Lotus fibre or lotus silk is a rather rare and exclusive fibre. The silk comes from the stem of the lotus flower which is made up of microfibres.
The stems are snapped off, the fibres are teased out before being rolled into thread. Once the threads are dry, they are weighed down and carefully wound by hand. Then they’re put onto the loom. These fibres are fragile, but once woven, can be as durable as traditional silk.
The entire process of fibre extraction, weaving the fibre, and making the fabric is completely handmade, making the process time-consuming. This also limits the quantity of the fabric produced. A large scarf requires the thread of around 9,200 stems and would take one worker around two months to complete. This is why it is considered luxurious and items made from lotus silk do not go cheap.
The resulting material resembles raw silk or an aged linen, naturally beige in colour and possesses unique qualities. It is waterproof, practically wrinkle proof, washable, lightweight, sweatproof and is soft to the touch.
Most importantly, its key quality is that it is one of the most eco-friendly materials on the planet. The lotus is a water plant. It preserves the eco-system in which it grows including the water as much as the surrounding flora and fauna.
Not only is it created from waste (lotus stems), but it also leaves little waste behind. In fact, lotus silk been identified as potentially the most ecological fabric in the world, and it is the first natural microfibre in the world. Being a natural fibre, it is biodegradable after its useful life.
More information: The Lotus Flower Fiber and Sustainable Luxury