Soybean Fiber – Sustainable Fiber Made From Soy By-products

The manufacture of soybean fiber dates back to the 1930s and 40s. In 1938 Ford wore a soybean-blended necktie, which was said to be his favorite 75th birthday present. In that year, a pilot plant for soybean “wool” was built with the capacity to produce 1,000 pounds per day.  Shortly thereafter, a blended fabric made of 25% soybean “wool” and 75% sheep’s wool was used as the sidewall upholstery in many Ford cars.

Soybean fiber is a sustainable textile fiber made from renewable natural resources. It is actually made from the byproduct leftovers of soybean oil/tofu/soymilk production, which would normally be discarded.  The production of this fiber is an effort to move textile production away from petrochemical textile products, and to turn waste into useful products. The byproducts of soybean production can be used as fodder or fertilizer. All secondary products used in the production of soybean fiber are harmless and are recyclable.

Fabrics made from soy fiber are eco-friendly, and are so soft that some people call it “vegetable cashmere‘’ with the following characteristics.

Stronger tensile strength than wool, and has almost the same warmth retention as wool

Soft and drapeable—feels like cashmere

Can be spun into a variety of yarn weights

Takes dyes very well

Same moisture absorption as cotton, but with better moisture transmission than cotton

Comfortable to wear


Apparel – childrens clothes, T-shirts, travel apparel/casual sportswear

Bedding – bed sheets, quilt, pillow, blanket

Other – automotive foams, films, packaging

Learn more: Or Spring Hometextile video channel: Also can contact Tina at: [email protected]

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