the requirements for use in textile production.
The fibers are first lifted manually to study and test the physical and chemical properties of the lotus fiber. Fiber detection methods such as microscopic analysis, chemical resistance properties & fiber density were tested, and the results were found to be similar to other cellulosic fibers. In addition, major physical properties, such as fiber length, tensile strength, fiber diameter, water absorption capacity, and moisture recovery efficiency are examined. The results of the test showed that the moisture recovery was 12.3% and the fineness of the fiber was 4.39 um, which is higher than that of cotton fiber.
Lotus fibers are pretreated in the process of squaring and bleaching, and the water absorption capacity, durability, and fastness properties are compared with cotton and found to be like cotton. It was identified that the properties of Lotus Fiber are suitable for use as textile raw materials and the textile products produced from Lotus Fiber will meet the needs of users.
Needless to say that lotus fiber is a natural cellulose fiber. This fiber is detached from the stem of the lotus. Botanically, the fiber consists of a dense secondary wall of xylem tracheary material.
To obtain the information required for the preparation and processing of Lotus Fiber, the delicate structure, and properties of lotus fibers were tested with transmission electron microscopy (TM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), nuclear power microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results show that the fibers have rough surface roughness and the internal structure differs considerably from that of normal plant fibers. Considering the breaking tenacity and young modulus, Lotus fiber has similarities with Cotton fiber.
The entire process of making lotus fiber and fabrics from it, such as fiber extraction, yarn spinning, and fabric making is handled by hand. First, the stems of the lotus tree were collected. The stems of the lotus leaves are cut from the bottom of the water with long scissors on the boat in the lake. The flowers are then separated, and the fibers are extracted. The method of extracting fiber is different from other fibers. First, the surface of the stems is thoroughly cleaned. Then one bunch of stems is gripped in one hand and with the knife, in the other hand, the surface of the stems is gently cut into fistfuls so that no damage is done to the inner fibers. Later, with both hands pulling from both sides, fine silky fibers come out from inside the stem.
The yarn is cut with the fibers extracted from the stem. The skein is made from the extracted fibers and they are taken in a spinning frame made of bamboo to make yarn. The yarns are then transferred to the winding frame for warping. With great care, so as not to tangle, the yarns are coiled in plastic beams. Warp yarn is made up to 40 meters long. Weft threads are twisted into bamboo tubes or bobbins for yarn.
Fabrics weaving are done in conventional Cambodian looms. Excess warp is saved during weaving and later used during weaving. The fabric is woven about 24 inches wide. Lotus fibers must be kept cool. That’s why during the weaving process, the threads are often moistened with water.
The amount of cloth required to make a garment requires more than one hundred thousand lotus stems. The fibers are very fine and should be woven within 24 hours of lifting, otherwise, the yarn becomes unfit for spinning and weaving.
Properties of Lotus Fiber
Lotus fiber fabric looks like a blend of linen and silk. The molecular structure of Lotus fibers exists in respiratory properties and has the fold-resistant ability.
- The color of lotus fiber is milky yellow. Lotus fiber has 48% crystallization and 60% orientation.
- The density of Lotus fiber is 1.1848 gm/cm, the fineness is 1.55 dtex
- Moisture recovery capacity is 12.32%.
- The strength of Lotus fiber is high
- Stretchability is low.
- Initial modulus 148.61 CN/dtex.
- Braking Strength 3.44 CN/dtex and Braking Elongation 2.75%.
The unique features of the lotus fabric
It is naturally soft, light, and free of folds and creases. It is a very eco-friendly fabric, free of any chemicals or toxins. It is probably the most environmental fabric in the world. The discarded lotus stem is converted into quality textiles in such a way that no contaminants are used during the process.
Lotus fabric is the first natural microfiber and probably the most environmental fabric in the world. Like other microfibers, it has remarkable features.
- fold-free and
Genuine Lotus fabric made in plain weave is especially useful for making jackets and dresses because Lotus fabric is soft but inflexible to wear. Ventilated comfortable Lotus fabric is recommended for scarves, as it is especially comfortable to breathe and light in weight.
Some Amazing Facts about Lotus Fabrics
1. Lotus stem is extracted 4 times a day.
2. A spinner spindles one hectare of lake lotus fiber every day.
3. Up to 250 meters of thread can be produced by a spinner can produce in a day.
4. About 30 kg of lotus stem is required to produce 250 meters of yarn.
5. A weaver can weave one meter of lotus fabric in a day.
Such an elite figure in textile branding was the Italian baron Mr. Pier Luigi Loro Piana, who owns the Italian luxury brand Loro Piana, who saw the fabric of Lotus Fiber. Impressed by Lotus Fiber’s breathable quality fabric and wrinkle resistance, he traveled to Myanmar where he ordered 55 yards of cloth for his company in a month, knowing more details about the cloth. He made the Loro Piana jacket with lotus fiber fabric and priced it at USD 5,600. Clothes of such value have also leaped the European market like Japan.
Final Words for Lotus Fiber
According to the ancient tradition, the clothes of the elite Buddhist monks are made of lotus fiber. Buddha statues are also decorated with expensive fabrics made of lotus fiber. It takes a lot of time to make this traditional dress, so it is difficult to produce on large scale. The fact that it is exclusively a craft and the time constraint in making it has established Lotus fabrics as an expensive commodity. So, the product is only available to the privileged class of privileged people.
Let us know if you have any queries about this article.