How Three Revolutionary Fabrics Are Greening the Industry

How Three Revolutionary Fabrics Are Greening the Industry
If the holiday sales are tempting you to refresh your wardrobe, consider the environmental footprint of buying a new jacket and throwing away your old one. Today, about 80 billion new pieces of clothing are made each year—400 percent more than 20 years ago, while the world’s population only grew about 30 percent. That growth has a huge environmental cost. The Danish Fashion Institute named fashion “one of the most resource-intensive industries in the world, both in terms of natural resources and human resources.” Designer Eileen Fisher has called it “the second largest polluter in the world… second only to the oil industry,” and while that fact has been disputed, a 2010 research paper found that the industry is responsible for almost 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, once clothes have been made and worn for a short while, they’re thrown away. A new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that cumulatively around the world a truckload of clothes gets dumped every second. The average American tosses about 82 pounds of textiles a year, much of which ends up in landfills or incinerated. Of the clothing that reaches second-hand stores like Goodwill—only 15 percent of all discards—some is recycled into shoddy (filling for cheap furniture) or upcycled into things like denim insulation, but most of it is shipped to poorer countries. However, they too have limits—African countries including South Africa and Nigeria recently banned Western castoffs, which have overwhelmed their markets, causing the decline of their local fashion business.
Replacing Old stock fabrics With New Biopolymers
Two types of textiles—petroleum-made polyester and field-grown cotton, often woven together—have been the fashion industry’s darlings for decades. “Much of [what we wear now] is a blend of PET, a petroleum-based fiber, and cotton fiber,” says Ramani Narayan, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at Michigan State University. But these hipora fabric have their issues. Cotton, which makes over 30 percent of our clothes’ yarns, is a natural material, but it’s a thirsty crop that siphons 3 percent of the fresh water, and accounts for almost 20 percent of pesticides and 25 percent of the insecticides used in agriculture worldwide, before it’s even picked. Processing cotton—knitting, weaving, and dyeing—also takes water and energy, yielding more pollution. The production of polyester, the demand for which has doubled in the last 15 years, is an energy intensive process that requires a lot of oil and generates harmful emissions, including volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, and acid gases, like hydrogen chloride, all of which contribute to respiratory disease. “Adding PET to a textile gives you better performance—it makes taffeta fabrics more moisture-resistant and gives them more washability,” says Narayan, but these textiles don’t break down naturally, and instead fill up our landfills and oceans. Polyester threads discarded from washing machines have recently been found in fish, including some species we eat. Unless PET threads are decoupled from cotton and recycled, they don’t decompose, but separating fibers is very difficult.

That’s where biopolymers come in.  Biopolymers are macromolecules—long chains of smaller molecular units strung together.  These basic units can be amino acids, nucleotides, and monosaccharaides. The most common biopolymer is cellulose, which makes up one third of all plant material on earth. Cotton is 90 percent cellulose, but there are other, less polluting alternatives.

Biopolymers can be grown or harvested from other plants like kelp or from living organisms like bacteria or yeast, which produce biopolymers as part of their lifecycle. The resulting fibers can be woven into a variety of textiles akin to polyester, leather, or a cellulose-like yarn. To a certain extent, these materials can sequester carbon from the atmosphere, acting as wearable carbon sinks. And when they’re thrown away, these biopolymers will decompose. Just as a cotton t-shirt will break down in a compost heap after a few years, so will any biopolymer-based textile.

“Obviously it’s better to use plants and biomass to make products,” says Narayan, “because then the plants fix the carbon and when you make a product from that you have removed carbon dioxide from the environment.” Using biopolymers in clothing can reduce energy and freshwater use and may help mitigate climate change resources. Plus, as the following examples show, some biopolymers can take the creativity of fashion design process in a whole new direction.
Seining Sweaters from the Sea
AlgiKnit uses kelp, a type of seaweed, to produce a biopolymer called alginate, which is then used for textile production. Kelp grows all over the world, forming offshore kelp forests. Some kelp species grow quicker than the fastest-growing terrestrial plant, bamboo, and are inexpensive to farm. As it sprouts, kelp cleans water too—absorbing phosphorous, nitrogen, and five times more carbon dioxide than land plants—so farming it near seaside cities can improve polluted local waters. Like any plant, kelp absorbs carbon to grow, so when used in durable materials, it is also a carbon sink.

AlgiKnit extracts alginate from kelp by adding certain salts to the seaweed base. After the so-called “salt bath” pulls the alginate from the kelp’s cell walls, the biopolymer is extracted from the seaweed residue, dried into a powder and fused into a yarn that can be turned into a variety of stretch fabric types. “The process is similar to that of synthetic materials, where one long continuous strand is produced,” says Tessa Callaghan, the co-founder of AlgiKnit. “The filament can be plied and twisted to increase strength, or cut into short fibers for other purposes.” AlgiKnit won National Geographic’s Chasing Genius Competition for developing this technology.

The team’s big challenge has been to get their end fiber to be strong and flexible enough for use on an industrial knitting machine. It took a lot of experimentation to ensure compatibility between yarns and machines, but one of the team’s goals is to be able to use the yarn in the existing fiber and textile infrastructure, to streamline the new material’s acceptance, Callaghan says.
Modern Meadow’s yeast-produced collagen is another biopolymer that is about to make its runway debut in a form of a leather product named Zoa. The New Jersey-based company designs DNA that can yield collagen, the protein that makes up leather. These specially constructed DNA strands are inserted into the yeast cells. As the yeast cells grow and multiply, they produce collagen and other proteins essential in forming leather, which then cluster together to make a triple-helix collagen molecule. The resulting molecules form bundles that are “cooked” in Modern Meadow’s “secret sauce,” resulting in a leather-like material. “We design DNA that can make collagen, the main building block of leather, then we purify it, and then use an assembly process to turn it into leather,” says Susan Schofer, vice president of business development at Modern Meadow.
Compared to traditional leather industries, Zoa’s production has a lower environmental impact and more fashion design opportunities. To turn a piece of animal hide into bags, shoes, or pants, it must undergo chemical and physical treatments to remove fats, hair, and other impurities. That processing is ecologically and medically fraught—most leather tanning is done in countries with few or unenforced environmental laws because the effluent from the process contains fish-killing sulfides, carcinogenic chromium, and chlorinated phenols that are linked to bladder and nasal cancers in tannery workers.

Using yeast to grow collagen eliminates the animal part of the equation—including slaughter and subsequent hide processing. It yields higher quality materials—perfectly shaped hides without branding marks or scars, and yields very large spans of leather, much bigger than a cow’s body. It also offers nearly endless creative design ideas. The new collagen can be sprayed on top of another minimatt fabric to create never-before-seen leather fashions, like the t-shirt that is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of its Items: Is Fashion Modern? exhibit. This material can also be embossed or textured in ways that cow or pig leather just can’t.

Modern Meadow will be introducing Zoa to market in 2018. The production facilities are already available from related industries such as biofuels. “We use 200,000 or 500,000-liter fermentation tanks [for the yeast],” says Schofer, “So the infrastructure already exists around the globe to take this from lab to commercial levels.”

Knit fabrics are constructed by interloping one or more sets of yarns

Knit fabrics are constructed by interloping one or more sets of yarns
Common examples of apparel utilizing weft knitted fabric are socks. Knitting is a more versatile manufacturing process, as entire garments can be manufactured on a single knitting machine, and it is much faster than weaving. However, due to the looping, more yarn is required to manufacture a knitted garment than a comparable woven garment. Thus any cost savings gained in manufacturing speed are offset by the higher materials cost.

Knits are comfortable fabrics, as they adapt to body movement. The loop structure contributes to elasticity beyond what is capable of the yarns or fibers alone. A knit fabric is prone to snagging, and has a higher potential shrinkage than a woven fabric. The loop structure also provides many cells to trap air, and thus provides good insulation in still air. Knits are not typically very wind- or water-repellent.
Knit fabrics are composed of intermeshing loops of yarns. There are two major types of knits: weft knits and warp knits, as illustrated in Fig. 4.7. In weft knits, each weft yarn lies more or less at right angles to the direction in which the fabric is produced, and the intermeshing yarn traverses the fabric crosswise. In warp knits, each warp yarn is more or less in line with the direction in which the fabric is produced, and the intermeshing yarn traverses the fabric lengthwise. Similar to the way that woven fabrics have warps and wefts, knit fabrics have courses and wales, which lie in the crosswise and lengthwise direction, respectively. However, unlike woven fabrics, courses and wales are not composed of different sets of yarns; rather are formed by a single yarn.
Weft blend knitted fabrics are produced predominantly on circular knitting machines. The simplest of the two major weft knitting machines is a jersey machine. Generally, the terms circular knit and plain knit refer to jersey goods. The loops are formed by knitting needles and the jersey machine has one set of needles. Typical fabrics are hosiery, T-shirts, and sweaters.

Rib knitting machines have a second set of needles at approximately right angles to the set found in a jersey machine. They are used for the production of double-knit fabrics. In weft knits, design effects can be produced by altering needle movements to form tuck and miss stitches for texture and color patterns, respectively. Instead of a single yarn, several yarns can be used in the production of these structures. This increases the design possibilities.

‘Loop’ is the basic unit of knit fabric. As illustrated in Fig, 4.7a, in weft knits, a loop, called a needle loop, consists of a head and two legs, and the section of yarn connecting two adjacent needle loops is called the sinker. In warp knits, the needle loop is divided into overlap and underlap, as illustrated in Fig. 4.7b. Each loop in a printed fabric is a stitch. Alternative to fabric count for woven fabrics, cut (or gauge) and stitch density are used to represent the closeness of the intermeshing loops. Cut or gauge indicates the number of knitting needles per unit length along the crosswise or lengthwise direction. The greater the number, the closer together the loops are to each other. Stitch density is the number of stitches per unit area, obtained by multiplying the number of courses per inch (25 mm) by the number of wales per inch (25 mm). Like woven fabrics, a knit fabric also has a technical face and a technical back and can differ in appearance on each side. The technical face is the side where the loops are pulled toward the viewer. Knit fabric also has an effect side, which is intended to be used outermost on a garment or other textile product. In some cases, the technical face and the effect side are the same; but in others, they are opposite.
Gel Knit® fabric is a small diameter weft knitted tube. This is knitted on a small diameter circular knitting machine with the provision for the positive feeding of two separate yarns. Positive feeding is used to ensure the good quality assurance required for a medical product.

The main yarn that is knitted is a staple (spun) yarn of cellulose. This may be any normal cellulosic textile material such as cotton or a number of different reconstituted cellulose materials such as lyocel or viscose. As will be described later in this paper, the cellulose is the precursor material since it will be chemically converted after knitting into the Gel forming material.

The second yarn is a very thin continuous filament nylon which acts as reinforcement and holds the fabric together after the Gel has been formed and the Gel forming yarn has lost all form and stability. The total nylon content of the fabric is about 10%.

Warp knit fabric is similar to that of a woven fabric in that yarns are supplied from warp beams. The fabric is produced, however, by intermeshing loops in the knitting elements rather than interlacing warps and wefts as in a weaving machine. Warp knitted fabric is knitted at a constant continuous width. This is achieved by supplying each needle with a yarn (or yarns) and all needles knit at the same time, producing a complete course (row) at once. It is also possible to knit a large number of narrow width fabrics within a needle bed width to be separated after finishing. In comparison with weft-knit structures, warp knits are typically run-resistant and are closer, flatter and less elastic.

The two common warp-knit fabrics are tricot and raschel (Fig. 10.9). Tricot, solely composed of knit stitches, represents the largest quantity of warp knit. It is characterized by fine, vertical wales on the surface and crosswise ribs on the back. Tricot fabrics may be plain, loop-raised or corded, ribbed, cropped velour or patterned designs. It is commonly used for lingerie owing to its good drapability. It is used for underwear, night-wear, dresses, blouses and outerwear.4 Tricot fabric is used in household products such as sheets and pillowcases. It is also be used for upholstery fabrics for car interiors.Most warp cotton stripe jersey knit fabrics tend to curl, including the most important type known as Jersey stitch (in the USA) or Locknit stitch (in the UK). If they receive appropriate heat treatment, synthetic warp knit fabrics do not curl. In dyeing, finishing, cutting and sewing garments, it helps to know the face and back of the fabric and its curling propensity. When a greige nylon Jersey stitch fabric is put on a table technically upright (having the loop side up), the top and bottom edges of the fabric will curl upwards or towards the loop side or technical face. However, the side edges will curl under the fabric towards the float or technical backside of the fabric.

If nylon Jersey stitch fabric is heat set it will not curl, but if that fabric is laid on the table technically upright and it is pulled sideways on the top edge of the fabric, the fabric will curl towards the loop side. There are some warp knit structures that will not curl in the greige state.Plain warp-and weft-knitted structures are not commonly used for composite applications due to their inherent anisotropy in the wale and course directions. This causes the fabric preform to roll up on itself making handling and manufacturing more difficult. This problem is solved by using weft-knit structures such as the 1 × 1 rib and milano rib, which exhibit balanced properties because of their through-thickness symmetry. However, the highly curved fibre architecture, or crimp, present in these and any knitted structure, means that composites produced using these structures exhibit relatively poor mechanical performance. Characteristics of high conformability and low strength make them ideally suited to producing semi-structural complexly shaped components.

To help increase mechanical performance, insert yarns can be placed between the planes of loops in either the warp or weft direction. The technique can be used for both warp-and weft-knitted fabrics which allow the insert yarns to remain perfectly straight, giving a greater yarn to fabric translational strength. This results in an increase in the composite stiffness and strength along the insert direction. Warp-and weft-knitted fabrics with inlay yarns are termed unidirectional knitted fabrics and the incorporation of insert yarns in two directions creates biaxial knitted fabrics.

8.4.1 Multiaxial warp knits
Multiaxial Warp Knit (MWK) fabric is a further development of this idea by utilising layers of insertion yarns for the in-plane reinforcement and warp stitch yarns for the through-thickness reinforcement. They consist of one or more parallel layers of yarns held together by a warp knit loop system. Theoretically, as many layers as preferred can be used but typical commercially available machines only allow four layers (Du and Ko, 1996). The purpose of the knit loops is to hold the layers of unidirectional yarns together, but it has also been proven to be the key to increasing the damage tolerance of the material (Zhou et al., 2005).

These types of knitted structure are termed non-crimp structures and can be produced in a single knitting process (Du and Ko, 1996). They are particularly suitable for thin to medium thickness parts. The combination of the warp-knitted structure and non-crimp yarns means they have the ability to conform to complex shapes as well as the potential to meet the demands of primary load bearing applications.

MWKs have evolved through structural modifications of warp-knitted fabrics and are predominantly fabrics with inlay yarns in the warp (90°), wale (0°) and bias (± θ°) directions. Warp, weft and bias yarns are held together by a chain or tricot stitch through the thickness of the fabric (Du and Ko, 1996). Layers of 0° need to be placed somewhere other than the top or bottom layer to ensure structural integrity. The amount of fibre and the orientation of the inlay yarns can be controlled, which is advantageous for preform engineering. As a result, the insert yarns are made from a much higher linear density yarn than the stitch yarns, since they form the load-bearing component of the fleece fabric structure (Du and Ko, 1996). Figure 8.4 shows the configuration of the chain and tricot MWK structures.Yarns in a simple weft-knitted structure, as shown in Figure 11.13a, lack the long continuous paths found in woven fabrics and there would be stress concentrations where yarns cross one another. This limits their mechanical performance, but as shown in Chapter 3, they do have applications as composites. In the free state, the knit fabric shows a low resistance to extension and shear, with accompanying area change, until the yarns jam together. This means that they are easily draped into complex shapes.

Knit fabrics are constructed by interloping one or more sets of yarns

Knit fabrics are constructed by interloping one or more sets of yarns
Common examples of apparel utilizing weft knitted fabric are socks. Knitting is a more versatile manufacturing process, as entire garments can be manufactured on a single knitting machine, and it is much faster than weaving. However, due to the looping, more yarn is required to manufacture a knitted garment than a comparable woven garment. Thus any cost savings gained in manufacturing speed are offset by the higher materials cost.

Knits are comfortable fabrics, as they adapt to body movement. The loop structure contributes to elasticity beyond what is capable of the yarns or fibers alone. A knit fabric is prone to snagging, and has a higher potential shrinkage than a woven fabric. The loop structure also provides many cells to trap air, and thus provides good insulation in still air. Knits are not typically very wind- or water-repellent.
Knit fabrics are composed of intermeshing loops of yarns. There are two major types of knits: weft knits and warp knits, as illustrated in Fig. 4.7. In weft knits, each weft yarn lies more or less at right angles to the direction in which the fabric is produced, and the intermeshing yarn traverses the fabric crosswise. In warp knits, each warp yarn is more or less in line with the direction in which the fabric is produced, and the intermeshing yarn traverses the fabric lengthwise. Similar to the way that woven fabrics have warps and wefts, knit fabrics have courses and wales, which lie in the crosswise and lengthwise direction, respectively. However, unlike woven fabrics, courses and wales are not composed of different sets of yarns; rather are formed by a single yarn.
Weft blend knitted fabrics are produced predominantly on circular knitting machines. The simplest of the two major weft knitting machines is a jersey machine. Generally, the terms circular knit and plain knit refer to jersey goods. The loops are formed by knitting needles and the jersey machine has one set of needles. Typical fabrics are hosiery, T-shirts, and sweaters.

Rib knitting machines have a second set of needles at approximately right angles to the set found in a jersey machine. They are used for the production of double-knit fabrics. In weft knits, design effects can be produced by altering needle movements to form tuck and miss stitches for texture and color patterns, respectively. Instead of a single yarn, several yarns can be used in the production of these structures. This increases the design possibilities.

‘Loop’ is the basic unit of knit fabric. As illustrated in Fig, 4.7a, in weft knits, a loop, called a needle loop, consists of a head and two legs, and the section of yarn connecting two adjacent needle loops is called the sinker. In warp knits, the needle loop is divided into overlap and underlap, as illustrated in Fig. 4.7b. Each loop in a printed fabric is a stitch. Alternative to fabric count for woven fabrics, cut (or gauge) and stitch density are used to represent the closeness of the intermeshing loops. Cut or gauge indicates the number of knitting needles per unit length along the crosswise or lengthwise direction. The greater the number, the closer together the loops are to each other. Stitch density is the number of stitches per unit area, obtained by multiplying the number of courses per inch (25 mm) by the number of wales per inch (25 mm). Like woven fabrics, a knit fabric also has a technical face and a technical back and can differ in appearance on each side. The technical face is the side where the loops are pulled toward the viewer. Knit fabric also has an effect side, which is intended to be used outermost on a garment or other textile product. In some cases, the technical face and the effect side are the same; but in others, they are opposite.
Gel Knit® fabric is a small diameter weft knitted tube. This is knitted on a small diameter circular knitting machine with the provision for the positive feeding of two separate yarns. Positive feeding is used to ensure the good quality assurance required for a medical product.

The main yarn that is knitted is a staple (spun) yarn of cellulose. This may be any normal cellulosic textile material such as cotton or a number of different reconstituted cellulose materials such as lyocel or viscose. As will be described later in this paper, the cellulose is the precursor material since it will be chemically converted after knitting into the Gel forming material.

The second yarn is a very thin continuous filament nylon which acts as reinforcement and holds the fabric together after the Gel has been formed and the Gel forming yarn has lost all form and stability. The total nylon content of the fabric is about 10%.

Warp knit fabric is similar to that of a woven fabric in that yarns are supplied from warp beams. The fabric is produced, however, by intermeshing loops in the knitting elements rather than interlacing warps and wefts as in a weaving machine. Warp knitted fabric is knitted at a constant continuous width. This is achieved by supplying each needle with a yarn (or yarns) and all needles knit at the same time, producing a complete course (row) at once. It is also possible to knit a large number of narrow width fabrics within a needle bed width to be separated after finishing. In comparison with weft-knit structures, warp knits are typically run-resistant and are closer, flatter and less elastic.

The two common warp-knit fabrics are tricot and raschel (Fig. 10.9). Tricot, solely composed of knit stitches, represents the largest quantity of warp knit. It is characterized by fine, vertical wales on the surface and crosswise ribs on the back. Tricot fabrics may be plain, loop-raised or corded, ribbed, cropped velour or patterned designs. It is commonly used for lingerie owing to its good drapability. It is used for underwear, night-wear, dresses, blouses and outerwear.4 Tricot fabric is used in household products such as sheets and pillowcases. It is also be used for upholstery fabrics for car interiors.Most warp cotton stripe jersey knit fabrics tend to curl, including the most important type known as Jersey stitch (in the USA) or Locknit stitch (in the UK). If they receive appropriate heat treatment, synthetic warp knit fabrics do not curl. In dyeing, finishing, cutting and sewing garments, it helps to know the face and back of the fabric and its curling propensity. When a greige nylon Jersey stitch fabric is put on a table technically upright (having the loop side up), the top and bottom edges of the fabric will curl upwards or towards the loop side or technical face. However, the side edges will curl under the fabric towards the float or technical backside of the fabric.

If nylon Jersey stitch fabric is heat set it will not curl, but if that fabric is laid on the table technically upright and it is pulled sideways on the top edge of the fabric, the fabric will curl towards the loop side. There are some warp knit structures that will not curl in the greige state.Plain warp-and weft-knitted structures are not commonly used for composite applications due to their inherent anisotropy in the wale and course directions. This causes the fabric preform to roll up on itself making handling and manufacturing more difficult. This problem is solved by using weft-knit structures such as the 1 × 1 rib and milano rib, which exhibit balanced properties because of their through-thickness symmetry. However, the highly curved fibre architecture, or crimp, present in these and any knitted structure, means that composites produced using these structures exhibit relatively poor mechanical performance. Characteristics of high conformability and low strength make them ideally suited to producing semi-structural complexly shaped components.

To help increase mechanical performance, insert yarns can be placed between the planes of loops in either the warp or weft direction. The technique can be used for both warp-and weft-knitted fabrics which allow the insert yarns to remain perfectly straight, giving a greater yarn to fabric translational strength. This results in an increase in the composite stiffness and strength along the insert direction. Warp-and weft-knitted fabrics with inlay yarns are termed unidirectional knitted fabrics and the incorporation of insert yarns in two directions creates biaxial knitted fabrics.

8.4.1 Multiaxial warp knits
Multiaxial Warp Knit (MWK) fabric is a further development of this idea by utilising layers of insertion yarns for the in-plane reinforcement and warp stitch yarns for the through-thickness reinforcement. They consist of one or more parallel layers of yarns held together by a warp knit loop system. Theoretically, as many layers as preferred can be used but typical commercially available machines only allow four layers (Du and Ko, 1996). The purpose of the knit loops is to hold the layers of unidirectional yarns together, but it has also been proven to be the key to increasing the damage tolerance of the material (Zhou et al., 2005).

These types of knitted structure are termed non-crimp structures and can be produced in a single knitting process (Du and Ko, 1996). They are particularly suitable for thin to medium thickness parts. The combination of the warp-knitted structure and non-crimp yarns means they have the ability to conform to complex shapes as well as the potential to meet the demands of primary load bearing applications.

MWKs have evolved through structural modifications of warp-knitted fabrics and are predominantly fabrics with inlay yarns in the warp (90°), wale (0°) and bias (± θ°) directions. Warp, weft and bias yarns are held together by a chain or tricot stitch through the thickness of the fabric (Du and Ko, 1996). Layers of 0° need to be placed somewhere other than the top or bottom layer to ensure structural integrity. The amount of fibre and the orientation of the inlay yarns can be controlled, which is advantageous for preform engineering. As a result, the insert yarns are made from a much higher linear density yarn than the stitch yarns, since they form the load-bearing component of the fleece fabric structure (Du and Ko, 1996). Figure 8.4 shows the configuration of the chain and tricot MWK structures.Yarns in a simple weft-knitted structure, as shown in Figure 11.13a, lack the long continuous paths found in woven fabrics and there would be stress concentrations where yarns cross one another. This limits their mechanical performance, but as shown in Chapter 3, they do have applications as composites. In the free state, the knit fabric shows a low resistance to extension and shear, with accompanying area change, until the yarns jam together. This means that they are easily draped into complex shapes.

What high-end fantasy fabrics and textiles exist in the Forgotten Realms?

Dungeons and Dragons has defined many fantastic and interesting metals (mythril, adamantine…) and leathers (dragon scales, Leather golem armour…). The lore also likes to call out food and drink as local specialty trade goods (Knucklehead Trout in Icewind Dale, or Crumblecake in Red Larch). It seems, however, that there are very few signature fabrics, like fancy silks or wools. I am not specifically looking for magical items or special effects, or any real game effect at all really.

What high end, fantastical materials for clothing exist in the lore of the Forgotten Realms?

I am currently running a game for a player who plays a weaver, and is looking for an interesting material to weave into a scarf for purely RP reasons. I can easily handwave Giant Spider Silk or Unicorn Hair, but I would be very interested to know about actual in-lore materials. The party is currently near Yartar, which has a bustling fashion and textile industry, so I can handwave that VERY exotic materials are imported at high cost, or sold on the black market.