October 1, 2003, Sonia
Roberts/just-food.com: Fashion insiders may have a new
stone to turn when is comes to a fabric source, one that may have
originally been nestled deep in the bottom ocean. Italian fiber
producer Pozzi-Electa has discovered a method of extracting protein,
technically known as chitin from seafood shells, and turning it
into a filament suitable for knitting or weaving fabric.
The new fiber enjoys a number of advantages. In contrast to exuding
a fishy smell as one may think, the resultant fiber, which will
be marketed worldwide under the brand name Crabyon, has been found
to possess anti-bacterial properties that prevent the formation
of odors caused by stale human sweat.
The fiber is environmentally and pocketbook friendly. The oceans
will not need to be further combed to source the new fabricate instead
the shells are the discards of the seafood processing industry.
“Our fiber however doesn’t diminish the world’s
already shrinking forest resources and is therefore a more environmentally
friendly raw material, as well as being very economical because
it makes use of what would otherwise be simply waste,” said
The substance can be obtained from all members of the carpace-bearing
arthropod family although Pozzi-Electa is currently finding crab
shells the most convenient to work with. It is similar in character
to the cellulose that is processed from timber.
When the new fiber was previewed at the recent Fil Event textile
trade fair in Paris it excited interest from visitors across the
international scene, but seemed a particularly commercially interesting
proposition to Japanese delegates. “Obviously with the heavy
consumption of seafood as an integral part of the traditional Japanese
diet any process which creates a profitable by-product for the fish
industry is of major importance,” said Pozzi-Electa.