Whether you realize it or not, you’ve enjoyed soybean in multiple forms. Tofu, soy milk and even products like soy wax candles are just a few popular ways soybeans are utilized daily. But did you know this vegan favorite can also be turned into a warm, sustainable and machine washable duvet? Find out what soybean fiber is all about and how it’s being turned into a popular and sustainable bedding alternative.
What is Soybean Fiber?
To start, soybeans are an annual legume native to East Asia and was first domesticated in central China as early as 7000 BCE. Soybean is a rich source of protein and a popular vegan substitute to traditional meat-based proteins. Soybean fiber is the first human invented plant-based protein fiber and is derived from the byproducts of soybeans. Most plant-based fibers, like soybean fiber, are sustainably produced. Soybean fiber is easier to care for and is conveniently machine washable, just like cotton. In recent years, there has been a growing demand for alternative plant-based fibers with the shift to a more sustainable, vegan and eco-conscious lifestyle. This shift in lifestyle applies to all aspects of home life, including the clothes you wear and the bedding you sleep on.
How is Soybean Fiber Made?
The production of soybean fiber first begins with quality soybeans. The soybeans go through a process of sanitizing, drying and pulping to create traditional soy-based food items like tofu and soy milk. The byproduct pulp from the initial process then undergoes the process of protein extraction to shape into fiber, known as wet spinning. Wet spinning is the oldest process that is used for making fibers. Recyclable additives are incorporated in this step to increase protein concentration to change the fiber structure and enhance flexibility. Once the protein is extracted and formed into fiber, this fiber finally undergoes the process of heat stretching, heat spinning and cutting. In this phase, the fiber is shaped into fabric with the desired thickness and length that is then crafted into our signature Soybean Duvet Insert.
Overall, the production process of soybean fiber is sustainable because it utilizes the renewable natural byproducts of soy-based food, such as soy milk and tofu. Also, any left-over fibers from the wet-spinning process becomes animal feed, so the entirety of the soybean is utilized and never wasted.