Lotus Silk is a prestigious vegan luxury silk, made entirely from the stems of the aquatic Lotus Flower plant.
Lotus Silk has many exceptional benefits & properties, including being hypoallergenic, anti-odor, anti-sweat as well as being the most sustainable fabric in the world.
Making this fabric is a meticulous craft that can only be carried out by hand by skilled master artisans.
Read on below to learn about the Lotus flower plant, how Lotus Silk is made, Lotus Silk benefits & Sofia Vera's Lotus Silk blends with other fabrics.
About the Lotus Flower
An aquatic plant
Lotus is an aquatic plant that lives in slow-moving shallow bodies of water, such as lakes, lagoons & ponds.
It is native to Southern & Eastern parts of Asia, and there are over 1000 known varieties of Lotus. The Lotus that Sofia Vera uses to create fabrics is the Nelumbo Nucifera which grows on the lakes of Siem Reap & Batambang in Cambodia. It is the best Lotus variety for fabric making due to it's strong fibre. This particular specie can only be found around this specific area of the world.
The fibres needed to create the fabric are located within the stem that is beneath the water, and these stems can reach up to 2 metres long!
Uses over the centuries
Lotus has been cultivated for over 3000 years for its edible seed, stem as well as its ornamental flower used for decoration or tea making, amongst other things. Still today every part of the Lotus plant is used, which makes it a zero waste product.
It was used for a period of history to make fabrics too, but the ancient craft unfortunately died out. Today the craft is being revived, and with it, a host of new cutting-edge beneficial properties are being discovered about the Lotus Silk fabric, such as its anti-bacterial & microfibrous properties.
Self-sufficient & regenerative
The Lotus plant is extremely self-sufficient and regenerative, wasting no water & needing zero human inputs such as pesticides or chemicals to be farmed, having all of it's needs met solely by it's natural habitat in the lake.
This makes the Lotus plant very unique by being a wholly Organically farmed plant.
How is lotus silk made
The fabric production begins with harvesting the Lotus stems. The Lotus stems are snapped open and very gently pulled apart to reveal the fibres.
This fibre extraction is very delicate work requiring patience and skill so as not to break the fibres. Each Lotus stem contains around 50 microfibres & can be cut around 12 times.
Once extracted, the long strands of fibre are gathered to create the threads, and then spun into a yarn.
Dyeing the yarn
The next step in the process is to dye the yarn, should a colour be required. If not, then the Lotus Silk thread is ready for weaving in its beautiful natural beige colour!
The dyes Sofia Vera use can be naturally made from plants or trees, if availability and season allows. For instance, to make the colour yellow, the bror hut tree is used. For red, the lac stick.
If these plants are unavailable, then the fabric is dyed using Dystar Oeko-Tex certified dyes which ensures that the dyes are free-from any harmful substances including heavy metals and toxic chemicals.
Non-mechanized skilled weaving
The final step in making the Lotus Silk fabric is the weaving.
Given the delicate nature of the Lotus’ very thin microfibres, the weaving process needs the upmost precision and care. For this, only carefully tweaked traditional non-mechanized wooden hand looms are used.
This process is a completely non mechanized hand craft that enables a strong oversight on quality.
The fabric is made by highly skilled artisans that are Fair Trade certified, ensuring that their work is carried out in fair, safe conditions, and that they are paid fair wages, as we would all expect for ourselves and our loved ones.
Completely non-polluting process
The entire process of Lotus Silk production from start to finish requires no use of any polluting inputs including oil, gas, electricity, harmful chemicals, or even water!
This makes it very environmentally friendly with no negative impact on the planet.
Sofia Vera has full traceability back to the Lotus Flower lakes, which enables us to have a good oversight and quality control over the entire process from Lotus lakes to finished garment.
An arduous process
To make just 1 metre of Lotus Silk fabric, around 40 thousand Lotus stems are required, costing at a minimum 2 weeks of work.
To create a dress, 4 metres are needed costing 2 months work including the lengthy process of spinning the yarn!
This goes some way in explaining why Lotus Silk is regarded as one of the most expensive fabrics in the world.
Lotus silk benefits
Vegan, organic & the world's only natural microfibre
Lotus Silk fabric boasts exceptional properties.
Besides Lotus Silk being 100% Vegan & Organic, Lotus Silk has been recognized by the Institut Français de la Mode, du Textile et de l'Habillement as the first natural microfiber in the World.
Up until now, microfiber fabrics had only been made from synthetics such as polyester.
Thermo-regulating & sweat-proof
Microfiber fabrics like Lotus Silk have remarkable properties thanks to their structure as they are wrinkle-proof, piling resistant, shape retaining and have a luxurious drape on the body.
They are strong & durable and have exceptional breathability due to the microscopic holes in the microfibers, also allowing good moisture-wicking, which is the ability to absorb liquid (such as your sweat) and excrete it back into the air, keeping you comfortable and sweat free.
Lotus Silk also has the ability to thermo-regulate keeping you warm in colder weather, and cool in hotter weather.
This results in Lotus Silk clothing which is very soft and comfortable on your body and skin.
Additionally Lotus Silk fabric is hypoallergenic making it ideal if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
Anti-bacterial & anti-odor
Another exciting discovery is Lotus Silk’s anti-bacterial properties.
Anti-bacterial Lotus Silk fabric actively fights the growth of any odour-causing bacteria, including your sweat!
This leaves your Lotus Silk clothing smelling fresher for longer, allowing you to wear your clothes with confidence, and requiring less washes & in turn extending the life-cycle of your clothing.
Zero-waste & zero impact
Lotus Silk is a zero waste & zero impact fabric.
The Lotus pickers sell the Lotus Flowers and Seeds for consumption or decorative purposes, and the entire fabric production process is without any use of harmful or polluting substances, including machinery requiring non-renewable resources or even electricity.
This makes the Lotus Silk an extremely eco-friendly fabric.
A lot is still being discovered about the Lotus Silk’s numerous beneficial properties. It has gained a lot of international attention and recognition, so far winning 4 prizes for exceptional quality & innovation, including from UNESCO & the Institute of Engineering and Technology.
Lotus Silk blends & how to wear Lotus Silk
100% Lotus Silk
100% Lotus naturally carries the full range of benefits of the exceptional fabric.
It has a matte, slightly textured finish & a soft feel.
Wear 100% Lotus for occasionwear or for the every day, in any weather, thanks to it’s thermo-regulating, anti-odor & anti-sweat properties.
Lotus Silk & Organic Cotton blend
Lotus Silk and Organic Cotton is a perfect blend for everyday wear.
Very breathable and with a smoother texture than 100% Lotus Silk.
Lotus Silk & Organic Cotton are your next everyday wear wardrobe staples!
Lotus Silk & Mulberry Silk blend
Lotus Silk and Mulberry Silk blend is a beautiful fabric with a discreet yet noticeable sheen thanks to the Mulberry Silk’s fibers' micro prisms.
It is the smoothest in appearance.
You can wear Lotus Silk & Mulberry Silk blends for eveningwear where the fabric will beautifully catch and reflect the evening lighting, but also during daytime... and you won’t find anything softer or more comfortable on your skin.