PF is a kind of regenerative plant fibre. SPF is the only botanic protein fibre in the world, a newly born guard to mankind's skin. This fibre appears from soybean a plant which has enormous source and affluent in nutrition. As it contains 18 amino acids beneficial to the human body, and added anti-bacterial elements, SPF offers a protective function to the skin. SPF has been praised locally and internationally by industry expert as the healthy and comfortable fibre of 21st Century. The main component of soybean fibre is it possesses the superiorities of many natural fibres and synthesised ones and it is quite similar to those of cashmere and silk, featuring fine denier, low density and good tenacity and elongation. The resulting fabric can give cashmere-like hand touch, silk-like luster, cotton-like moisture conduction and wool-like warm retentiveness. The invention of SPF is the contribution of mankind to the protection of natural rare minerals, the protection of resources, the care of the environment and the consideration of the global balance. It is an active fibre, a new green textile fibre. SPF is an advanced textile fibre. It is also known as "vegetable cashmere" or "soy silk." It is made from the soybean cake after oiling by new bioengineering technology. Firstly, the spherical protein is distilled from the soybean cake and refined. Secondly, under the functioning of auxiliary agent and biological enzyme, the space structure of spherical protein changes, and then protein spinning liquid is confected by adding high polymers, and then thirdly, after the liquid is cooked, the 0.9~3.0dtex fibre is produced by wet spinning, and stabilised by acetalising, and finally cut into short staples after curling and thermoforming. SPF is praised as the health, comfortable and green fibre of the new century. Its major material is soybean protein from the farmers, massive in quantity and

inexpensive in price, and using it will not cause the predatory development on the resources but is helpful to resources' recovery and redevelopment. The production of SPF will not bring pollution to the environment, as the accessory and auxiliary agent used are not poisonous, while the residue after the protein extracted can be still used as feed. SPF has not only the superiorities of the natural fibres but also the physical properties of synthetic ones. SPF meets the people's demand of comfortable and beautiful wearing and also conforms to the trend of easy care. It is the potential material for middle and high class clothing in textile industry.

History of SPF
In 1932-33 the Ford Motor Company spent millions of dollars on soybean research. Henry Ford promoted the soybean, helping to develop uses for it both in food and in industrial products. By 1935 every Ford car had soy involved in its manufacture. For example, soybean oil was used to paint the automobiles as well as fluid for shock absorbers. In 1935, Ford hired chemists Robert Boyer and Frank Calvert to produce artificial silk. They succeeded in making a textile fibre of spun soy protein fibres, hardened or tanned in a formaldehyde bath, which was given the name Azlon by the Federal Trade Commission. The production started in 1939 and fibres were used to make upholstery for motorcars. It was also usable in the making of suits, felt hats, necktie and overcoats. Though pilot production of Azlon reached 5,000 pounds per day in 1940, it never reached the commercial market. Then the production was taken over by the Drackett Products Co. and a new plant was set up in 1949. After 10 years of hard work of Li Guanqi's as

well as the contribution and assistance of many other departments and organisation, soybean fibre has come into birth and its industrialisation started. China began the commercial production of soybean fibre in 2001 in line with the call from China National Textile & Apparel Council (CNTAC). According rough statistics, over 500 textile mills have been concerned with the development and application of soybean fibre.

Physical parameters compared with other fibres
Property Breaking strength Dry (CN/dtex) Wet Dry breaking extension (Per cent) Initial modulus (kg/mm2) Loop strength (Per cent) Knot strength (Per cent) Moisture regain (Per cent) Density (g/cm3) Heat endurance 1. Soybean Plant 2. Soybean cakes 3. Raw Material 4.SPF+PVA 5.Wet spinning 6. SPF Moth resistance Fungus resistance Alkali resistance Acid resistance Ultraviolet resistance SPF 3.8-4.0 2.5-3.0 18-21 700-1300 75-85 85 8.6 1.29 Yellowing and tackifing at about 120° C (Bad) Excellent Excellent At general level Excellent Good Cotton 1.9-3.1 2.2-3.1 7-10 850-1200 70 92-100 9.0 1.50-1.54 Viscose 1.5-2.0 0.7-1.1 18-24 850-1150 30-65 45-60 13.0 1.46-1.52 Silk 2.6-3.5 1.9-2.5 14-25 650-1250 60-80 80-85 11.0 1.34-1.38 14-16 1.33 (Good) Wool 0.9-1.6 0.7-1.3 25-35

Becoming brown Strength Keep stable when after long time down after long time temperature processing at 150° C processing at 150° C <=148° C (Excellent) (Good) (Good) Excellent Bad Excellent Bad At the general level Excellent Bad Bad Bad Excellent Good Excellent Bad

Bad Excellent Bad Excellent Bad

Physical parameters of soybean fibre No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Items Moisture regain Friction force Breaking strength Drape coefficient Antistatic property Elastic recover Crimp ratio Unit Per cent F/gf CN/dtex Per cent g/cm2 Per cent Per cent Figure 8.6 33.4 =>2.5 7 10.33 55.4 1.65

Microscopic features
Vertical shear of SPF is irregular and has moisture absorbing grooves. When lengthwise fibres are examined microscopically, longitudinal lines called striations are seen. In cross section it appears dumbbell shaped and has Island-in-a sea structure.

Vertical shear of SPF under Cross section of SPF under Electron microscope Electron microscope

Characteristics of SPF
• Cashmere feel: The fabric made of SPF is soft, smooth, light. It has cashmere feel, but smoother than cashmere; it is as comfortable to the skin as human's second skin • Dry and comfortable: The moisture absorption of SPF is similar to that of cotton fibre, but its ventilation is more superior to of cotton. Knitting fabric of SPF has soft, smooth and light handle which is the same as that of fabrics made from silk blended with cashmere • Luxurious appearance: SPF fabric has joyful silky lustre with perfect drape and elegant; fabrics of yarn in high count has fine and clear texture and is classical shirting

• Good colour fastness: The original colour of SPF is ivory like tussah colour. It can be dyed by acid dyes and active dyes especially the colour is quite fresh and lustrous with the later dyes while quite stable in the sunshine and perspiration. Compared with silk products, the problem of freshness of colour and stability of dyeing • Function of health: SPF possesses many amino acids necessary to human's body, so this sole botanic protein fibre has the function of health that no other fibre processes. Meeting people's skin, the amino acid in soybean protein can activate the collagen protein in the skin, resist tickling and evaporate the skin. Bacteria resistant elements are integrated in fibre's molecule chain, which makes the fabrics keep the property of resisting coli bacillus, staphylococcus aureus and candida albicans permanently, this avoids the shortcoming of not permanent effect when the anti-bacteria function is added to the yarn when finishing • Good physical property: Breaking strength of the single SPF is over 3.0CNdtex, which is higher than that of wool, cotton and silk and only lower than that of polyester fibre of high intension. By now, 1.27dtex fibre can be spun into 6dtex yarn with high quality, which can be used for high-quality and high-density fabrics. Also, fabric of SPF has outstanding anti-crease, easy-wash and fast-dry property • Anti-ultraviolet: Its anti-ultraviolet property is superior to cotton fibre, much more superior to viscose and silk. The absorptive of ultraviolet radiation could reach upto 99.7 per cent • Far infrared function: The emissivity of far-infrared could reach upto 87 per cent, have the function of heat-effect, promoting micro circulation of skin and enforcing the immunity etc. • Skin evaporation: Its amino acid can activate the collagen protein in the skin, resist tickling and evaporate the skin • Antibacterial: Soybean protein fibre has antibacterial properties that resist colibacillus, staphylococcus aurous and candica albicans. Fabrics made from soy protein fibre and linen or other fibres are ideal for functional underwear and summer wear

Blending of SPF
SPF can be blended well with other fibres to give more features. 1) With cashmere: Blended with cashmere fibre, SPF enhances the hand as well as lowers the manufacturing cost of cashmere products. Gives superior natural softness, lustres and comfort, as well as anti-pilling and drape properties along with intimacy to skin, easy care. E.g. suitable for cashmere sweater, shawl and coat. 2) With mercerised wool: Blend gives a kind of knit fabric quite similar to that of cashmere with colour more abundant and better mercerised effect. Produces excellent results taking advantage of both fibres, the lustrous, soft hand and strength of soybean fibre, and the elasticity and heat-retaining properties of wool. As its shrinkage is less, it is easier to wash and preserve. Spinning of highcount yarn is possible. E.g. suitable for wool sweater, interlock underwear and blanket 3) With silk: Combination has not only lustre and elegance of silk but also a good draping. At the same time, provides a solution to problems of silk, such as poor resistance to staining from perspiration and water, sticky to skin being wet, poor light fastness and moisture permeability. Higher quality can be achieved at a lower cost. E.g. suitable for printing silk, knitting underwear, sleepwear, shirts and evening dress 4) With combed cotton: Compared to cotton fabrics, it has softer hand, lustre, better moisture absorption and ventilation, quick dry, better bacteria resistance, more comfort for wearing. Blend also enhances the drape properties of cotton. E.g. suitable for men's and women's underwear, T-shirt, infant's wear, towel and beddings 5) With elastic fibre: Adding a small portion of elastic fibre makes fabrics more elastic and easier for washing and caring. It is quite active and charming 6) With polyester and other synthetic fibres: The blends raise the properties of comfort, beauty and wrinkling resistance. E.g. suitable for spring and summer fashion apparels, underwear, shirt and sportswear

Applications of soybean fibre
Yarn: Spinning methods have already been established for 100 per cent soybean fibre, its blends with natural (cotton, linen, wool, cashmere and silk) and chemical (modified polyester, viscose, tencel, polynosic etc.) fibres, and used in plants dealing with cotton, silk and wool. Production of 100 per cent soybean fibre yarns in the range of 21S-80S and blended yarns (28/72, 30/70, 45/55, 60/40, 70/30, 85/ 15 etc.) is possible. Knit fabric: Soybean protein contained in the fibre makes a superior, soft hand endowed with both moisture absorbency and permeability, which makes best application in knits and innerwear. Finished with an anti-bacterial agent, health-care functionalities are also given. It has great potential in its use in highgrade knits and innerwear. Woven fabric: Weaves made of soybean fibre blends with other natural or chemical fibres have so far been used in shirting and home textiles. A series of such products, too, has already been developed. Their special feature is the lustre and soft hand found in silk. Their economic effects are extremely high. SPF are soft and smooth as well as absorbent it is ideal for products that are worn close to the skin such as underwear, sleepwear, sportswear and children's and infant's clothes, bed sheets, towels and blankets. Undergarments: The undergarment made by SPF and spandex, has incomparable and unimaginable softness and comfortableness. Wearer’s skin enjoys the pleasing breath after wearing SPF fabric, easy stretch and fine caring especially “skin on skin” feeling. Baby wear: Eco-friendly soybean baby clothing offers many benefits to baby. The breathability, warmth and comfort are outstanding. Skirt: SPF has lustre of silk which is joyful and an excellent drape which makes the fabric elegant; fabrics of yarn with high count has fine and clear appearance and is ideal for top-level shirt.

Advantages • Luxurious appearance • Fabric is soft, smooth and light • Naturally has the light, smooth, soft feel of cashmere • Light-reflecting properties gives the lustre of silk • Elegant draping abilities • Anti-wrinkle • Provides better ventilation than cotton • Higher breaking strength than wool, cotton or silk • Good absorbency - moisture absorption equal to cotton • Warmth retention like wool • No shrinkage • Antibacterial qualities • Colour-fast and has good dyeing properties • Sunlight resistant • Perspiration fastness • Dries quickly and easily • Very lightweight - perfect for undergarments or summer wear and excellent for kids clothes • Natural golden colour Disadvantages • Due to the low frictional coefficient, low crimp number and low crimp stability of soybean fibre, the soybean fabric is easy to fuzz Caring for soybean clothes • Soy clothing is easy wash and dries quickly • Hand wash or gently cycle in cold water • Get shrink in boiling water • No dry cleaning is necessary • Avoid chlorine bleaches • Either air dry, or tumble dry with no heat • Fast drying fibre • Can be ironed on a low setting without steam • High heat may damages the fabric • Like many other fabrics, dark coloured soy materials can bleed when laundered. Wash these separately, or use a dye catcher sheet • Hang or lay flat to dry

the environment. It is a renewable natural resource that is bio-degradable and eco-friendly. SPF can fill up the vacancy in textile material development of our country as a big textile-producing country. It will inevitably stimulate the new product development in the field of cotton, wool and spun silk spinning, and bring the textile corporations new development opportunity

Tee-shirt in ‘Luxury soy’ 55 per cent soy, 40 per cent cotton, 5 per cent Lycra

Environmental benefits of soybean
SPF fabrics are considered green. These consist of by-products left over from processing tofu, soybean oil, and other soy foods. The raw materials’ being a natural product available in abundance and recyclable there is no waste of resources. All auxiliary materials and agents used in the production of SPF are harmless to nature, and most auxiliaries used and even unfinished products are recyclable. The bean dregs, too, after having their protein extracted can be used as fodder. SPF is a kind of environmentally protecting product which does not harm to the environment, atmosphere, water and human body during its process of production.

2(x)ist's recently released soy collection features several styles of briefs and a T-shirt made with 95 per cent soybased fabric (the rest is nylon).

The invention of SPF is the contribution of mankind to the protection of natural rare minerals, the protection of resources, the care of the environment and the consideration of the global balance. SPF produces a positive effect on human skin improving its overall energetic balance. Some of the healthy organic components prevent early skin aging. SPF offers a number of great properties for both the wearer and
By Vasant R Kothari, Assistant Professor, NIFT, Bangalore & Pallavi Jain, MFTech (Student), NIFT Bangalore (Author can be contacted @ www.vasantkothari.com)



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