- story by MaterialDistrict
Pre-Loved Wool is a smooth, leather-like biocomposite material with a marbled pattern created from post-consumer textile waste and natural binders. Designers Sarmite Polakova and Mara Maizele have combined traditional textile making techniques with the use of bio-plastics to create a new textile concept, which brings old garments back to the fashion market in a new way.
Pre-Loved Wool challenges the traditional concept of fabric as we know it. Upon buying new garments, consumers strive for pure materials, while mixed blends are associated with inferior quality. Yet, it is the fast fashion culture that has unintentionally created a new textile type, which presents both a huge environmental problem and opportunity at the same time. For example, unsellable and unwearable garments are being downcycled to fibres. Also called shoddy, it consists of numerous fibre types – cotton, polyester, wool etc – blended together in a single mass. Considered a functional material only, shoddy keeps our sofas soft, our walls well insulated and our winter coats warm.
Yet, unlearning everything we know about this material and its stigma helps to view it from a new perspective. For example, the great insulation properties of shoddy makes it a perfect material for garment making. Furthermore, combining separate colours creates unexpected and unique patterns. And finally, the short fibres, otherwise unfit for yarn spinning, are combined with bioplastics, which strengthens the fibres from within.
Pre-Loved Wool celebrates the sum of all fibres that together form a new identity. It brings along new aesthetics and highlights the previous lives of each worn garment through colour and structural nuances. The designers see this project not only as a product but also as means of collaboration with other fashion brands to turn their textile waste into new Pre-Loved garments.