Scientist Uses Animal Byproducts to Spin Yarn

As you all know, yarn can be made from a variety of materials: from plant fibers to alpaca to wool, we here at BeWeave It love 'em all. But scientists are beginning to explore bone and other animal byproducts as a source of yarn.

Ph.D. student Philipp Stössel of the Functional Materials Laboratory in Zurich has developed a yarn from gelatin, a product that is left over from animals after they have been slaughtered. The yarn is reportedly similar in quality to merino wool and is spun by feeding gelatin through a series of parallel syringe nozzles. The result is an assortment of fine filaments, which are then hardened by Teflon-coated rollers and ultimately twisted together by a spindle.

Stössel has been able to successfully knit a pair of mittens with his yarn, but the product still has a long ways to go before it's viable–Stössel and his team are currently combating the fact that gelatin is soluble in water. But the scientist hopes that by salvaging material that would otherwise go in a landfill, this yarn can serve as an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibers. 

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